The Colombian Army has called off the search for the hero dog that helped locate four children lost for 40 days in the Amazon jungle.
Wilson, a Belgian shepherd, helped locate Lesly, 13, Soleiny, nine, Tien Noriel, four, and Cristin Neryman, one, in the Guaviare rainforest after a plane crash, but he himself disappeared .
In a tragic turn of events, the military has said it was “unlikely” to find Wilson after the desperate search for him began on June 9.
After their rescue, the children told how Wilson had been with them before they were found by the Army and indigenous volunteers. They had also made heartwarming drawings of the hero pup.
The commander of the Special Forces, General Pedro Sánchez, said in Bogotá on Monday: ‘Wilson is one of our commandos. We have done absolutely everything in our power, we have spared no effort to find it, but we are aware that it is practically unlikely that we will be able to find it.
Belgian Shepherd Dog Wilson (pictured) helped locate the four children lost for 40 days in the Amazon jungle.
The four siblings, Lesly, 13, Soleiny, nine, Tien Noriel, four, and baby Cristin, one, pictured safe in their hospital beds at a military hospital in Bogotá, Colombia.
The four indigenous children are pictured after being rescued. They were missing for six weeks in the Colombian Amazon jungle after a plane crash
The plane crash occurred in Solano, Caquetá. The aircraft was found destroyed on May 16.
The tribute, which was attended by President Gustavo Petro, was part of the awards ceremony for Wilson’s mother, Drugia.
General Sánchez told those present: ‘Wilson will be remembered in our hearts and souls of the Colombian people, as we will do with the other canines and with our soldiers and police officers who have sacrificed their lives.’
Wilson was the strongest pup of five born in Drugia and raised among military personnel. He trained for 14 months at the School of Military Engineers.
He was recruited to help in the search for the four missing children.
“He was the dog we were looking for: strong, fearless, very curious,” said Edgar Fontecha, an instructor at the dog training center, according to El Espectador.
“He was the true hero because he overcame the communications between the jungle and pulled his guide towards the wreckage of the aircraft,” said the military.
“It is said that the dog broke the rope that tied him to Lara (his guide) and began to do his thing, to follow the trail of the minors until he got lost,” added Fontecha.
On May 28, Lesley’s footprint was found among other smaller ones. there was also a dog paw print. Ten days later it was confirmed that the four children had been found.
The six-year-old dog was reported missing on June 8, a day before the children were found.
The Army believes it was lost after hostile conditions in the area, including humidity and dense foliage that limited visibility to 20 meters, disoriented it.
Lenin Ospina, a retired military officer who has worked with search and rescue animals, told Blu Radio that Wilson may be “in an emotional condition of psychological block” and may not be responding to people’s calls.
He wasn’t wearing a tracker. However, even if it had been, unfavorable weather conditions could have prevented it from working properly, according to reports.
The order to search for Wilson was given after the children were rescued.
Wilson is pictured during the search for the missing children on May 17.
The accident is believed to have occurred due to mechanical failure on May 1. The remains were found wedged in thick vegetation, apparently plummeting into the jungle.
Lesly Mucutuy drew a moving color drawing of Wilson in the jungle
Pictured is Wilson’s mother, Drugia, who was honored at her son’s tribute, with a soldier.
Wilson went missing in June and a rescue mission was called the next day. tragically still missing
Before the decision to suspend the search, the commander of the Armed Forces, General Helder Giraldo, said: ‘A fallen comrade is never abandoned on the battlefield.
“Operation Hope continues to advance in the search for our canine Wilson, who in his pursuit and in his eagerness to find the children, distances himself from the troop and gets lost.”
More than 70 members of the Army participated in the search for the missing dog.
His strategies included bringing in two females in heat in an attempt to attract him, and placing food at points considered strategic.
But this week officials have said men used for the rescue mission are needed in other parts of the country.
“We have more responsibilities in other areas of the country, our men are also exposed to jungle diseases and the risks that exist there,” says General Pedro Sánchez.
A video of a dog resembling a Belgian Shepherd was shared on social media this week, raising hopes that Wilson is still alive and well.
He was seen in La Plata in Hulia, which is 125 miles (200 km) from where the children were found.
‘From La Plata (Huila) they send a video and a photo where a puppy very similar to Wilson can be seen wandering through the rural area of the municipality.
‘We are talking about a considerable distance, close to 200 km. It is important to verify this information, the Colombian National Army and the Colombian Military Forces’, said a user of social networks.
The children had been missing for more than a month, prompting a massive search operation to find them.
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