A 22-month-old Russian toddler has miraculously survived three nights lost in the forest after wandering away from her family, rescuers said Friday.
Lyudmila (Lyuda) Kuzina, 1, went missing in the Smolensk region 400 kilometers west of Moscow last Tuesday while following her mother and older sister to a neighbor’s home.
More than 1,000 people from the emergencies ministry, police, military and divers as well as volunteers were involved in round-the-clock search efforts, according to the Smolensk rescue group Salvar.
On Friday, the group announced that Lyuda had been rescued 4 kilometers from the search-and-rescue headquarters in the Smolensk region’s Tyomkinsky district.
“One of the groups stopped for a rest… and suddenly heard a quiet squeak. They called again and heard another squeak,” Salvar said in a social media post.
“Lyuda was found in a windbreak where she strayed after several days wandering in the forest. The girl was weakened, bitten by insects, but most importantly alive!” it said.
The girl “immediately stretched out her thin arms to cling tightly to her rescuers… Everything is finally over.”
Salvar posted a video showing a woman who appears to be Lyuda’s mother carrying the child in a blanket out of a rescue vehicle.
“The entire HQ was sobbing. Both volunteers hardened by experience and first-timers who answered the call for the first time, as well as local residents, were crying,” Salvar said.
Lyuda was hospitalized in moderate condition and transferred out of the ICU on Saturday, according to state media.
Regional authorities reportedly said Lyuda will remain in the hospital until at least Monday.