|Matthew Allen, 18, survived for nearly nine weeks in the Australian outback before being found by a pair of hikers. (Handout/New South Wales Government Police Services/QMI Agency)
An 18-year-old Australian man was found 87 lbs. lighter and covered in leeches and insect bites after spending nine weeks lost and without hope of shelter in the country's bushland, according to reports.
Matthew Allen, 18, was last seen leaving his home on Nov. 27.
After weeks of searches, hikers finally found him on Saturday, only a couple of kilometres from home, police told Australian news service AAP.
"The missing person stated that he had been living in the bush for nine weeks and drinking water from an almost dry creek bed," Det. Glyn Baker of The Hills Local Area Command told AAP.
He said Allen is recovering from dehydration and exhaustion in hospital. The teen also has a "rather severe" case of gangrene on his feet and lower legs, Baker media.
"He was not living under shelter and was exposed to full conditions," Baker said.