Video Shows Woman 'Drop' Toddler Into Bear Enclosure at Zoo

A woman in Uzbekistan was arrested after security footage showed her dangling a three-year-old girl over a railing before dropping her 16-feet down into a bear enclosure at the zoo.

On Friday afternoon a woman visiting the Tashkent Zoo tossed the toddler into the enclosure after bystanders and zoo workers were unable to stop her, according to a statement from the zoo.

In the CCTV footage, the woman dangled the toddler over the metal railing while bystanders attempted to intervene. At one point, a witness jumped up near the woman and attempted to rescue the toddler before she was dropped more than 16-feet.

After the toddler landed inside the enclosure, the bear named Zuzu quickly approached and began to sniff her as the shocked crowd watched. But after smelling her, Zuzu seemed disinterested and walked away.

A team of six zoo officials quickly intervened and were able to lure Zuzu into a separate part of the enclosure before they entered. One zoo official successfully located the child and carried her out of the enclosure.

The woman was identified as the toddler's mother and was arrested. Police are investigating the incident and the motive is still unknown. She faces a charge for attempted murder and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted, The Sun reported.

"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 and as a result of their kind and caring attitude towards the bear."

The zoo said Zuzu, a male Syrian brown bear, was brought to them in 2017. Syrian brown bears, also known as Caucasian brown bears, are often smaller in size. Typically, Syrian brown bears weigh about 550 pounds.

While Syrian brown bears were once common across the Middle East, over time the population has been declining due to habitat loss.

Syrian brown bears are driven by their desire for food and are omnivorous, meaning they feed on both plants and animals – mainly small mammals.

Brown bear at zoo
A woman was arrested after CCTV footage showed her dangling her three-year-old over the railing of a bear enclosure at the zoo before dropping her in. Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

According to the zoo, the child was assessed by a nurse before she was transported to a nearby hospital. The initial assessment showed the three-year-old only suffered bruising from the fall but at the hospital, they found she suffered from a head injury, The Sun reported.

A statement from the zoo said that the toddler is in intensive care at the hospital and that her condition is stable. The toddler is under medical supervision and the zoo plans on covering all of the child's medical expenses, they said in a statement.

"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 wrote. "In addition, we decided to give the girl and her brother free access to the Tashkent Zoo for life."