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Four-year-old boy found safe after spending 22 hours alone in California wilderness

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FRESNO, Calif. -

A four-year-old California boy who wandered away from a campground in the Sierra National Forest was found safe after spending 22 hours alone in the wilderness, authorities said.

A search-and-rescue team of about 50 officers and volunteers set out around 11 a.m. Thursday after the child was reported missing from the camping site surrounded by dense forest north of Fresno.

The boy, from Torrance near Los Angeles, was last seen wearing shorts and a T-shirt, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said.

Around 8 a.m. Friday, the boy was discovered in good condition "nestled under a tree" near a lake about a quarter mile (0.4 kilometres) from the Rancheria Campground where his family was.

"He was hungry and exhausted, but otherwise in good health. We got him a sandwich and then carried him out to be reunited with Mom and Dad," the sheriff's office said Saturday on Facebook.

Officials say the boy simply wandered away and lost his sense of direction.

The sheriff's office thanked members of the public who volunteered to join the search, "kept their eyes peeled, spread the word on social media and sent prayers up."

"All of this undoubtedly helped to bring (him) home safely," the department said.

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