Four children who went missing in a May 1 plane crash have been rescued after spending 40 days in the Colombian jungle. Photo Courtesy of Office of Colombian Presidency/Twitter
June 10 (UPI) -- The Colombian military says it has rescued four children who were missing in the jungle for more than a month.
Tien Ranoque Mucutuy, 4, Soleiny Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 9, Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy, 13, and Cristin Ranoque Mucutuy, 1, became stranded in the Jungle when the plane they were aboard crashed on May 1 in the jungles of southern Colombia.
Three adults died in the crash, including the children's mother, Magdalena Mucutuy Valencia. Yarupari Indigenous leader Herman Mendoza Herandez was also killed along with the airplane's pilot, Herando Murcia Morales.
When the crash was discovered it became apparent the children survived and had disappeared into the jungle. The Colombian military deployed special forces soldiers and indigenous scouts in an effort to track them.
Investigators discovered a diaper, footprints and a bottle during their search.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced the rescue Friday on Twitter.
"A joy for the whole country! The 4 children who were lost 40 days ago in the Colombian jungle turned up alive," Petro tweeted Friday along with an image of Colombian medics treating the children, who were found together.
The president said the children were an example of "total survival that will be remembered in history."
After being examined by medical personal, the children were taken to San Jose del Guaviare on a Blackhawk helicopter before being flown to Bogota.
Colombian Defense Minister Ivan Valasquez said the children would be treated at a military hospital in the capitol.
"For us the situation was like being in the dark, we walked for the sake of walking," said children's grandfather, Fidencio Valencia, according to CNN. "Living for the sake of living because the hope of finding them kept us alive. When we found the children we felt joy, we don't know what to do, but we are grateful to God."
Petro said the children's indigenous knowlege helped them survive the ordeal.
"Their learning from indigenous families and their learning of living in the jungle has saved them," he told reporters. "They are children of the jungle and now they are children of Colombia."