Unfortunately, most stories of a child getting lost in the wilderness end up as tragedies, and the chances of finding them alive again are very slim.
However, when one 3-year-old boy got lost in the woods during the harsh winter of North Carolina, he was miraculously found alive after three days!
Do you wonder who helped him survive the severe weather conditions and avoid all the dangers that awaited him in the woods?
Yup, you read it right!
Back in January 2018, the three-year-old boy, called Casey Hathaway, was at this grandmother in North Carolina.
Casey played with two other kids in the backyard, but when they entered the house, he wasn’t with them.
His parents claim he is a curious kid, so they initially believed that something took his interest and he wandered off to explore.
Yet, when his grandma realized the child was lost, she immediately called the police.
She said to the 9-1-1 dispatcher:
“He was walking in the woods back there and we can’t find him. The other ones come through the house but left him there and he walked off somewhere and we can’t find him.”
The search started right away, since the incoming weather was set to be quite bad.
The first night Casey was missing, the temperatures dropped to 20F. The next night, it was cold with heavy rainfall.
The conditions were so harsh, that the search for the little boy had to be called off.
The family started losing hope, as the chances to find the poor Casey alive were very low.
Authorities searched for the boy with drones, helicopters, k-9 units, divers, and hundreds of volunteers. Due to the brutal conditions, authorities advised volunteers to stay away the second night.
As the boy was wearing inappropriate clothing for the severe weather conditions, his relatives were losing hope.
Yet, after two nights, rescue teams responded to someone who reported hearing a baby crying in the woods.
After some searching, the boy was found tangled up in some thorny bushes. The rescuers had to wade through waist-high water to get to him.
Casey was cold and wet with a few minor scratches, but otherwise healthy unharmed.
The boy only wanted some water and his mother.
A Friendly Bear
After the successful rescue, everyone wondered how this tiny little boy survived two nights in freezing, rainy conditions like that with nothing but a few scratches.
While Casey was at the hospital getting checked out by doctors, he told his family his story: he made a friend in the woods who helped to keep him warm.
Guess who his friend was!
A black bear!
The boy’s aunt, Brenna Hathaway wrote in a Facebook post:
“He said he hung out with a bear for two days. God sent him a friend to keep him safe. God is a good God. Miracles do happen.”
The story seems unbelievable, especially when heard from a curious, imaginative 3-year-old.
However, no one can either confirm or deny whether or not his tale is true.
Black bears are a common sight in North Carolina, so an encounter with one is not such a hard thing to believe.
Yet, befriending one so it snuggles you and keeps you warm at nighttime is something much harder to imagine.
Therefore, let’s give the little boy the benefit of a doubt, and thank God his story had a happy ending, which is undoubtedly something worth celebrating!