(Bogota, Colombia) – A mother of four children who survived 40 days in the Amazon wilderness alone encouraged the children to leave her at the crash site so they could survive.

The siblings, ages 13, 9, 4, and 1 were rescued on Friday, June 9th following an extensive search that involved more than 150 soldiers, dogs, helicopters, and countless volunteers. Searchers pushed their way through the dense jungle in Columbia for five weeks to try and find any survivors.

According to a report published by Cleveland.com, the father of the two youngest siblings told reporters that the oldest child, 13-year-old Jacombombaire Mucutuy indicated their mother survived for four days after the May 1st plane crash. He explained that their mom encouraged them to leave her at the crash site so that they could go and find help and survive.

The children, their mother, and two other adults were traveling on May 1st from the Amazonian village of Araracuara to the town of San Jose del Guaviare, which is where the plane crashed, according to the Washington Post. The wreckage was discovered two weeks later along with the bodies of three adults, including the children’s mother, but the children were gone. The children were located 40 days later more than 2 miles from the crash site, according to the Colombian Air Force.

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