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Snap taken Seconds Before Bear Bites Off Girls Hand

Snap taken Seconds Before Bear Bites Off Girls Hand

Minutes after this snap was taken of a three-year-old girl in front of a bear kept as an attraction for visitors at a Russian holiday camp, she poked a hand into the cage, and had it torn off.

Dasha Kopylova, 3, from the village Melihovo in western Russia, was with her mother Olga who works at the nearby holiday camp as a cleaner and often took a daughter along with her so that she could keep an eye on her.

Mum Olga, 35, said: "I can't afford a place for her in one of the private kindergartens so when I don't have anyone to look after I just take with me.

"The bear is kept in a cage at the park and she wanted to have a picture taken to show her friends. I did warn you not to get too close but I left alone for a second because she asked for a drink of water.

"I only turned my back for a second when I suddenly heard her screaming, and I ran back to find her lying on the ground next to the bear cage. She had a bloody stump where a hand had been and I saw the bear holding it in his front paws, chewing away.

"I tried to provide the first aid and took her to the local hospital. But local doctors said they could not provide the necessary help. There was not even an ambulance to transfer my girl to the nearest city hospital in Shakhty."

After finding a car and a driver, the mother and her wounded daughter spent almost an hour on the road, during which the girl lost a lot of blood.

When they finally arrived to the city hospital, doctors acted immediately taking her into the intensive care unit where she was operated on. After the operation, the girl spent several days in intensive care, but medics say she is now stable and out of danger – although without the hand.

It means she has a long round of rehabilitation and treatment ahead of her. The father of the girl, Igor Kopylov, 37, said he is happy that his child is alive, but he blames the village where he lives for not providing enough kindergarten places for children, meaning many of them have to accompany a parent to work.

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