Warning: Distressing content.
A woman dropped her toddler into a bear enclosure at a zoo in Uzbekistan after becoming depressed following her husband leaving to work in Russia to escape the central Asian county's grinding poverty.
The woman was caught on camera on Friday approaching the bear enclosure at the zoo in the Uzbek capital Tashkent and dropping the child over the metal railings a few moments later.
Zookeepers ran into the enclosure and rescued the girl. The three-year-old was taken to hospital with a concussion sustained from the fall. Her life is not in danger.
Officials said on Monday the unnamed woman faces charges of an attempted murder, with a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail.
They added that she had been despairing after her husband had left to work in Russia, as millions of Uzbek men do to escape poverty and unemployment at home.
"The woman has been depressed as her husband left for Russia and no longer lives with her," the Uzbek health ministry said.
Officials identified the woman as a 30-year-old university lecturer who has two children and lives with her elderly father.
Footage released by Uzbek authorities over the weekend showed the grizzly bear initially scared off by something dropping from the sky into the moat just below the railings before he rushed to come closer to the girl and went away.
"It's scary to even think what could have happened if the bear had reacted to the child as a predator to a prey," the zoo said.
Central Asian nations including Uzbekistan have been the main source of cheap, unskilled labour for Russia's growing economy in the past 20 years.
Russia counts some two million labour migrants from Uzbekistan where 7 per cent of the national gross domestic products comes from migrants' remittances.
Some analysts argue that the massive labour migration, enabled by Russia's open-door policy for Central Asian workers, has contributed to the longevity of those countries' autocratic regimes that would otherwise have to face growing discontent at home from millions of jobless young men.
SUICIDE AND DEPRESSION
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633 or text 234 (available 24/7)
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (12pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 or text 4202 (available 24/7)
• Anxiety helpline: 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY) (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
- by Nataliya Vasilyeva, Daily Telegraph UK