A 22-month-old girl found alive after four days in a Russian forest has promised never to disappear again.
Lyuda Kuzina wandered off while near her home in the Smolensk region west of Moscow, prompting a search involving hundreds of people.
She had no food or water and was eventually found covered in insect bites but alive after one of the search parties heard her squeak.
“She’s quite adamant she’ll never run away from Mum again,” said her mother.
“Although quite how long she’ll remember that promise, I have no idea. But at least she says so.” Antonina Kuzina told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
The toddler is being looked after at a Smolensk children’s hospital. Russian TV spoke to mother and daughter in a playground outside the hospital where they are waiting to be discharged.
The alarm was raised after Lyuda left the family’s summer house last Tuesday in the Tyomkinsky area. She had been playing outside with her four-year-old sister but had wandered off into a nearby forest when her mother visited a neighbour and her sister had followed her.
Four hundred local volunteers and police began searching the area. Divers checked nearby reservoirs, but found nothing, until almost four days into the search, one of the search groups paused for a rest 4km from the house and heard a noise.
“The volunteers told me they hadn’t been far away from the spot on the first day,” the mother said. “It was only on the fourth day when they heard a ‘squeak’ that they found her in some branches under a tree.”
Lyuda’s story of survival is reminiscent of a three-year-old boy who survived for 72 hours in a Siberian forest home to wolves and bears, in 2016. Tserin Dopchut had been carrying a small chocolate bar, while Lyuda had no food at all.