Toddler Wanders Into Bear-Filled Forest, Survives for Days

'Mowgli' slept under a tree to escape frost
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2016 6:27 AM CDT
Toddler Wanders Into Bear-Filled Forest, Survives for Days
An official carries Tserin Dopchut after his rescue from a Siberian forest.   (Tuva Government)

A 3-year-old boy in Siberia has been given the nickname Mowgli after he survived three days in a bear-infested forest as temperatures neared 32 degrees. Tserin Dopchut had been playing with dogs near his home in the village of Khut when he wandered into the forest on Sunday, possibly while chasing a puppy, reports the Guardian. Without a coat and with only a chocolate bar in his pocket, he seemingly vanished in the harsh landscape, home to wolves and bears. After three days of land and air searches, however, Tserin responded to calls from his uncle and was found safe, almost two miles from his village.

He showed signs of exhaustion and hypothermia, per RT, but immediately "asked if his toy car was OK," regional leader Sholban Kara-Ool tells the Siberian Times. Tserin—now dubbed Mowgli, referring to the character from the Jungle Book, per the BBC—explained he ate his chocolate and, to try to escape frost at night, "found a dry place under a larch tree and slept there between the roots," Kara-Ool says. An official noted just how potentially perilous an experience the child survived: "The bears are now fattening for the winter. They can attack anything that moves." Kara-Ool says a celebration will be thrown for Tserin. (This boy survived in the wilderness thanks to a tip from his dad.)

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