This is the dramatic moment a mother and toddler were rescued from a jaguar-infested wilderness after drinking from puddles for three days.
Police feared the worst after Ludmila Jesus da Silva, 21, and daughter Kyara, three, went missing in the remote forest in central Brazil.
Her friend reported her missing and said Ludmila left to seek help after a breakdown while he stayed in the car.
Her disappearance sparked a major search with sniffer dogs, as police said “no line of inquiry has been ruled out”.
Amazingly, after three days, the mother and daughter were spotted by an amateur drone enthusiast who alerted rescue workers to their location.
The footage shows MPs carrying Ludmila and Kyara in their arms to a helicopter on the banks of the Indaiá River.
Both were said to have been “weak” after their ordeal, and the toddler was covered in scratches from walking for miles through dense undergrowth.
In the hospital, Ludmila recorded a video message to concerned relatives, saying: “Guys, I’m fine, you don’t have to worry.
“I got lost in the woods but they found me alive, thank god me and my baby.”
Her boyfriend Valter Moreira Westermann, 23, showed up with her at the hospital and addressed speculation he killed her and the child.
He said in a video posted to his social media: “What madness huh? They said I canceled your CPF (tax ID number).”
Mother and daughter were allowed home after just one night in hospital to recover at their mother’s house.
Ludmila told a local TV channel that they were chased through the forest by jaguars and survived by drinking water from rocks.
She also picked berries for Kyara to eat but had nothing herself.
Ludmila said: “I only thought about protecting her, I didn’t think of anything else.
“I thought I wasn’t going to get out, that I wasn’t going to see anyone, that I was going to die.
“It was God, I don’t know how to explain it.
“I didn’t eat anything, I just drank water from a puddle there. Kyara didn’t say anything, she didn’t say she was hungry or thirsty.
“It seemed like she was helping me so I could help her so I wasn’t scared or desperate. If it wasn’t for her, I would have given up.”
She said her car broke down on September 9 while following a GPS route to her mother’s home in Morada Nova de Minas.
Firefighters later confirmed that the car was stranded on the dirt road due to dust.
A passing motorist told Ludmila that she could pick up a phone signal higher up, so she set off on foot with her daughter.
She said she reached a point where she briefly got a signal and updated her route, but then the battery died.
Then she got lost in a densely wooded area where she saw large jaguar footprints everywhere.
Valter told local media he was worried that Ludmila and Kyara hadn’t returned to the car and went to look for them.
He said: “I went upstairs with a machete in hand to cut the bush but I ran back to the car and started calling for them and nothing.
“I was desperate. Then I walked and managed to get to a house to ask for help and then we called the police and went looking.”
Valter added he had been charged over her disappearance and suggested police suspected him of foul play.
He said in the TV interview: “You have accused me up until now that I could have done something, but I don’t care.
“The most important thing is that they are fine.”
Police chief Franciene Ribeiro said the investigation would be closed.
He said that Ludmila told the rescuers that she was lost and there was no argument with her boyfriend.
“Once she’s released we’ll gather more evidence and probably end the case because it’s not a crime, it’s really a disappearance,” he added.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6253784/mystery-missing-mum-daughter-rescue-forest-jaguars/ I got lost with my daughter, 3, in a jaguar-infested forest for three days – everyone thought my boyfriend had killed me