Cat Leads Bushed Man to Safety Near Tumut
5 January 1952 The Canberra Times
The 35-years old sawmill employee, Darrell Pierce Chute who had been lost for nearly five days in rough hilly country near Tumut, found his way back to civilisation, With.the aid of a domestic cat.
Unkempt, and wearing only tattered khaki shorts with pieces of cloth bound around his feet, Chute stumbled at 1 p.m. into a hut occupied by a man named Crows, on the property of Mr. Webb, five miles from Billapaloola.
Chute was admitted to the Tumut district hospital, where he is suffering from exposure and starvation.
He disappeared from a lumber camp at Billapaloola, 16 miles from Tumut at 4 p.m. on December 30.
At the Webb homestead Chute told police an extraordinary story of how he tried to find his way back to the camp.
He had had nothing to eat for five days, and had slaked his thirst with water from creeks and waterholes.
In the Sandy Creek gully at Bondo, two and a half miles from Webb's property, Chute said he discovered a cat caught in a rabbit trap.
Noticing it was a domestic animal, Chute decided to release it and follow it, knowing the cat would lead it to the homestead from where it had wandered.
He trailed the cat up the side of the gully until it came upon a narrow path, following it to the hut on Webb's property.
Police had given up any hope on Thursday of finding Chute alive, and a search party had set out at dawn today to try to find his body.
Sgt. H. Dickson, of the Tumut police, said tonight that Chute's brother had arrived today from Lismore to look after him.
Chute originally came from Lismore. Her is married with three children.