A Hero Dog, a Drug Fueled Search and How Four Children Survived 40 Days in the Jungle

Four indigenous children survived a plane crash in the Colombian Amazon and spent 40 days alone in the jungle. Wilson, the hero dog who found them, is now missing.

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The children’s ages range from 11 months old to 12 years old. After their plane crashed in the Colombian jungle, causing the instant death of the pilot and of another passenger, the siblings tried to save their mother who was still alive. She passed away after four days. If you like our content, please become a patron to get all our episodes ad-free. 1

The eldest child, Lesly, is credited with keeping her siblings alive through her knowledge of the jungle. The children survived for 40 days in the Amazon by eating fruit and using large leaves to protect themselves from the rain. 2

The children were discovered in a forest clearing by rescuers, who were guided to their location by Wilson, a Belgian Shepherd and four-legged hero. The military released drawings made by the children, depicting Wilson in the jungle, highlighting his role in their survival.

After the rescue of the children, the search for Wilson began as he was separated from the kids, had a “weird reaction” when seeing his handler, and then disappeared. There are reports of a drug-fueled search and rescue operation, suggesting that the military and various groups – including the dog handlers - had been using ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic tea, as a ritual to help them locate the children. Wilson, the 6-year-old hero dog, is still missing in the jungle.

1. By Ed Cumming and Mathew Charles, A hero dog, a drug-fuelled hunt, The Telegraph, June 2023. 

2. By John Otis, How Indigenous kids survived 40 days in Colombia's jungle after a plane crash, NPR, June 2023. 

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