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A.P. Chekhov, 1890

Bravest girl in Siberia dodges wolves on icy 8 km walk to summon help after her granny dies

By Yury Darbaa
03 March 2017

Aged 4, she battled through chest-deep snow in minus 24 C to plead with closest neighbours to help her blind grandfather.

'She was lucky not to be attacked by wolves as there are many along this route and they often attack cattle.' Picture: Yury Darbaa

Little Saglana Salchak lives in one of the remotest parts of Siberia with her grandparents, some 40 km from the nearest village in Tuva region. She woke early and tried to stir her 60 year old babushka, but could not do so.

Her grandfather - completely blind - feared his wife was dead and realised the need for urgent help. He did not know when his daughter Eleonora, Saglana's mother, would next visit. 

Saglana and her mom in hospital


MPs visit Saglana

Saglana with her mother Eleanora. Local politics visit Saglana in hospital. Pictures: Yury Darbaa

He sent Saglana to their nearest neighbours at 6am, unable to see that it was still dark and dangerous, as well as perilously cold. The girl did not say anything but obediently took only a box of matches to light her way on her sad mission. 

She knew from previous walks with her grandmother that if she closely followed the route of the frozen river she would eventually come to the home of cattle breeder Anay-ool Naidan some 8 km distant. There is no road or path, only the river. 

River

She knew that if she closely followed the route of the frozen river she would eventually come to the home of cattle breeder Anay-ool Naidan some 8 km distant. Picture: Yury Darbaa

This family had a satellite phone and could summon help. But on the way the girl had to battle through deep snow as high as her chest. 'She was lucky not to be killed by wolves as there are many along this route and they often attack cattle,' said one local.

The breeder's wife noticed the girl on her walk some three hours after she set out from home battling through the ice cold. Exhausted, she uttered the words: 'It seems my granny is dead....'

Map


Por-Bajin

The area is exceptionally remote and close to one of Siberia's mot mysterious landmarks, the Por-Bajin fortress. Picture: The Siberian Times, gdehorosho.ru

Anay-ool Naidan called doctors who rushed to the remote homestead and confirmed the grandmother's death from a heart attack. Saglana was sent to hospital, but found to be none the worse for her ordeal. 

She has been visited by local politicians Yuri Kara-ool and Oleg Dudko, Aldyn-kys Congar and Radislav Navazhap saluting her bravery. Saglana lives some 250 km southeast of Kyzyl, the capital of the Tuva Republic. 

The area is exceptionally remote and close to one of Siberia's mot mysterious landmarks, the Por-Bajin fortress.

Comments (9)

What a brave little girl Sagalana.May God bless you.I love you.Please take much much care.
lin shih yung, Taiwan
10/04/2017 13:30
0
0
I like the comments from Benedikt MORAK, Moscow, Russia and Liguori leclerc, trois-Riviéres, QC Canada. The police could be helpful but seriously the government should be liable for having safe roads and telephone communications wherever people live.
Elly C Ericson, Iceland
15/03/2017 04:38
1
0
I do not know, other than Divine influence , what kept this little child alive under such brutal conditions. We are having a blizzard today and people are afraid to go to the corner store in a car. She has to be extremely strong and intelligent to accomplish this and very determined. I think she loves her grandparents very deeply.
Priscilla Parten, Derry, NH, USA
15/03/2017 01:31
0
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The comments are not written in the future. The rest of the world uses a different way of writing dates, with date first, month second and year.... thus your comment was on the 9th of 03 March, 2017

Brave girl!! So thankful she is safe and sound!!
Juana Miran, Olympia, Washington
15/03/2017 01:01
1
0
A brave girl and a well-told story. But I don't understand how comments could be posted one two and three months into the future.
James Murphy, Lynn, Massachusetts, USA
09/03/2017 12:08
2
7
What a brave little girl! A real hero. I agree with Ozzie Finley - God bless them all!
William McLean, Copenhagen, Denmark
06/03/2017 19:01
4
0
Walking in deep snow with 24 below zéro, this little 4 years old little girl is to be rememberd by the whole world


and also by the local police who should take necessary steps to offer full safety to people living in this northern area.





Liguori leclerc, trois-Riviéres, QC canada
06/03/2017 00:26
7
0
all the likes and thumbs up and whatever there else might be are not enough for this little girl. i just hope the authorities will show some brain, compassion and feeling and not sent them back to live alone in the Tundra.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
05/03/2017 20:58
5
0
What a brave little girl....God Bless and protect her and be with her while she grieves the loss of her babushka...Bless all the folks living in this region of our world....
Ozzie Finley, West Virginia, U.S.A.
04/03/2017 00:11
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1
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