A Brazilian toddler who went missing last month and was thought to be dead was found alive last week in a forest where she survived alone by eating fruit and drinking river water.
Ana Vitoria Soares Cardosa, 4, vanished on December 28 in a rural area of the Rio Maniva community, located in northern Brazil, MSN reports.
At the time of her disappearance, the child was playing with her 8-year-old sister on a canoe.
Relatives and local law enforcement initially believed the girl, who does not know how to swim, drowned. For days, divers searched for Soares in a river where they thought they might find her lifeless body.
However, on January 2, the girl’s cousin found her alive in a forest about 1.24 miles away from where she first went missing.
While the toddler was too weak to stand up from the trunk she was sitting on, officials said she is otherwise in good health and expected to make a full recovery.
However, local fire chief Rosivaldo Andrade said surviving five days alone in a rainforest was far from easy for a lost toddler.
“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,” he told local reporters, according to the Daily Mail. “She went through tremendous difficulty.”
Soares is currently under observation at a hospital in Santana, a municipality southeast of the state of Amapá, and is expected to recover and be home soon.