Rescuers Say Puppy Led Them to Girl Lost for Days

3-year-old was missing in Siberian wilderness for 11 days

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 13, 2014 5:09 PM CDT

(Newser) – It is, as Gawker notes, "better than a Disney movie." A 3-year-old girl survived 11 days in a remote Siberian forest and got rescued thanks to her puppy, reports the Siberian Times. Karina Chikitova's trouble began July 29 when she got lost, apparently after setting out to follow her dad as he walked to his native village. Mom thought she was with dad, and dad thought she was home, and they didn't realize she was missing for four days. Search teams set out by land and air to no avail. Then Karina's puppy returned home, which was initially seen as bad news.

"That was the moment when our hearts sank, because we thought at least with her dog, Karina had chances to survive," a rescue official told NTV. "Nights in Yakutia are cold. If she was to hug her puppy, we thought, this would have given her a chance to stay warm during nights and survive." The puppy, however, then led rescuers back to Karina. She was weak but conscious, explaining that she subsisted on berries and river water, and made a bed for herself in tall grass. She is recovering in the hospital, though her biggest malady seems to be insect bites. Bears and wolves are known to roam the area where she was found. (Last month, a pit bull saved his deaf teen owner from a house fire.)

A screen grab of Karina Chikitova after her rescue.
A screen grab of Karina Chikitova after her rescue.   (YouTube)
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Video of the Siberian search and rescue.   (YouTube)

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