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Statue unveiled to Mowgli girl and the dog that saved her

By The Siberian Times reporter
29 December 2015

Honour in Yakutia to Karina Chikitova, who - at the age of 4 - survived 12 days and nights alone in the Siberian wilderness.

The bronze sculpture to the girl, who celebrated her sixth birthday this week, and her dog was made by Nicholay Chochchasov. Picture: Airport Yakutsk

The statue - called Girl with Dog - was unveiled at Yakutsk Airport to the little girl who last year cheated death by surviving in the taiga where bears and wolves roam. The story of Karina and her puppy Naida captivated the world after it was run by The Siberian Times.

General Director of the airport, Nikolay Mestnikov, erected the memorial on the forecourt of the airport to showcase' the love of life, resilience, and fortitude of this little Yakut girl and the devotion of her puppy'.

The bronze sculpture to the girl, who celebrated her sixth birthday this week, and her dog was made by Nikolay Chochchasov.

Nikolay Chochchasov, Karina Chikitova, Nikolay Mestnikov


Karina and her dog Naida

Nikolay Chochchasov(left) and Nikolay Mestnikov(right) unveiled the statue. Pictures: Airport Yakutsk

Karina survived with no human contact for 12 days and nights, becoming lost with her pet after following her father into the taiga, full of wolves and bears. Naida kept Karina warm at night but after nine days returned home to summon help.

Three days later 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, or Yakutia, Russia's largest region and only slightly smaller than India. 

Karina's grandmother Emma revealed the child's first words to the dog after she returned from five weeks of hospital treatment after her ordeal were: 'Why did you leave me?' Despite this, seeing the dog back in the village helped save her life.  

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


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

Karina survived with no human contact for 12 days and nights, becoming lost with her pet after following her father into the taiga, full of wolves and bears. Pictures: Sakha Republic Rescue Service

Naida's appearance after nine days gave rescuers hope that Karina was still alive, even though the dog was not able to retrace her steps back to the child. She was eventually found hungry, exhausted and covered in mosquito bites lying in a grassy hole.

Karina's grandmother Emma said her granddaughter survived because 'from an early age she got used to the harsh conditions of life in the taiga and is not scared of the forest'. 'And Naida helped too,' she added.

Karina's ordeal began after she followed her father Rodion into the forest as he left for a trip. He was unaware that his daughter and her dog had tailed him.

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

Karina Chikitova posing with her mother Talina and dog Naida in December 2014. Pictures: Anatoly Poluektov

It took the girl's mother Talina, 22, who had been in the fields gathering hay when her daughter went missing, several days to reach Rodion and discover that she was lost. A massive search began for the girl. 

Karina drank water from rivers and ate berries, but when she was found, she was badly undernourished. Her doctor at the City Children's Hospital, in Yakutsk, Fedora Gogoleva, said: 'The family live far away in a remote village, not in the city, and it makes its mark. She was raised close to nature.

'Certainly she went with grandmother and parents to the forest, to gather berries. Perhaps this is why she was not afraid of the forest. Karina herself is a very strong girl, has a strong-willed character. This probably helped her to survive.'

'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.'

Read more: 

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

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

Comments (10)

What a coincidence!
The Belgium singer and songwriter FREDERIC MATHIEU celebrated with his Singing Boys
in the 60s and 70s great success as a musician.
Even at an advanced age Frédéric Mathieu keeps writing songs, such as his brand new song KARINA which tells the true story of Karina Chikitova and her puppy Naida.

FREDERIC MATHIEU – KARINA (Lyrics in English and Russian)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCifX5XhjA6_QODtdR0S62fQ

December 22, 2015 - FREDERIC MATHIEU & His Singing Boys. Portrait!
www.radio-sunshine.info
Hubertine, BELGIUM
24/01/2016 19:37
0
2
Thank you for this story. It has a wonderful ending to an amazing story of a precociously self reliant child. I feel thankful for her and her family. I do admire the Russian people and wish we here were more like you.
Richard, US
07/01/2016 12:31
2
0
Just how cleaver dogs are!!!! not only in the physical sense but emotional too!!!
Animals need respect..... for we; so much depend on them
alicia giuliano, Sandbach Cheshire UK
03/01/2016 18:58
2
0
Well done Karina. And maybe dogs should be re-classified as Animal Sapiens :)
jaycee, south Africa
03/01/2016 12:23
5
0
This is one of the most heartwarming rescue stories I've ever read or seen on television. A 4-year-old girl, Karina, and her pet dog Naida survived for 12 days before the rescue. This event, undoubetdly, was a miracle.
It is wonderful that the townsfolk of the region have commemorated this fantastic rescue with the unveiling of a statue of Karina and Naida at the Yakut Airport .. in this manner, visitors who arrive at the airport are greeted with this beautiful statue, which had been carved with great care.
Happy Birthday, Karina; enjoy your days with your family and friends .. and your brave puppy, Naida :)
Eileen K., Laurel, Maryland, USA
03/01/2016 03:10
6
0
I spent 8 years of my life, age 26 to 34, living in BC bush country without electricity, so I understand this girl, her family, and their way of life. Their log house looks like ones the Doukhobors built where I lived. I sent this article to a website with this message: "Here's a 'feel good' story that just might choke you up a bit and bring a tear to your eyes." jefasciani@shaw.ca
Joseph E Fasciani, Victoria, BC, Canada
03/01/2016 01:34
4
0
Awesome tribute to a wonderful and brave little girl. Much kudos to her family who showed her how to survive in such a hostile environment. "Girl with a dog" is apt and appropriate. But I suggest "Karina and Naida" should be added to the statue so that people will know who the statue represents.



Thank you Siberian Times for keeping your readers posted about Karina. She sure has a lot of fans.
E. Espinosa, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
31/12/2015 16:48
13
0
such a brave girl, salute.
madhav, nepal
30/12/2015 18:36
17
0
It is good to be welcome in Yakut airport by a beautiful statue which show the strong children of this Russian région.Since this moving story, I read Siberian Times every day and I love your wild country . Happy birthday Karina .Have good days with your family, friends and...brave puppy!
Jocelyne, FRANCE
30/12/2015 15:51
20
1
and a lifelong only the best bones for the dog!
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
30/12/2015 11:48
22
0
1

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