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Rescuers praise 'wonderful' and 'resilient' Karina, who survived Siberian wild for almost two weeks

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 August 2014

Sculpture of girl and her dog, whose story captivated the world, to be erected at Yakutsk Airport.

Currently Karina remains being treated in regional capital city Yakutsk, at the National Centre of Medicine of Yakutia. Picture: YSIA

A psychologist who cared for Karina Chikitova after she was found hidden in a grass hole in the taiga has spoken of her remarkable strength of character even though she was afraid of dark during 11 long nights. 

Yet unlike adults, she had no reason to be scared of the 'forest' close to her home, despite the bears and wolves that roam the territory, said 

Yekaterina Alekseeva, psychologist of Rescue Service of the Republic of Sakha, also known as Yakutia, the largest region in Russia. 

As The Siberian Times has exclusively highlighted in English in previous stories, Karina was cared for by her puppy who stayed with her, keeping her warm, for nine days before finding his way home to the family's remote village to summon help.

To survive, she ate berries and drank from local rivers, as she wandered around the taiga. 

Karina's mother Aitalina and grandmother believed the girl to be with her father Rodion, who in turn had not realised she had followed him into the wild when he set off on a long journey to fight raging forest fires in the republic from the family's remote village of Olom. 

Rescuers and locals carry Karina


Karina carried by rescue officer to the car

'She was very happy to see her grandpa, her eyes were even full of tears, but it was strange that she did not cry. Picture: Sakha Republic Rescue Service

'She was in consciousness, and answered all questions,' said the psychologist, who asked her what her toys were afraid of to coax out of Karina her own fears. 

'She recognised all the relatives, said her name, the wonderful child. 

'I asked her, where she was going, she said that she was going home. She played with toys, and I asked her what are they afraid of. She said they were afraid when it is dark, and cold, and you are all alone. 

'She was very happy to see her grandpa, her eyes were even full of tears, but it was strange that she did not cry. 

'The girl is very strong, very resilient, and as her mother and a woman neighbor explained, very active. It was seen that she was not afraid of the forest and it helped her very much. At first, she was with her puppy, it gave her strength, because some living being was near. 

'But unlike adults, she has no experience and not so many fears at the same time. Sometimes adults cannot help themselves panic because of their fears about what maybe there.'

Currently Karina remains being treated in regional capital city Yakutsk, at the National Centre of Medicine of Yakutia, though she received no serious injuries from her remarkable adventure.

The management of local airport SC Yakutsk Airport is to help Karina's recovery by giving her and her mother two trips to sanatorium where she can get treatment and recover, and devote a sculpture to the girl and her dog.

Karina lying on the bad talking with psychologist


Karina's puppy in the village

'To perpetuate the love of life and durability, the strength of spirit of the little Yakut girl and her devotion to the puppy, we plan to put a sculpture of the girl with her dog'. Picture: Sakha Republic Rescue Service

Spokeswoman Yana Baygozhaeva said: 'During the search for Karina Chikitova when she was lost, the staff of Yakutsk Airport along with all Yakutians worried about the fate of the child. 

'And when the rescuers managed to find the girl had miraculously survived after 12 days of wandering in the Yakutian taiga, we all were very happy.'

She added: 'To perpetuate the love of life and durability, the strength of spirit of the little Yakut girl and her devotion to the puppy, we plan to put a sculpture of the girl with her dog at the airport.'

A commemorative plate will tell her story in Russian and English. The work is being commissioned from Yakutian sculptor Nikolay Chochchasov. 

Her dog is known as Kyrachaan to locals, meaning 'puppy' or 'little one' in the local Yakut language.

Comments (6)

What an almost unbelievable story! Katrina as you grow up please think about how the Forrest was your friend, and how you can also help your Mother Earth, who enabled your survival. Seek ways, with your now famous personality and influence how to help others see the need to preserve the Tiaga, and all the earth. You are a wonderful little girl, and even though you struggled looking for hope, the love of creation, including lots of people whom you do not know, went out to you, and still does-- I am one of those, and I also hope to meet your family, your GREAT LOVING and BRAVE DOG and YOU some day! The Forrest kept you alive and had a big part in saving, therefore, you will find ways in the future to also protect it--we are all One, Remember!
Bert,
24/08/2014 11:20
1
1
It's great to see this story has a happy ending... do hope this little girl fully recovers & grows up to be a marvelous human being. Please if I may ask a question? is she getting counselling after her terrible ordeal...that to me is as important as her other medical needs.
jojnjo, Dublin, Ireland
20/08/2014 08:26
0
2
Get well soon Karina! You and your dog are great!
GUMI, Austria
18/08/2014 19:26
4
0
Unbelievable.... coming from sunny Southern CA, I can only imagine how tough the little girl is and how lucky that her pet stayed by her side and led to her rescue. Uplifting story.
Albert, Los Angeles, CA, USA
18/08/2014 08:20
4
0
Que bueno que este recuperandose, se le ve algo deprimida ojala le pudieran llevar algo de diversion.
Saludos Kaina y deseo tu pronta recuperacion y Felicidad.
Marco, Mexico
16/08/2014 23:28
3
0
Very happy to see little girl Karina.
Merci à toutes les personnes qui s'occupent si bien d'elle, c'est une courageuse et intelligente enfant.
Merci de nous donner encore de ses nouvelles et de celle de son "puppy" =°o°=
Sorry, I don't speak english very well.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
16/08/2014 00:39
6
0
1

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