Helicopter, thermal imaging camera used to find lost dog in NZ park
A dog lost in a New Zealand national park for nine days has been found after a mammoth search effort that included a helicopter and a thermal imaging camera.
Benny the beagle was in Belmont Regional Park, north of Wellington on April 6 when he took off from his dog walker.
Owners Matt and Grace Newman-Hall launched an extensive search for their beloved pet that ranged from flyer drops to the use of a helicopter with specialist infrared equipment to scan the reserve.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) also assisted in the search with a thermal imaging camera and a megaphone.
The Bring Benny Home Facebook page received more than 1,200 followers, with strangers posting they had gone to the park to help look for Benny.
"We love our boy very much and just want him home safe with us, his adoptive beagle brother Spike and his annoying little kitty sister Peanut," Mr Newman-Hall said on Facebook.
After spending more than a week lost in the wild, Benny was found on Sunday by friends of his owners.
"They went on an epic mission up a ravine, climbed a waterfall and risked their own safety in the hopes of coming across him," Mr Newman-Hall said.
"Benny was not making a peep but somehow they managed to find him anyway.
"He was stuck to a log by the lead unable to move more than a few steps in any direction. Luckily he had access to water."
Mr Newman-Hall said Benny lost three kilograms during his ordeal and had a slight temperature but was in otherwise good health.