A 20-year-old Russian beautician is fighting for life after a pack of wild dogs gnawed her face off during a frenzied attack.
Tatyana Loskutnikova, a nail artist, was savaged by a pack of 10 dogs as she walked through Ulan-Ude city, in far eastern Siberia, on the morning of December 23.
The animals ripped her clothes off in -22C (-7.6F) temperatures, bit her down to the bone, and chewed all the skin off her face before locals came rushing to help.
Alexandra Andreevna, who was the first to arrive on the scene, used a stick to beat the animals back while banging on a fence to alert others who also came to help.
One of the dogs attacked a policeman who joined the rescue party, before being shot dead by the officer.
When the rescuers were finally able to get to Loskutnikova, they found her face was ‘damaged beyond recognition’ with even her eyelids removed.
She was rushed to hospital in critical condition, and is now in intensive care – hooked up to a lung ventilator and in a medically-induced coma.
Police have since shot ten stray dogs they believe caused her injuries.
Checks are underway to establish if the animals were infected with rabies.
‘The woman has shreds of flesh all over her body,’ a hospital spokesman said. ‘And only her eyes remained on the face’.
Dr Igor Shpak, head physician of the Republican Clinical Hospital, said: ‘The victim is in intensive care after anti-shock therapy.
‘Surgeons, neurosurgeons, traumatologists, otolaryngologists, and maxillofacial surgeons are all fighting for her life.
‘The patient was delivered to us in an extremely serious condition, suffering hemorrhagic and painful shock.’
She had ‘multiple lacerated and bitten wounds on the face, body, and limbs.
‘The percentage of damage is extremely high. Her blood pressure is extremely low.’
Ms Andreevna, the first rescuer to arrive on the scene, said: ‘I heard the screaming and barking of dogs this morning.
‘I got dressed, went out to the cross road to see.
‘There was a backpack lying on the ground. Then I saw a baying pack of dogs and a person lying on the ground.
‘There were about 10 dogs, maybe more. The girl was lying on the ground and by now was no longer screaming.
‘She was conscious, but, apparently, she could no longer scream because of pain.’
The woman used a stick to beat away the dogs and banged a fence to scare the animals and alert neighbours.
Eventually she and a local man got close to the young woman and carried her into the house.
‘We dragged her to my house,’ she said. ‘She was without any clothes, only in boots.
‘Her body was bitten in places to the tendons and bones. Her face was also bitten, covered in blood. The eyeballs were exposed.’
A statement from her brother Vladislav posted: ‘On December 23, on the way to the clinic, my sister Tatyana was attacked by a pack of dogs.
‘As a result, she was taken in an EXTREMELY SEVERE CONDITION to the intensive care unit…
‘The bites were deep, to the bone, the soft tissues of her face damaged beyond recognition.
‘Tanya. (Tatyana) is a young and promising girl, she is only 20 years old.’
A police officer shot one of the violent dogs dead soon after the animal attacked him. The others were killed later.
A preliminary criminal investigation has been opened.