Australian castaway dog survives life on remote island
Australia castaway dog survives life on remote island
A pet dog believed to have drowned after falling overboard in rough seas off Australia has been reunited with her owners after surviving on a remote island for four months.
Sophie Tucker was thrown into the sea as Jan Griffith and her family sailed through choppy waters off northeast Queensland in November. Unable to rescue her, the devastated family were convinced she had drowned.
But the cattle dog, unseen by her owners, managed to swim five nautical miles through stormy seas to St Bees Island, near the Great Barrier Reef, where she survived by hunting feral goats.
She was reunited with her owners last week after Ms Grffith contacted rangers who, she was told, had captured a wild dog on the largely uninhabited island.
When the Griffiths family met the rangers' boat bringing the ragged dog to the mainland she immediately recognised her owners, said Ms Griffith.
"We called the dog and she started whimpering and banging the cage and they let her out and she just about flattened us,'' Ms Griffith said.
"She wriggled around like a mad thing.''
When Sophie Tucker was first spotted on the island, she was in poor condition, she said.
"And then all of a sudden she started to look good and it was when the rangers had found baby goat carcasses so she'd started eating baby goats,'' she said.
"She surprised us all. She was a house dog and look what she's done, she's swum over five nautical miles, she's managed to live off the land all on her own,'' she added.