A bone-chilling video has captured the moment when a mother throws her three-year-old daughter into a bear pit at a zoo in Uzbekistan. The woman is now being investigated for attempted murder. The shocking clip shows the child being dropped into a trench about 16 feet below the railing in Tashkent.
The video shows the bear, named Zuzu, walking towards the child and sniffing her. Zookeepers successfully lured the animal into an enclosed part of the area, managing to rescue the baby. The little girl suffered a concussion and cuts from the fall.
The mother has been detained. She is facing a criminal case for attempted murder and could be sentenced to 15 years in prison if she is convicted of the crime. “A young woman threw a little girl down into a brown bear’s enclosure, in front of all the visitors. It was completely unclear what her motive was,” a zoo spokeswoman said.
“Both the visitors and the staff of the zoo were trying to stop her but failed,” she said. “We are scared to even think how this would end if the bear were to react at the toddler as its prey.” She added, "Zuzu got slowly stood up, slowly got down the trench, walked towards the girl, sniffed her and walked back.”
According to the zoo, Zuzu is a male Syrian brown bear who was brought to them in 2017. Syrian brown bears are also known as Caucasian brown bears and typically weigh about 550 pounds. Common across the Middle East at a time, Syrian brown bears' population has been declining due to habitat loss. "This incident clearly showed that our bear Zuzu is a calm predator who is not angry with people," the zoo said in a statement. "We would also like to highlight the fact that our staff treated the captive predator correctly."
The zoo further claimed that the child was assessed by a nurse and then subsequently transported to a nearby hospital. While the initial assessment revealed that she only suffered bruising, it was later found that she also suffered a head injury. The zoo said in a statement that the baby is in intensive care at the hospital. Her condition is stable and she is under medical supervision. The zoo has also planned to cover the child's medical expenses. "The girl is in a good mood, she is reciting poems to the nurses and cheering them up, and we, in turn, made her happy with gifts," a zoo official stated. "In addition, we decided to give the girl and her brother free access to the Tashkent Zoo for life."