WASHINGTON-- They are calling her "miracle girl," and the moniker doesn't seem far off.
They should also call her chief rescuer "super dog" or "angel," too, because, according to this Siberian Times story, three-year-old Karina Chikitova would have never survived her 11-day ordeal lost in the bear- and wolf-infested Siberian forest, without her dog.
Karina lives in the village of Olom in Olyokminsky district, in a remote part of Siberia. Her father had gone off from the village to find work, according to reports. When she could not be found, her family at first thought she had gone with him. When it was later discovered that she had in fact not gone with her father, a massive search effort was launched.
The searchers reportedly encountered many bears and wolves in their search, dampening their hopes for Karina's survival.
When the girl's dog -- who everyone assumed was with her -- came back to the village after nine days, they were devastated, thinking she had probably died. But instead, the dog led them right to her two days later in the dense forest, four miles away in a field.
"It was the puppy that showed rescuers the way to Karina, and in the morning she was found," according to a local news report, which added that "she was conscious and looked surprisingly well."
Villagers believe she subsisted on berries and river water and that her "puppy" had kept her warm at night in the near-freezing temperatures (as well as sheltered her from the predators outside). She had lost weight, but all seemed confident that she had not been seriously harmed from the incident.
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