Europe 1 with AFP/Photo credit: SAN JOSÉ DEL GUAVIARE, COLOMBIA 11:16 am, June 13, 2023

Found Friday, 40 days after the crash of their plane in the Colombian jungle, the four children, aged 1 to 13, are hospitalized in Bogota. "They are in a very good mood, they colored and drawn," said Adriana Velasquez, deputy director of the Colombian Institute for Family Protection.

The four indigenous children found in the Colombian jungle 40 days after the crash of the small plane in which they were traveling "are in a satisfactory recovery process," authorities said Monday.

Lesly (13), Soleiny (9), Tien Noriel (5) and Cristin (1) were found by soldiers and indigenous people on Friday afternoon in southern Colombia. Since Saturday morning, they have been in the military hospital in Bogotá, where they arrived in "acceptable clinical condition".

After two days of treatment, "they are in a very good mood, they colored and drawn. They like to talk ... they are very willing," Adriana Velasquez, deputy director of the Colombian Institute for Family Welfare (ICBF), said in a video sent to the media.

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The army released a cartoon attributed to the children featuring Wilson, a rescue dog that disappeared during the search. "The dog was with them, he was leaving and coming back (...) then he disappeared," Narciso Mucutuy, the children's grandfather, said in a video released by the Defense Ministry.

The four children were found wandering alone in the jungle since the May 1 crash of the small Cessna 206 plane in which they were traveling with their mother, the pilot and a relative, all three of whom died in the crash. They fed on cassava flour they found on board the aircraft as well as fruit found in the jungle.

Guardianship of children

The two older sisters recorded "fever spikes" on Monday, while Tien Noriel is "monitored" because of a "possible contamination" food, told W Radio the director of the ICBF, Astrid Caceres. Tien Noriel, the only boy of the siblings, was so weak when he was found that he could not walk, according to the natives who made the first contact with the children on Friday.

"The baby is still in intermediate care, not because of a serious condition, but because he is being monitored more closely because of his age," Caceres added. "They got back to sleep, which helped them a lot," she said. "The evolution is proceeding as planned (...) The prognosis remains two to three weeks of hospitalization," she said.

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The ICBF will retain guardianship of the children until a family dispute is resolved. The relatives of their deceased mother claim that the father of the two youngest children mistreats them, which he denies. Their maternal grandmother told AFP she was seeking custody of the four children.