5 kids living in caves since birth rescued

Bogota, May 30: Five children who had lived since birth in caves dug by their father and who had no contact with the outside world were rescued by Colombian authorities, a media report said.

The youngsters, the eldest being 11 years old and the smallest eight months, were wearing plastic and recycled clothes May 14 when they were taken from the caves, located near the municipality of Turmeque in the northeastern province of Boyaca.

“Since they had no contact with the outside world, transporting them and washing them wasn’t easy. When we turned on the television, the ran away,” Alirio Garzon, a volunteer with the civil-defence office in Turmeque, told the daily El Tiempo Saturday.

Of the five, a two-year-old girl was hospitalised in the city of Tunja for malnutrition, while the others were placed in the care of the Colombian Institute for Family Well-being.

The children’s father, identified by authorities as Bernardo Ariza Calvucho, suffered an accident years ago that apparently left him with mental problems.

Both he and his wife are at an unknown location, according to El Tiempo.