A 3-year-old boy survived alone for three days and nights in a Siberian forest, overcoming near zero temperatures and the threat of bears and wolves, according to regional authorities.
The boy, Tserin Dopchut, was discovered unharmed by emergency officials and family members Wednesday morning, said Russia’s Emergencies Ministry.
“Hooray,” said Sholban Kara-ool, the head of the Russian Republic of Tuva, the region where the boy lived. “Thanks to everyone who helped.”
Search teams had been combing the area south of the village of Hout, in Pii-Khem district, shouting his name.
Eventually, Dopchut responded to a call by his uncle, Kara-ool said in a Facebook post.
The boy had eaten the chocolate that was in his pocket and slept in a dry area under a larch tree, Kara-ool added.
After being hugged by a family member, the first thing Dopchut asked about was his toy car.
The ministry said the boy is receiving medical assistance but his condition was “satisfactory.”
“Wolves and bears”
Ayas Saryglar, the region’s emergencies’ chief, said the boy’s life had been at risk.
“There are wolves and bears in the forest. The bears are now fattening for the winter. They can attack anything that moves. In addition, it is warm during the day but, at night, there are even frosts,” he told the Siberian Times. “If we consider that the kid disappeared during the day, he was not properly dressed – only a shirt and shoes, no coat.”
Dopchut was playing outside with friends and dogs when he disappeared, Kara-ool said.
He was reported missing at 9 a.m. local time Wednesday, according to the ministry.
“The whole village is happy,” said Kara-ool, adding they nicknamed him Mowgli – protagonist of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book.’ “Even adults are surprised by his stamina and ability to survive in the cold woods.”