Karina Chikitova lives with her family and her dog, Naida, in the remote Sakha Republic in Siberia
One day, the 3-year-old wandered off into the nearby forests with Naida, and ended up getting lost in the dense wilderness.
As the area did not have any phone network, it was well beyond 4 days when the Chikitovas were able to inform the authorities about their missing daughter. The locals knew that surviving the bear-infested wilderness was impossible for a little girl. Their only solace was that Naida was with Karina.
The entire village banded together and kept searching for days, but there was no sign of the toddler. As weeks went by, everyone started fearing the worst because there was every possibility that Karina had starved or been mauled by a wild animal.
Toward the end of 11 days, the search team found a ray of hope when they spotted Naida. With mixed feelings of hope and fear, they followed the dog. In an utterly heartbreaking moment, they found Karina lying still in the grass-bed that Naida had built for her!
Karina was bony and completely dehydrated after surviving 12 nights in the savage wilderness. She was in hospital for days. When she recovered, she explained how Naida had been the sole reason why she is still alive!
The faithful dog had not only fended off the wild animals, but also kept Karina warm in the minus temperatures. While Karina ate berries and drank river water to keep going, it was Naida who was worried about returning home. The anxious pooch eventually ventured out to find the rescuers, and led them to Karina’s hiding spot.
Karina had suffered many infectious bug bites and she was extremely malnourished. But the resilient girl gradually recovered. These days, she is an aspiring ballerina with many starry dreams in her eyes!
As for Naida, she’s the public’s favorite hero! The local authorities have even installed a gleaming statue of Karina and Naida to honor the dog’s bravery!