Jun 12, 2023, 11:57am EDT
South America

How 4 Colombian kids survived 40 days in the Amazon after plane crash

Soldiers of the Colombian Air Force agive medical attention inside a plane to the surviving children of a plane crash in the thick jungle.
Colombian Air Force/Handout via REUTERS

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The four Indigenous children who were stranded in the Amazon jungle after a plane crash survived for over a month by eating cassava flour and rainforest fruits.

Family members and Colombian military officials recounted to reporters how the four youngsters — aged 13, 9, 4, and 1 — made it 40 days in the jungle after a plane crash that killed three adults who were with them, include the pilot and the children’s mother.

“Their indigenous origins allowed them to acquire a certain immunity against diseases in the jungle and having knowledge of the jungle itself – knowing what to eat and what not to eat ... which would not have been possible (if they) were not used to that type of hostile environment,” Colombian military special forces spokesperson Pedro Arnulfo Sánchez Suárez told CNN.

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The children were rescued Friday following a search that began when their plane crashed in the Colombia Amazon on May 1. They are recovering in a hospital in Bogotá.

They survived by eating six pounds of fariña — a flour made from the cassava plant — that they had brought on the plane with them, Suárez said.


Their uncle, Fidencio Valencia told reporters, that “after the fariña ran out, they began to eat seeds,” according to the Associated Press.

They were also able to find fruit to eat.

Additionally, they found a Belgian Shepherd search dog named Wilson who was being used by the military to find the children, but who went missing two weeks into the search.

“The kids told us that they spent three or four days with Wilson and that they (found) him quite skinny,” Suárez said.