Childbirth can be an extremely stressful event for a new mother, but for one young woman in Russia, it got much more dangerous than usual. UPI reported that a 26-year-old woman gave birth in a remote Siberian forest under some very unusual circumstances—which just so happened to involve bears. Aleksandra Matrosova was outside the town of Mirny in Yakutia Republic over the weekend when she went into labor and was forced to give birth to her child in the woods. According to local officials, police officers had to be called out to defend her and her family from a group of bears that had been following them. Rescue workers say that Matrosova, who was 40 weeks pregnant, made a reckless decision in accompanying her family on a routine fishing trip.
“I decided to help my husband and relatives with fishing,” she told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. “The lake was not too far, but the road was impassable.”
Matrosova says that when she first felt the labor pangs, her family attempted to drive her to a local hospital but their SUV got stuck in the swampy conditions. The group called for emergency personnel and then decided to leave the vehicle—which ended up being a bad choice. As Matrosova and her family waited for police and medical workers to arrive, a group of bears picked up their scent and moved in to investigate. Perhaps it was the scent of fish, but the bears ended up hounding the family for hours. Rescue workers described the situation as one of the most unique they have ever experienced.
“Bears have their mating season—it’s a dangerous time!” the rescuers later told RT. “Their huge footprints were everywhere. We were shooting and making noise for at least 2 hours to make sure the predators didn’t come close.”
Rescue personnel made their way to the family on foot due to the roads being unusable. As the temperatures dipped to just above freezing, police officers and medics helped carry Matrosova and her newborn girl back to her car, which she stayed in until they were able to transport her to a hospital. Both were pronounced to be in satisfactory health and will remain in the hospital under observation.
Health and rescue officials reiterated that going into the wilderness while heavily pregnant is not advised. At least in this case, no one was injured in a scenario that could’ve easily been avoided. In return, this new mom has a story she will never forget—even if she wanted to.