Russian police on bear-watch during Siberia forest labour

Alexandra Matrosova and her baby with doctors at the hospital Image copyright Mirny Central District Hospital
Image caption The new arrival doesn't yet have a name, but already has quite a story to tell

Giving birth in a Siberian forest during bear-mating season wouldn't be most women's first choice, but that's what happened to one new mother in Russia.

Alexandra Matrosova was 40 weeks pregnant and helping her husband and relatives to fish near the town of Mirny, in Russia's far-eastern Sakha Republic (Yakutia), when she went into labour at midnight. The family's car got stuck in the taiga - a vast swathe of coniferous forest with large areas of boggy ground - leaving them with no choice but to call the emergency services, Ren TV reports.

But the remote location posed a challenge for paramedics - they ended up arriving on foot after being unable to pass through the taiga's marshland even in an off-road vehicle.

Also in attendance for the birth was an armed police officer, tasked with helping to ward off any overly curious bears. "Bears are now in mating season, which is dangerous," a member of the rescue team tells Komsomolskaya Pravda. "Their huge footprints are everywhere. We were shooting and making noise for about two hours so that the predators did not come close."

Happily, despite the setting and a temperature hovering around 5C, Mrs Matrosova delivered a healthy baby girl. Both of them were carried out of the forest and taken to hospital, where a senior doctor says they're in a "quite satisfactory condition".

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