Rescuers in the remote Sakha Republic discovered three year old Karina Chikitova after spending 11 days lost in bear-infested wilderness, reported the Siberian Times. The most amazing part about the story is how she was saved, in a large part, by her puppy.
Karina had wandered into the nearby wild with her unnamed puppy, apparently trying to find her father who had left to visit a remote village as part of a firefighting operation. When Karina's mother had returned home to find her daughter and puppy missing, she assumed that her husband had taken them with him. Due to bad phone reception in the remote area, neither parent knew Karina was actually missing until four days later.
More than 100 people amassed to search for Karina, many of them local hunters and special forces soldiers. Because of the long grass common in the summer, helicopters and aerial drones proved ineffective during the search, with the rescue effort having to rely heavily on people on the ground.
Rescuers believed that the puppy could help Karina survive, helping her find shelter, protecting her from predators, but mostly for warmth. They believed Karina would hug onto the puppy as the cold night set in, saving them both from hypothermia. When the puppy returned home after the 9th day since Karina went missing, rescuers and family members began to lose hope.
However, on the next day the puppy lead the rescue team toward a new area where they had not searched before. Soon they discovered Karina's shoes, and deduced that she would probably stay away from the forrest to due sharp sticks. The very next morning, only 20 meters from the search party, they discovered Karina lying in a bed of the long grass.
Watch the search party discover Karina in the video below.
Surprisingly, Karina survived mostly unscathed, though badly bitten by mosquitos and insects. She sustained scratches to her feet after losing her shoes, but fortunately the rescue team's psychologist Ekaterina Andreevapsychologist believes Karina has not been dramatically traumatized.
"We can say that the girl's mind was not hurt. She is talking, she reacts normally to everything around her. She recalls what happened to her," said Andreeva.
Karina is currently in a Yatutsk hospital, where medical professionals are trying to rebuild her strength as she has been dehydrated and emaciated, having survived for 11 days off of river water and wild berries.
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