WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Things first started to go wrong for Flint the rat-detecting dog when a sealion charged at him. Spooked, he ran from his handler and went missing on remote Campbell Island, located between mainland New Zealand and Antarctica.
Making things worse? Flint was wearing a muzzle, so he couldn’t eat.
He was there as part of Operation Endurance, a work program involving conservation and weather officials as well as New Zealand’s military.
A military helicopter equipped with a thermal imaging camera scoured the island, but Flint couldn’t be found. Late Wednesday, with bad weather threatening, the team made the call to leave Flint behind.
But on Friday, a helicopter crew flew 650 kilometers (400 miles) across the Pacific Ocean and found Flint alive and well. He’d walked back to the base.