A man tailed by two hungry wolves had a miraculous escape after four days lost on foot in Russia's coldest region.
The hunter was 'rescued at last minute after four days of helplessly trying to find his path back home, hundreds of kilometres away from any living settlement'. Picture: Yakutian rescue service
Spiridon Vinokurov, 48, was spotted by a helicopter as he had fallen down in the snow to die.
The hunter was 'rescued at last minute after four days of helplessly trying to find his path back home, hundreds of kilometres away from any living settlement'.
He told how he lost his way on his snow mobile and continued on foot after its petrol ran out.
Alerted by relatives the rescue services sent out a helicopter which spotted him face down in the snow - but conscious - 80 km from Berelekha village in the Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia.
'We landed the helicopter and rushed to look at him. He was conscious still, but in a very bad state as he was badly frostbitten. Later inside the helicopter he said that when it came to the day four of his journey he could not walk any more and was crawling,' said Nikolai Fateyev, of the republic's rescue service.
'Two wolves were following me along the way. They kept their distance as I walked - but as soon as I went down on all fours and started to crawl they cut the distance sharply and were literally breathing down my neck.'
The fear of the wolves kept him walking in a desperate attempt to stay alive. The hunter was taken to a local hospital where doctors expect him to recover despite frostbite. Reports say the chances are high that he will not require his legs or hands to be amputated.
The hunter was taken to a local hospital where doctors expect him to recover despite frostbite. Reports say the chances are high that he will not require his legs or hands to be amputated. Picture: Yakutian rescue service
Spiridon had been hunting but decided to take a snow mobile to see his relatives in the village of Aleko-Kyuel, some 120 km from his hunting lodge.
'I was driving and checking the traps set along my way,' he said.
'But then I missing the signs of the coming snow storm. So I lost my way... and then the petrol run out in my Buran.
'I kept on walking,' he told Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
Relatives alarmed by his late arrival began searching as soon as the snow storm was over.
Only on the fourth day did they call for helicopter support from the authorities.
While in another incident bystanders shoot a cell phone film of a man drowning, not thinking to call the emergency services.
Flight on Wednesday aborted two and a half minutes before blast-off as President Vladimir Putin watched at spaceport.