An isolated tribe in the Amazon Rainforest made a voluntary first contact with outsiders at the end of June, leaving experts worried the tribe might have opened itself up to disease.
A few people from the previously uncontacted indigenous tribe, one of as many as 77 that officials believe may live in the Amazon, approached a group of Brazil’s government scientists working near the Peruvian border.
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It was the first time government officials have met with an uncontacted tribe in 20 years, the American Associated for the Advancement of Science said
Other instances of uncontacted tribes have not ended well because the people don’t have immune systems built to handle even illnesses such as common as a cold.
Survival International reported Brazilian officials are warning of imminent “tragedy”
and “death” for the tribe. The group said experts believe the Indian tribe moved into the area from Peru, trying to stay away from loggers who are working in the forest in that country.
Other reports of uncontacted tribes are being heard, Survival International said on its website, with Ashaninka Indians in Acre state, Brazil, saying they’ve seen dozens near their community.
“These incidents are raising fears of violent clashes between the various groups, and decimation by contagious diseases to which the uncontacted Indians have no immunity,” the group said on its website.
“Something serious must have happened. It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way,” José Carlos Meirelles, who monitored this region for the Brazilian government’s Indian Affairs Department FUNAI for over 20 years, told Survival International. “This is a completely new and worrying situation and we currently do not know what has caused it.”
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