Wilson is still missing in the bowels of the Colombian jungle. Friday, June 9, the four children who were actively sought after the crash of their plane on May 1 were found safe and sound. A happy news that puts an end to the endless journey of toddlers who held Colombia in suspense for 40 days.
Since their disappearance, 200 people, including 100 soldiers and a dozen sniffer dogs, have tried to trace their traces. And unfortunately, one of the dogs got lost during the search. President Gustavo Petro told the press yesterday: "What has not yet been found is the dog, which at one time was with them".
This dog, nicknamed Wilson, is a Belgian shepherd specially trained to signal the presence of certain materials or people. On June 8, the army announced that the six-year-old animal had been missing for several days in the jungle. And according to the authorities, it would not be just any dog: Wilson would have played a fundamental role in the rescue of the children by finding the cabin in which they had taken refuge. He was also at the origin of the discovery of the bottle, a sign of hope for the life of children.
In a press release, the army explains that the canid would have been "disoriented" because of the "complex terrain". Paw prints had been discovered next to those of the children, leading Colombians to believe that the dog accompanied and protected them. “We have a lost dog and the latest prints show the footprints of a dog and a child. We believe he is with them. It would be spectacular. He would be good company for them”, enthused Fausto Avellaneda, commander of the ground mission of Operation Hope.
But Colonel Gustavo Narvaez Orozco, commander of the special forces regiment, disagreed: “At no time did we speculate or assure that the dog was with the children. It was a possibility and we have to wait to see what the children will say,” he told Colombian newspaper Semana. According to him, anything can happen in the jungle. The dog may not have returned to its master because of "animals like caimans, jaguars, panthers, anacondas." “Any of these animals can intimidate our dog, frighten him”. And if an unfortunate encounter with a wild beast has taken place, "he changes his behavior," he said.
“The indication we have is that we only saw the dog three days ago. It encourages us and gives us hope,” he continued. He explains that the animal, although trained to eat certain concentrates, has an instinct that can wake up at certain times. "Let's hope he was awakened in the jungle by prey he was able to hunt," he says.
Several Colombian personalities call on the government to continue the search for the dog, such as Esmeralda Hernández, senator. “We urge that his search not be abandoned and that he be returned home safe and sound. Happiness will be complete when our beloved hero, Wilson, appears,” she wrote on Twitter.
The dog, meanwhile, is already erected as a hero on social networks.