2022-05-20 22:12:52 By : Mr. Steve Lee

Lost teddy bear 'Pooh' reunited with family after being lost in the outback

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A long-lost teddy has finally been reunited with his family months after being left behind in outback NSW.

Gordon Wilson left his son's treasured bear 'Pooh' on a fence post along the Barrier Highway near Broken Hill in March while part way through a 5000km journey from Bowen in north Queensland to Perth in WA.

Mr Wilson had been taking photos with the bear as a way of keeping himself and the family entertained.

After being "distracted by flies" and driving off – it took hours for Mr Wilson to realise he'd left his son's prized possession more than 150km away.

He decided against going back, and that's where the real adventure began.

He and his wife Lois Wilson logged onto to social media and began posting on Broken Hill Facebook groups, asking if someone had seen or picked up the bear.

What happened next came as a shock to the Wilsons.

Their appeals for help were shared all over the internet.

"I was actually quite amazed by the reaction and how many people were following the story," Mr Wilson said.

Grazier Mitch Rodgers was one of those interested onlookers.

Determined to reunite the family with their beloved bear, he drove out from Comarto Station near Wilcannia to find Pooh where he had been left.

While the plan had initially been to post him back in the mail, Mr Rodgers and Mr Wilson thought the adventure should continue.

So they decided to harness the power of social media to find more people willing to travel with the bear across to the west coast.

"Mitch went to great trouble and started to share the story on social media with some great photos," Mr Wilson said. 

"The story then took on a life of it's own and if it wasn't for Mitch it probably wouldn't have got off the ground like it did."

He said Pooh's journey garnered interested from as far afield as Scotland, where he had relatives.

He said Pooh travelled 150km to Broken Hill and visited Silverton before heading south to Mildura in Victoria.

"He then received a lift from a couple to Adelaide and from there flew to Perth," he said.

"I'll tell you what it took off pretty quick," Mr Rodgers said.

"It was just good to hear that people were getting a bit of joy out of it."

24-year-old Ben Wilson, who's had the bear since he was a baby, is still stunned that so many people dedicated their time and effort to make sure the teddy was returned.

"I thought that was it, and I was never going to get him back," he said. 

"I'm grateful for Mitch, the Broken Hill community along with anyone and everyone who was involved," Ben said.

Asked if Pooh would be having any more adventures anytime soon….the answer was "unlikely". 

"He'll be staying with me until I have my first child and then when he or she gets old enough, I'll tell them the story of what happened here," Ben said.

"Because it's not something we're going to forget anytime soon."

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.

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