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The chronicles of Novosibirsk

One year on, Mowgli girl Karina 'totally recovered' from 12 days and nights in Siberian wilderness

By The Siberian Times reporter
10 August 2015

Smiling five-year-old saved by her dog too shy to speak about how she survived in wild infested with bears and wolves.

'Now she is just like she was before, runs around with other kids, speaks a lot and doesn't give away that she ever went through such a stressful experience.' Picture: Svetlana Pavlova/YSIA

Karina Chikitova got lost in the taiga for almost two weeks, staying alive thanks to her dog Naida who slept by her side before eventually returning to the family's remote village in the Sakha Republic to summon help. 

The girl's mother Talina, 22, said today: 'She has an incredibly strong character. Even when she was found, she didn't have much fear in her eyes. Now she is just like she was before, runs around with other kids, speaks a lot and doesn't give away that she ever went through such a stressful experience. But she demands not to ask her about those days and gets nervous if people insist.'

The four year old village girl became lost with her pet after following her father on a trip into the wild - unknown to him. Her grandmother who was caring for her thought he had taken her on his trip. 

Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her


Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her


Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her


First picture of the hero dog which saved three year old miracle girl Karina

She was eventually found  hungry, exhausted and covered in mosquito bites lying in a grassy hole. Pictures: Sakha Republic Rescue Service

Naida followed the girl and loyally stayed with her, returning home after nine days to summon help, but the pet was unable to show rescuers where she was. She drank water from rivers and ate berries to survive.

Three days after the dog returned, rescuers found her footprint next to a paw print close to a river, where they had drunk water. So the emergency workers knew they were in the right area of the Sakha Republic, Russia's largest region and only slightly smaller than India. She was eventually found  hungry, exhausted and covered in mosquito bites lying in a grassy hole.

'Why did you leave me?' Karina chided the dog when they were eventually reunited after returned home after a lengthy period in hospital. Yet the dog's return inspired emergency teams to redouble their efforts to seek out Karina. 

Talina said this week, interviewed by YSIA.RU: 'She was helped by our dog Naida, who slept by her side and helped her not to freeze to death.'

Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her


Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her


First picture of the hero dog which saved three year old miracle girl Karina


First picture of the hero dog which saved three year old miracle girl Karina

'Karina spent summers in Olom since she was seven months old, perhaps this helped as well. She grew up there, she knew the place really well.' Picture: Sakha Republic Rescue Service

There are many threats in the forests around Olom, the village where Karina lived with her mother, notably bears and wolves. 

'Karina spent summers in Olom since she was seven months old, perhaps this helped as well. She grew up there, she knew the place really well,' she said.

The mother hit back at criticism of her on social media not realising her daughter was lost. 'I don't pay attention to it, I don't have time to follow social networks,' she said. 

'Karina has also taken such an amount of attention with difficulty, she ran away from the cameras at first. At least now she can pose, but she still refuses to speak about that time in taiga.' Talina insisted: 'I always believed that she will be found. Many stopped believing that she was alive, but as a mother I felt that she soon will be found.'

Karina Chikitova


Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her


Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her


Girl lost for 12 days in Siberian wilderness looks forward to Xmas with dog that saved her

'I don't want to be photographed, I don't like it. Why does everybody ask me what I've been doing in the taiga on those days?' Pictures: Anatoly Poluektov

One year after her daughter went missing, she said: I'd like to say my deepest and most sincere thank you to all who took part in the search for Karina, and who supported the team, and paid attention to this case. A special thank you to Artyom Borisov, he was the first to spot Karina. To search for a tiny girl in the area overgrown with impassable bushes, high grass and tussocks was literally like looking for a needle in a haystack.'

'The forest around Olom is full of bears,' said rescuer Albert Semyonov, who revealed his men needed armed guards in looking for Karina. 'Close to the gunners we felt somehow calmer. However, the thought of bears immediately switched to another concern: somewhere in the forest was this helpless child.'

Karina now says: 'I don't want to be photographed, I don't like it. Why does everybody ask me what I've been doing in the taiga on those days?'  

Comments (7)



I see the hand of God in Karina's experience....
ranjit vohra, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
22/10/2016 11:17
1
2
Such a beautiful young lady thank the lord she survived also thank the wonderful pooch.
John Barratt, London GB
07/02/2016 12:31
0
2
You are great girl and i respect you so much, good you have a good dog and you survived.
Hope one day i can say hello to you.
Good luck in future.
Hans Chr Noergaard, Nuuk Greenland
04/01/2016 21:35
1
0
So happy for this girl so many bad things in this world but this is good news.
todd, Austrailia
12/08/2015 22:45
12
1
Thanks Siberian Times to give us Karina news, good news. I agree with whole write from E.Espinosa and i am very happy that Karina is in good way with her young mother Talina and whole her family and friends . Thanks to the rescuers.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
12/08/2015 15:00
13
0
What a little doll.
rose beninger, USA
12/08/2015 08:21
12
0
Thanks for this update. I always like to hear the "rest of the story", especially one that involves a 4-year old girl who got lost, and then was found 2 weeks later with the help of her loyal dog. Karina is a brave little girl, and her survival skills are just unbelievable. Good to know that her experience has not affected her in a negative way. Maybe she's too young to remember. Kudos to her mother and family for imparting life-saving skills and knowledge to this child.
E. Espinosa, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
12/08/2015 04:09
16
0
1

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