Woman missing for a month in New Mexico forest found alive, along with her cat


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The Independent US

An American woman and her cat lost for nearly a month in New Mexico's Gila National Forest have been found alive.

Margaret Page, a 41-year-old from Albuquerque, was discovered by rescuers wrapped inside a sleeping bag in her car - nearly four weeks after she was initially reported missing. 

Local television station KRQE-TV said that Page was found along with her cat, which they say stayed by her side throughout the ordeal.

The search crews who found Page said she was unable to speak and had lost one third of her body weight by the time they found her.

She appears to have survived by drinking water from a nearby stream and eating food she had brought with her.

Her car was initially spotted by Forest Service workers just four days after she was reported missing, but it took a further 15 days for them to identify the car as belonging to Page.

The service then made contact with Albuquerque police.

Ms Page is thought to have gotten into difficulties near the Railway Canyon trail which is popular with hikers.

State police said that Ms Page had told her family she would be travelling in Florida and not in the Gila National Forest.

Authorities are said to be investigating why it took so long for Ms Page to be found and rescuers to be alerted following the identification of her car.