Four-year-old girl hikes five miles in -33C temperatures to find help for dying grandmother

By Jack Evans for

A four year-old girl braved the Siberian winter and threat of wild animals to walk five miles in a bid to save her gravely ill grandmother.

After she found her grandmother cold and motionless, Saglana Salchak,from the remote Republic of Tuva , was sent by her grandfather at 6am on 8 February to fetch medical help from the nearest settlement.

Undeterred by the early hour, threat of wolves and minus 33C frost, the girl followed a frozen river for three hours to raise the alarm.

It was in vain – medics pronounced her grandmother dead from a heart attack. Despite her ordeal, the young girl was only suffering from hypothermia.

A resident said: “It’s surprising that wolves didn’t attack her. There’s loads of them here and they regularly attack cattle.”

The Republic of Tuva is also home to big cats. In 2016,  the WWF reported that a snow leopard had been caught on camera.

The story has not escaped the attention of the local authorities.

The Republic of Tuva’s Office of Investigations announced it is investigating the girl’s 31-year-old mother, Eleanora, for putting elderly citizens and a minor in danger. The grandfather was blind and the grandmother infirm. They lived in Saldam-Beldir – a “hard to reach place” in the words of the investigators.

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