Locals could hear 8-year-old Barry's barks become weaker and weaker, but they struggled to locate the lost pooch. A crack team of national park staff in southern Germany managed to find the dog and carry him down.
A German holidaymaker has been reunited with her dog after it went missing for 11 days in Berchtesgaden National Park on the German border with Austria.
Eight-year-old mongrel Barry escaped from his owner on August 12, while they were descending from the Kärlingerhaus mountain lodge — which can only be reached on foot — to the Königssee Lake.
A team of national park rangers searched for the hound over several days after his barks were heard by hikers and local residents. But they were unable to trace him.
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Barry was winched to safety by a national park ranger after he became trapped on a dangerous slope 150 meters up
Over the subsequent days, his barks became weaker and were heard less often, leading rescuers to presume that his health was weakening.
On Thursday, they deployed a thermal imaging camera and set off on the Sagerecksteig trail, which runs through the park, in a final attempt to track down the pet.
Despite no sound from Barry, they searched almost impassable terrain around the rock face before the camera picked up a small bright spot, which quickly disappeared behind a bush.
"It was only a short moment, but I was sure that this had to be a dog," forest ranger Tilman Piepenbrink said.
Trapped on a steep slope
As the search was intensified, Barry was eventually found 150 meters (500 feet) above the lake on a 70-degree steep grassy slope. He was trapped directly above a 100-meter drop.
Rescuers had to descend 40 meters down another steep section of the mountain to reach him, in an operation that took five hours.
"When he was rescued, Barry was completely apathetic, he didn't even notice me and didn't move," National Park ranger Fritz Eder said, adding that he looked like he was made of "skin and bones."
The emaciated pet was taken to a veterinary clinic, where he was given a full bill of health, and later reunited with his tearful owner.