The day after spending a night alone in the bush sleeping with the rabbits, Axle Hamblyn is back to his normal happy, active self.
The Tolaga Bay 3-year-old went missing from his family’s rural home, on the East Coast, on Tuesday afternoon, sparking a massive hunt of 100 hectares of farmland and bush, involving police, volunteers, family and friends.
He was found on a forestry track 3 kilometres from his house, by a searcher about 10.45am on Wednesday.
His mother, Haley Allatt, said Axle was “doing amazing” on Thursday.
Axle is back to his normal active 3-year-old self after his overnight adventure in the bush.
READ MORE:* Watch: Emotional moment Axle, 3, reunites with family after missing for 21 hours in Tolaga Bay* The hunt for Axle: How fear turned to joy as a missing toddler was found after 22 hours in the bush* The hunt for Axle: Searchers never lost hope they’d find missing boy, 3, alive
He had been checked over at Gisborne Hospital and apart from a couple of scratches and bruises, a sore throat and runny nose, he was found to be well. Allatt said she was surprised he didn’t have hypothermia. The temperature in the area had dipped to 7 degrees Celsiuson Tuesday night.
Axle had been playing with a little white dog called Bro on the property before he disappeared.
My heart just broke in two. He was just gone,” Allatt said.
Axle’s mum Haley Allatt and dad Glenn are reunited with their little boy.
The family searched the farm and then, after they found no sign of him, called the police.
When no one answered the phone at the local station, Allatt drove down there to see if anyone had found Axle. Discovering that no one had, the worried mum called 111 and police joined the search.
More than 300 people helped to look for Axle, including his 11-year-old brother Harry who was too worried to eat until his younger brother was home knowing he was out in the dark alone.
Allatt described Harry as a trouper, who spent ages scouring the rugged landscape for the toddler.
Axle’s first words to his rescuer, Peter Hughes, were I lost my mum”.
Allatt said she had been crying for the entire 22 hours that Axle was missing, but when she heard he had been found alive, her tears of anguish became tears of joy.
The area where Axle went missing in Tolaga Bay. His home is in the bottom right of the photo, and he was found in the area pictured mid-left.
After they were reunited, Axle told her he walked with the dog and went looking for her
He said he fell down a hill and slept in a tree.
When Allatt met Hughes, who had previously been a stranger, she gave him a huge hug: He brought my baby home.
Axle’s siblings, Jordan, 13, Dekota, 12, Harry and 5-year-old Hunter would return to school on Friday. Meanwhile, Axle and Allatt were heading out to buy a trampoline to keep him occupied.
Both she and Axle’s dad Glenn struggled to find the words to express their gratitude to those who searched for Axle. Allatt said he was just so thankful.
Drone footage shows the area where 3-year-old Axle went missing in Tolaga Bay.
Glenn said the family had moved from Te Awamutu, Waikato, to Tolaga Bay only weeks earlier . They had been without a home since January and had leapt at an offer to rent a home in the area. Glenn said he was stunned by the local response to his familys plight.
This communitys just awesome. Were not even locals. Just a couple of phone calls, and they were all here. They saved my sons life. How do I thank people like that. Words arent enough.
It was so cold. Some people went through some pretty extreme situations themselves. They just kept going, he said.
Three-year-old Axle was found several kilometres from his home.
He said Axle had told him that hed kept walking through the night. The family had mounted a boars head in their home, and the animals frightened Axle.
He said: I heard the pigs Daddy, but I didnt let them find me. It broke my heart knowing that he wouldve been scared, Glenn said.
Locals cared for the family overnight while the search continued. Glenn said it was hard to not fear the worst as the temperature dropped.
I wasnt having the best thoughts. To think of my son out there in a nappy and a T-shirt. I remember just breaking into tears.
I want people to know how grateful I am. The amount of heart and caring in this community is incredible. If half of the countrys towns were like this wed be so better off, he said.

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