A 3-year-old girl who was lost alone in the Siberian wilderness for 11 days owes her life to her puppy.
Karina Chikitova spent 11 nights in the forest drinking river water and eating wild berries after she wandered into the woods near her family home in a remote area of northeast Russia called Olom on July 29.
At first, Karina’s mother thought the little girl had gone with her father to visit a nearby village. Several days later her family realized this wasn’t the case.
Her disappearance sparked a major search operation.
On the ninth day, the little girl’s puppy showed up on her doorstep.
“Our hearts truly and deeply sank,” Afanasiy Nikolayev of the Sakha Republic Rescue Service told the Siberian Times. “If she was to hug her puppy, we thought, this would have given her a chance to stay warm during nights and survive. So when her dog came back we thought ‘that's it.’”
But the puppy wasn’t home with bad news. Instead he led a search part back into the taiga where they finally found Karina. The incredible moment she was recovered was captured on video:
“In the morning, almost right after we began searches - we only made 20 metres - we saw Karina sitting in the grass,” said Nikolayev. “We rushed to her, got her a little tea and grabbed her to run back to the car and doctors.”
“I carried Karina myself to the car, and she was light as a bird,” he said. “She was hardly ten kilograms - but amazingly she was fully conscious.”
Karina was taken to a hospital but she is not believed to have suffered any serious injuries.
Image screenshot: YouTube