He Was Chopping Down Trees. He Heard Weak Cries for Help

2 young brothers, ages 6 and 8, who'd been missing for nearly 4 weeks found in Amazon rainforest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2022 6:21 AM CDT
Boys, 8 and 6, Survive Weeks Lost in Rainforest
Stock photo of the Amazon rainforest.   (Getty Images/Atelopus)

For almost a month, locals in Brazil's Amazonas state desperately scoured the rainforest in search of two young Indigenous brothers who'd vanished while trying to capture tiny birds. This week, a miracle: The BBC reports that a man from the village of Palmeira stumbled upon little Gleison Ferreira, 6, and his brother, 8-year-old Glauco, lying weak on the jungle floor, and their survival story is one for the books.

Per local media outlet Amazonia Real, emergency rescue workers gave up the search for the boys not even a week after they'd disappeared on Feb. 18—right in the middle of rainy season in the Amazon, when it's difficult to move about the jungle. Residents didn't give up, however, and the search continued—but it was a man cutting down trees who accidentally came across the boys on Tuesday after hearing their weak cries while working.

When he finally tracked them down, they were scratched up and starving, lying on the jungle floor. The brothers told their parents afterward they'd eaten nothing during their ordeal and survived by drinking rainwater. The boys, who were rushed to first one hospital, then another, will be treated for malnourishment, but both are expected to be OK. The BBC notes there have been similar stories of people lost in the Amazon rainforest before, including a pilot who survived 36 days after crashing. In 2008, a teen who'd gone missing while hunting was found alive after a staggering 50 days, but he died soon afterward. (More missing persons stories.)

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