Four Colombian children have miraculously been found alive after spending six weeks alone in the Amazon wilderness. The four youngsters – including a toddler who had his first birthday while in the jungle – managed to fend for themselves for forty days. The astonishing moment of their recovery was captured by Colombia’s Ministry of Defence.

Footage shared on social media showed the four children being airlifted out of the jungle where they had managed to survive against the odds.

The emotional video shows the four emaciated children being winched into a rescue helicopter.

The thick tree canopy was so tall that the rescue helicopter had to hover more than 60 metres in the air.

The delighted soldiers had earlier posed for photographs with the children.

JUST IN: Children found alive weeks after plane crashed in jungle

While they were all alive, the four siblings – Lesly, 13, Soleiny, nine, Tien Noriel, four, and baby Cristin – were dehydrated and malnourished.

They have all since been rushed to safety for treatment in the capital Bogota for health checks and psychological assessments.

The four children ended up alone and missing in the jungle after flying on a plane that crashed in the rainforest on May 1.

The accident killed all adults on board, including the children’s mother Magdalena Mucutui Valencia.

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The plane, which had nosedived into the ground, was discovered two weeks after the crash – but the missing children sparked an enormous search effort.

The search crews found part-eaten fruit and small footprints which suggested that the children had survived and left in search of help.

The rescuers also recovered a child’s drinking bottle, a pair of scissors, a hair tie and a makeshift shelter.

Over the course of 40 days, the children survived heavy storms in one of the most hostile parts of the country, home to predatory animals and armed groups.

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Colombia’s President, Gustavo Petro, rejoiced at the news: “It is a joy for the whole country,

“They were alone, they themselves achieved an example of total survival which will remain in history.”

It is thought that the children, who are from the Huitoto Indigenous community, may have relied on indigenous knowledge they had received from their grandmother.

The grandmother told reporters: “I never lost hope, I was always supporting the search. I feel very happy, I thank President Petro and my ‘countrymen’ who went through so many difficulties.

“I am very grateful, and to mother earth as well, that they were set free.”

She said the eldest of the four siblings was used to looking after the other three when their mother was at work.

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