The Colombian army stopped the search for dog Wilson, who disappeared during the rescue operation of four children lost in the rainforest for 40 days after their plane crashed.
After two and a half weeks, the army said the chances of finding the six-year-old Belgian shepherd were close to zero. The missing children remember seeing the dog before the army found them. They expressed their gratitude and fondness for the brave dog through drawings they created after their rescue.
“We have done absolutely everything within our reach, we have spared no effort to find him (Wilson), but we are aware that it is practically unlikely that we can find him,” army general Pedro Sanchez said during a news conference in Bogota on Monday.
Born to a litter of five, Wilson was the most robust pup and was raised among military personnel. His strength and courage made him a perfect candidate for the mission to search for the four missing children.
Wilson reportedly followed the trail of the lost children and led his guide toward the aircraft wreckage. He went missing soon after, with his disappearance reported on June 8, a day before the children were found.
The military speculates that Wilson may have been disoriented by the hostile conditions of the area, which include high humidity and thick trees restricting visibility to only 20 meters. The dog wasn’t equipped with a tracking device.
Over 70 army personnel were involved in the extensive search for Wilson, with strategies ranging from using two female dogs in heat to lure him to placing food at various points. However, military officials said that the resources dedicated to the rescue operation of the dog are needed elsewhere in the country.