Following an intensive search, award winning Eastern Cape search-and-rescue dog Olive, which went missing near Mthatha at the weekend, was alive and well on Wednesday, Eastern Cape police said.
Olive went missing at Mahlubini locality in Sulenkama on Sunday after she rescued a 55-year-old man who went missing on Friday when he went to fetch wood at a nearby forest.
The German Shepherd was reportedly chased by other dogs whilst her handler Constable Songezile Katikati and members of the community were about to reach their vehicle.
Constable Katikati and Olive have been together since 2012 and have been awarded the “Best Rescuing Dog” in the Eastern Cape title in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, a search party consisting of various K9 units, as well as the Mthatha mounted unit, searched a dense forest near Sulenkama for Olive.
Police spokesperson Captain Dineo Koena said that Olive was spotted underneath a low cliff by members of the search party.
“She was unable to get out and her colleagues went out and managed to free her. She was free from injuries and literally bounced back into action,” said Koena.
Handler, Constable Katikati, who on Tuesday described Olive as his “best friend and companion” and pleaded with the public for her safe return, was elated to be reunited with his partner whom he had said was “trained in rescuing drowned people, seeking missing people and seeking evidence on other crime scenes”.