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Four children found alive in the Amazon after 40 days

The Colombian army shared a photo of the children in the jungle

Four children have been found alive after surviving a plane crash and spending weeks fending for themselves in the Colombian Amazon jungle.

The Colombian president said the rescue of the siblings, aged 13, nine, four and one, was “a joy for the whole country”.

The children’s mother and two pilots were killed when their light plane crashed in the jungle on May 1.

The missing children were the subject of an extensive rescue operation involving dozens of soldiers and local people.

President Gustavo Petro said the discovery of the group was a “magical day”, adding: “They were alone, they themselves achieved an example of total survival that will go down in history.

“These children today are the children of peace and the children of Colombia.”

Mr. Petro shared a photo of several members of the military and Indigenous community caring for the siblings, who have been missing for 40 days. One of the rescuers held a bottle to the youngest child’s mouth, while another fed one of the other children from a cup with a spoon.

Video shared by the Colombian Ministry of Defense showed the children being airlifted in a helicopter in the dark above tall jungle trees.

Mr Petro said the siblings were receiving medical treatment – and he had spoken to their grandfather, who told him ‘mother jungle had sent them away’.

The children were airlifted to Bogota, the nation’s capital, where ambulances took them to hospital for further medical treatment.

The Cessna 206 plane the children and their mother were traveling on before the crash was flying from Araracuara, Amazonas province, to San Jose del Guaviare when it issued a distress alert due to a breakdown of engine.

The bodies of the three adults were recovered from the crash site by the military, but it appears the children escaped the wreckage and wandered into the rainforest to find help.

A massive search began and in May rescuers recovered items left by the children, including a toddler’s bottle, a pair of scissors, a hair tie and a makeshift shelter.

Small footprints were also discovered, leading search teams to believe the children were still alive in the rainforest, which is home to jaguars, snakes and other predators.

The children belong to the indigenous Huitoto group and members of their community hoped that their knowledge of fruits and jungle survival techniques would give them a better chance of staying alive.

Indigenous people joined the search and helicopters broadcast a message from the children’s grandmother, recorded in the Huitoto language, urging them to stay still to facilitate their location.

The Colombian president came under fire last month when a tweet posted on his account mistakenly announced that the children had been found.

He deleted the tweet the next day saying the information – which his office had received from Colombia’s child protection agency – could not be confirmed.

Colombian army soldiers pose for a photo after rescuing child survivors from a Cessna 206 plane that crashed May 1 in the Caqueta jungle, in the boundaries between Caqueta and Guaviare, in this released photo June 9, 2023.

Soldiers pose for a photo with the children, whose faces have been blurred


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