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Brazilian boy takes two-day canoe trip after being harpooned in the face

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
April 9th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A 15-year-old Brazilian boy embarked on a risky two-day canoe voyage through the Amazon, Accidentally harpooned in the face by his brother, who mistook him for a fish, the Amerindian teen traveled 195 miles by river. He paddled all the way from his rainforest home near the border with Colombia to the nearest town -- with the harpoon sticking out of his cheek.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The boy had been diving in a river to catch fish caught in a trap when his brother saw movement in the water and flung the harpoon, impaling him in the face.

Hailing from the indigenous community of Pari-Cachoeira on the Colombian border, he sailed for two days to the São Gabriel da Cachoeira army hospital.

The as-of-yet unnamed injured teenager endured his canoe trip with the harpoon sticking from his face during the entire journey through the rainforest's sticky heat.
 
The youngster had been diving to catch fish trapped in a "kakuri," a trap made with wooden sticks which catches fish swimming against the current, according to media reports.

His brother, who was also in the river, saw ripples in the water and, thinking there was a fish beneath, hurled the harpoon.

São Gabriel da Cachoeira is a municipality in the north-west of Brazil's Amazonas state not far from the Equator, with a torrid climate.

The entire region has a population of nearly 41,000 mostly indigenous people scattered over 42,000 square miles of mostly dense rainforest.

Most of the non-indigenous residents of the region are personnel in the Brazilian army, who serve terms of two years based in the city of São Gabriel da Cachoeira - the site of a major military base.

A medical team at the garrison hospital operated on the injured teenager to remove the harpoon after he arrived last week. The operation was a success and the boy is now recovering in hospital.

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