Woman gives birth deep in Siberian forest as police shoo away bears
A police officer had to fire shots deep in the taiga, or snow forest, scaring away bears and other wild beasts for two hours as medics were treating a Russian woman who had just given birth to a girl. A fishing trip in Eastern Siberia went so very awry.
The incident took place near the town of Mirny in Sakha (Yakutia) Republic.
The woman was in the 40th week of her pregnancy, literally at full term, meaning that she could give birth any minute. Nevertheless, she agreed to go fishing with her husband and relatives. They headed to a remote lake in the taiga, a vast area mainly home to thousands and thousands of pines, spruces and larches.
“I decided to help my husband and relatives with fishing,” the woman, identified by local media as 26-year-old Aleksandra Matrosova, told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. “The lake was not too far, but the road was impassable.”
The fishing weekend followed Murphy’s Law: what can wrong, will go wrong. On the way back, Matrosova apparently felt: this is it, the baby is coming. The family was still in the middle of nowhere and it was nearly midnight.
Her husband and sister decided to take her to a nearby hospital by car. But the vehicle got stuck in a swamp, according to health officials. The husband finally managed to call the local hospital and the rescue mission including medics, emergency service workers and police headed to the taiga.
The woman’s sister was talking to rescuers by phone and they were instructing Matrosova how to breathe. However, the swampy area also made it impossible for emergency vehicles to reach the expectant mother, leaving rescuers to find her on foot.
Finally they found Matrosova and medics saw that she had managed to deliver a baby girl.
“It was midnight. The baby had already been born by that time…. The doctors started treating the mother and her child,” a local emergency source told RIA. The temperature was around +5 degrees Centigrade and the girl needed to get warm.
“That's how I gave birth: directly on the ground,” Matrosova said later.
During the birth, a police officer had to fire shots into the air because the taiga was full of bears in the middle of their mating season.
“Bears have their mating season – it’s a dangerous time!” the rescuers later said. “Their huge footprints were everywhere. We were shooting and making noise for at least two hours to make sure the predators didn’t come close.”
According to RIA Novosti, the rescuers carried the mother and the baby all the way to their vehicle. They made to hospital later in the morning.
Medics feared that the mother and the baby would be freezing as the temperatures in the area dropped to 5 degrees Celsius. The mother was also bleeding.
However, both she and “the child of the woods” are totally fine now. The doctors said the baby girl is healthy and weighs about 3.5kg.
“My husband will give the baby its name,” Matrosova told KP. “The main thing is that she’s alive and healthy.”
Both the baby girl and her mother, who experienced “great stress,” are in a “satisfactory” condition at the moment, according to the head of the local hospital, Tatiana Struchkova. She stressed that it was especially important for the mother to receive medical assistance after she had already given birth.
“The woman could’ve suffered from effusion of blood and the child could’ve died in case of the umbilical cord being cut incorrectly,” Struchkova said.
Police officer Dmitry Alekseev said that it’s the first time in his career that he had to help deliver a baby in the wilderness.
“We looked after the baby and the mom so that they’ll feel well. The most dangerous thing was that they saw fresh bear tracks nearby. The rest was OK,” Alekseev said.
Meanwhile deputy head of the local Emergencies Ministry branch criticized the woman for going into the taiga pregnant.
“It’s a careless act; a complete disregard for the baby’s and own health,” he said. “But the main thing is that it all ended well.”