A 12-year-old boy scout who was lost for nearly 24 hours in a South African mountain range wearing just his swimming trucks has spoken of how he fought off baboons and used his own urine to keep warm in order to survive the ordeal. Tristan Smyth became separated from his scout group during a trip to the Mountain Sanctuary Park nestled in the Magaliesberg Mountains just outside of Johannesburg on 15 October.
When he became lost, he was barefoot and wearing only is his swimming gear as the group was by a mountain pool around 1pm.
After realising he had becomed separated from his friends, he began to walk up the mountain, but went the wrong way. While on his own, Trystan is said to have endured a hailstorm, rough terrain and even came face to face with wild baboons.
He told the Ranburg Sun: "I kept trying to follow the Moon, but as I walked, more raindrops fell... As it got darker, I heard what sounded like voices and ran towards them. It was the baboons."
One of the baboons scratched Tristan on the arm who then had to jump into a gorge to escape, according to reports. The boy would later need a rabies injection as a result of the attack from the primate.
While walking through the mountains, the 12-year-old became severely dehydrated and was forced to cover himself with urine and leaves in order to keep warm.
"I kept thinking I should follow the river, follow the light, follow the Sun and eventually there will be buildings and roads and people and I could call home," he added.
"I got scared thinking they would not find me, I did stop and got emotional, but then I just kept on going."
Tristan said he eventually found a fence, which he followed his way along to a house where he was taken in. After he was rescued by the search team, the boy was praised for surviving a situation which many fully-grown adults would have struggled in.
Just before receiving the phone to let her know her son had been found, his mother, Anita Smyth, began to expect the worse. She told the Times: "I heard one of the policemen say it was time to call in the divers to start searching the pools and dams. That was when my legs gave in."
Tristan and his family are now receiving counselling following the incident, with the boy said to be still having nightmares.