The Colombian welfare officials have announced that the four Indigenous children who were rescued after wandering the Colombian Amazon for 40 days are now recovering and in good spirits. They even created a drawing that is believed to depict a missing army search dog.
The siblings, Lesly, Soleiny, Tien Noriel, and Cristin, aged 13, nine, five, and one respectively, were receiving medical care at a military hospital in Bogota. They were found hungry and dehydrated last Friday, having survived a plane crash over five weeks ago. Tragically, their mother passed away in the aftermath of the crash, along with the two other adults who were traveling with them.
According to Adriana Velasquez from the Colombian Family Welfare Institute, the rescued children were in high spirits. In a video sent to the media, she mentioned that they have been coloring, drawing, and enjoying conversations.
The army released a drawing attributed to the children, which depicts Wilson, the rescue dog that went missing during the search. Narciso Mucutuy, the children’s grandfather, explained in a video released by the Ministry of Defense that the dog had been with them, leaving and returning, but eventually disappeared. The army, determined not to leave anyone behind, announced on Saturday that they would continue searching for Wilson, a six-year-old Belgian shepherd who played a crucial role in finding some of the items left behind by the children in the jungle.
During their time alone, the children managed to survive by eating a three-pound package of cassava flour found in the plane wreckage, as well as fruits from the jungle.
One of the siblings, Tien Noriel, was too weak to walk when the rescuers found them. The rescue team covered over 2,600 kilometers (1,615 miles) of jungle only to discover the children about five kilometers from the plane crash site.
As of now, the youngest sibling remains in intensive care, not due to a serious condition but for closer monitoring due to her age. Astrid Caceres, a colleague of Velasquez, informed W Radio that the older siblings had been experiencing fevers, while Tien Noriel was being observed for a possible reaction to something he ate. Caceres added that all four children had been catching up on lost sleep.
The children are expected to remain in the hospital for another two to three weeks. The custody dispute between their relatives will be resolved by the family welfare agency, which will keep the siblings under its guardianship during this time.
Relatives of the deceased mother, Magdalena Mucutuy, have accused Manuel Miller Ranoque, the father of the two younger siblings, of mistreating the children. However, Ranoque denies these allegations. Speaking to the press outside the hospital on Sunday, he explained that his wife had been severely injured in the crash on May 1 but did not pass away until four days later, with her children by her side.
Fatima Valencia, the children’s maternal grandmother, expressed her desire to gain custody of the four children, according to our correspondent.