Two young brothers were rescued from a remote area of Brazil Amazon Rainforest after being missing for almost four weeks.
The children – ages 7 and 9 – were found by a local near their hometown of Manicoré on Thursday, their father told local media. The boys – who are indigenous Mura people, living in the central and eastern part of Amazonas, Brazil – have been missing for 27 days.
The father said the search was “difficult” and involved police, firefighters and Funai, the government agency that protects indigenous peoples. He told local media that he had lost hope of finding his sons alive when a local farmer – who is also a friend of the boys’ father – found the children lying on his property. The older child screamed when someone approached him, the father said.
Rocineia Lima, a social worker assigned to the case, details the boys’ fight to survive, and says they worked together to be found.
“The older brother said (at one point) the younger brother couldn’t walk anymore, so he had to go pick fruit for them to eat. But to the point where the elderly couldn’t walk anymore,” Lima told CNN.
Lima said the farmer was “opening a path in the forest where he had a seed plantation. Then he heard one of the children crying,” she said.
“He (the farmer) was really moved when he found them,” added Lima.
CNN Brasil reports the boys were last seen on February 18, when they went into the woods to go hunting. About 260 people joined the search to find them, Lima said.
A representative from the Amazonas Department of Health told CNN.
The boys survived their time in the forest by drinking rain and river water and eating a wild fruit called sorba. Medical representatives said their skin was covered with insect bites and scratches from tree branches.
The boys were flown to an ICU unit in Manaus – about 205 miles (330 km) away – with their parents on Thursday. During the trip, their condition began to improve, CNN Brasil reported.
Pediatrician Eugenio Tavares told CNN Brasil that the boys are in “severe” but “stable” condition, based on their experience.
“They were undernourished and had skin, ear and back infections,” says Tavares. “The rate of breathing is normal; they don’t have a cough. The kidneys used to be a concern but now they are working very well again. We need to take care of any remaining infection and feed them carefully. careful to see if they can tolerate the increasing diet. weight gain.”
The boys showed a “significant improvement” from the treatment on Friday, who added that the boys would soon be able to eat solid food, according to a health ministry representative.
A team of doctors, including psychologists, nutritionists and physical therapists, are taking care of the boys, the representative said.