Believe it or not, a 22-month-old girl from Russia who wandered into the forest last Tuesday was found safe and sound after four long days. Little Lyuda Kuzina managed to survive without food or water, although searchers believe she drank water from the streams. Her body was covered in insect bites, and luckily, she somehow stayed away from the wolfs and the bears the Tyomkinsky area is knows for.
Lyuda was playing in the garden with her 4-year-old sister while her mother, Antonina Kuzina, was chatting to a neighbor when the girl headed towards the woods.
Hundreds of professionals and volunteers joined the search. They all feared the worst when they failed to locate the toddler the first day as the nights dipped down to 50 degrees.
“There was such despair when she was lost,” Antonina said, as reported by the Mirror. “So many people were looking and not finding her, we thought maybe she had been knocked by a car or kidnapped. After three nights in the forest, of course, we already thought that at best we will find her unconscious. On the second night there was a heavy shower, and the third night was cold.”
On the fourth day, the search team stopped to take a rest when they heard a noise. To their surprise and huge relief, it was Lyuda.
“The volunteers told me they hadn’t been far away from the spot on the first day,” Antonina said, according to BBC. “It was only on the fourth day when they heard a ‘squeak’ that they found her in some branches under a tree.”
The moment they spotted her, the search team assured Lyuda that everything was going to be just fine. They told her she was the bravest girl in the Universe. She, on the other hand, started telling them fairytales and told them she was a princess.
“Lyuda immediately stretched out her thin arms and snuggled tightly to her rescuers,” a member of the search team told a local newspaper. “Everyone cried — experienced and first time volunteers, local residents, everyone was sobbing.”
Lyuda was taken to the hospital where she recovered from the bug bites and nettle rashes.
“She’s quite adamant she’ll never run away from Mum again,” Antonina said, according to the BBC. “Although quite how long she’ll remember that promise, I have no idea. But at least she says so.”
We are glad Lyuda was found and we hope she would keep her promise to never embark on such a scary adventure again.