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Missing hiker found alive after one month lost in forest


The Gila National Forest, New Mexico

The Gila National Forest, New Mexico

The Gila National Forest, New Mexico

A WOMAN who had been missing for nearly a month has been found alive in New Mexico's Gila National Forest.

Search crews say they found 41-year-old Margaret Page, who is from Albuquerque, on Wednesday. Rescue crews also found the woman's cat alive and well inside her sleeping bag. The cat is said to have stayed at Ms Page's side throughout the ordeal.

They say Page was barely able to speak and had lost one third of her body weight, but was able to stay warm thanks to her thick blue sleeping bag.

Ms Page had likely been stranded in the Gila for the past three weeks, eating food she had brought with her and drinking water from a nearby creek.

Ms Page is thought to have gotten into trouble one mile up from a popular hiking trail at Railway Canyon.

Forest Service workers spotted Page's car by the Gila Trailhead on Feb 10, according to local media, but it wasn't until Feb 25 that the Forest Service ran the plates on the car and realised it belonged to the missing woman. Albuquerque police were contacted soon afterwards.

State police said Ms Page had told her family she was travelling to Florida and not the Gila national forest.