Things That Matter

People Are Astonished That This Little Girl Survived 5 Days Lost In The Brazilian Rainforest

After five days of search and rescue, a 4-year-old Brazilian girl was found alive a mile from her home in the rainforest. Her family had last seen her with her 8-year-old sister in a canoe, prompting family and search and rescue to assume the girl drowned in the river. That means that folks were scouring the nearby river instead of the nearby rainforest to find the girl. It was her 8-year-old cousin that eventually found her a mile away from their home, sitting on a tree trunk. Little Ana Vitoria Soares Cardosa survived without any adult supervision and without care for five days because of her reliance on tropical fruits and stream water. When she was found, she wasn’t able to walk and was dehydrated but has since been treated at a local hospital.

Meanwhile, her family is relieved that she was found alive and the rest of us have questions about how a 4-year-old passed the days and nights lost in a jungle without another human being nearby.

Officials say that Ana Vitoria Soares Cardosa is lucky to have been found alive.

CREDIT: @MAOSOO3H / TWITTER

Fire Chief Rosivaldo Andrede told local media that the young girl “went through tremendous difficulty.” She had to survive the elements — cold exposure at night, insects and parasites, infected scrapes and bruises, contaminated water, and finding means to nourish herself all on her own. “There were no dangerous animals in the area to attack, but this does not change the risk the forest poses, from cutting yourself, tripping, scrapes, the risk of the water, the cold, infections,” Andrede told reporters. 

Fire Chief Andrede had initially sent search and rescue to scour the river for her body.

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“From December 30 to January 1 we searched without resting on the river, where the child’s body could be. The information given by her relatives made us believe that she could have died and that she could have not gone to the forest,” Andrede told local reporters. That’s because she was last seen in a canoe with her 8-year-old sister. She went missing soon after, prompting the family to believe the worst. Little Soares Cardosa doesn’t know how to swim. On December 29, the day she went missing, her family called emergency services. Soares Cardosa is one of nine children who live in the Rio Maniva community, a rural part of northern Brazil.

Thankfully, their worst fears were not realized. Instead of finding the drowned body of the young girl, she was found alive and well, considering the circumstances.

Soares Cardosa was found sitting on a tree trunk, unable to walk, on Jan. 2.

Credit: Chloe Benko-Prieur / Unsplash

Her 8-year-old cousin was walking through the nearby rainforest when she found the young girl, covered in scrapes and bruises, sitting on a trunk. The girl’s mother, Rosilete de Souza Soares, told reporters, “She was sitting on a trunk, but she was unable to walk. A cousin found her.” She also added that her resilient daughter survived by “eating fruit and drinking from a stream.” While the rest of us drop hundreds of dollars at REI to purchase all the necessary equipment to comfortably survive in the backcountry, conduct extensive research on which water filter is the best and most lightweight, this young girl only had her basic survival instincts to live off of. 

The entire story has folks both marveling at the human instinct to survive that lives within each of us, even from as young an age as 4-years-old, and lamenting that this young girl was without any human contact, comfort or care for five days, let alone in the wild. 

The girl didn’t sustain any major injuries and was only treated for dehydration at the hospital.

Credit: Marco Marques / Unsplash

The world continues to be in shock and awe that this young girl managed to survive for as long as she did without any major injuries. There are no reports as to why she was unable to walk at the time that she was found, but we imagine exhaustion would be perfectly reasonable. 

The young girl is still recovering in their neighboring state, Amapa, in a local hospital in the town of Santana. She’s expected to make a full recovery and has been photographed playing with a variety of balloons with a bandage going from her forearm up to her right bicep.

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