Days after deadly quake, hope fades in search for missing

SANKHU, Nepal -- Sapona Shrestha is searching for the body of her 9-year-old son, Saulin.

When Saturday's earthquake struck, Saulin was playing on a street now reduced to rubble. Nobody's holding out any hope he'll be found alive. The death toll is now over 5,800. Nearly 14,000 are injured.

"Everyone used to say he was so clever," Sapona told us. "I'm worried that I'll never find him."

Digging for Saulin's body Thursday was a team of Buddhist monks, all volunteers, like Trinley Kungha - though they're breaking a Buddhist tenet that forbids killing any living creature.

"When we dig or we cut, it kills a lot of insects in between," he said. "So that's why we don't do."

A Buddhist monk pauses during search efforts for earthquake victims in Sankhu, northeast of Kathmandu
A Buddhist monk pauses during search efforts for earthquake victims in Sankhu, northeast of Kathmandu, Nepal, April 30, 2015. CBS/Abdi Cadani

But they've made an exception.

The earthquake didn't just take thousands of lives. It destroyed families, entire communities and centuries of history.

In the afternoon, there was a moment of excitement, though it wasn't Saulin's body.

Instead, Nepalese soldiers found a chicken, still breathing after five days trapped under debris.

The Buddhist monks named it Long Life.

But after eight hours of digging for the young boy, a sniffer dog still failed to pick up his scent.

The monks called off their search for the day. Sapona's hopes of finding her son's body are fading.