09/08/2013 12:28 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Real-Life Skippy The Bush Kangaroo Saves Missing Seven-Year-Old In Australian Bush

A seven-year-old boy was saved by a real-life Skippy The Bush Kangaroo when he went missing in the Australian bush.

Simon Kruger became lost when he followed a wallaby into trees at the vast Deep Creek Conservation Park near Adelaide, South Australia, as his family ate lunch nearby.

But Simon survived almost 24 hours in the wilderness thanks to the help of a friendly kangaroo who approached him as he picked flowers for his mother and fell asleep next to him to keep him warm.

Simon's father Etienne Kruger told Seven Network: "The kangaroo came closer to him and ate the flowers from him and then the kangaroo fell asleep next to him.

"I think god sent a kangaroo to keep him warm."

A search party, including two helicopters, attempted to find Simon throughout the night with rescuers using parachute flares in a bid to find him.

But he was eventually spotted by one of the helicopters around 500 metres from where he had originally gone missing and was winched to safety. The youngster suffered just minor injuries from his ordeal and was reunited with his relieved family.

His mother, Linda, said: "I think it was a miracle, when I smell his jacket, it's kangaroo - bush and kangaroo."

Australia is home to an estimated 58 million kangaroos. Simon's encounter is reminiscent of the popular 1960s programme Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, which had the amazing ability to tell his owners about people who needed to be rescued.