Temperatures may have been as low as -34°C in forests home to wolves, bears and other large predators
A four-year-old girl in Siberia has reportedly walked eight kilometres through snowy forest to seek help for her sick grandmother, who later died of a heart attack.
The young girl braved the threat of bears, wolves and temperatures far below freezing as she made the journey through a remote region of southern Russia after waking up to find her grandmother motionless.
Named locally as Saglana, she lives alone with her elderly relative and her blind grandfather.
As a result, the girl’s mother is facing a criminal case brought by the Investigations Department of the Republic of Tuva, a federal subject of Russia which shares its southern border with China.
She stands accused of leaving a minor in danger, in the care of the elderly.
She also faces investigation from childcare and custody services, who will similarly be asking why she was left alone with her infirm relatives.
The journey took place in February, when temperatures in Tuva average -26°C, according to readings from the regional capital. Russian reports on social media suggest the forest may have been as cold as -34°C. The journey was only recently confirmed by authorities.
But though she was suffering from ‘general hypothermia’, the child reportedly suffered no life-threatening effects.
Predators endemic to the South Siberian forests through which Saglana travelled include bears, wolves and even snow leopards.
Last year, a three-year-old boy survived alone for three days in a remote forest in the same region.