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Girl, 3, Saved By Dog After Days Lost In Woods
A three-year-old girl has been rescued from a wolf-infested Siberian forest after going missing for nearly two weeks - thanks to her pet dog.
Karina Chikitova's puppy huddled next to her and kept her warm for more than a week before returning home to get help.
The dog then helped rescuers find the child, who hid in long grass during the cold nights and survived on wild berries and river water, the Siberian Times reported.
Dramatic video footage of the rescue revealed the moment Karina was found, frightened and peering out from her grass hiding place.
"I carried Karina myself to the car, and she was light as a bird," said rescuer Afanasiy Nikolayev. "She was hardly 10kg - but amazingly she was fully conscious."
The remarkable story began after Karina became lost when she wandered away from her home in the remote southwest Sakha Republic region of Russia.
She had been following her father, Rodion, who was unaware his daughter was trying to keep up with him as he made his way to a distant village.
The little girl quickly got lost and spent 11 days and nights in the long grasses of the forest, huddled up to her unnamed pet dog, the Siberian Times reported.
The child's mother believed Karina was with her father and the alarm was only raised four days later when the parents spoke by telephone.
Helicopters and drones joined 100 people in the search for the girl and at one point, as hopes began to fade, rescuers were confronted by a bear.
Hopes faded further when the pet dog returned to the family's village - Olom in Olyokminsky district - without the child.
"Two days before we found Karina her puppy came back home," said Mr Nikolayev.
"If she was to hug her puppy, we thought, this would have given her a chance to stay warm during nights and survive."
But the story took a happy twist when the puppy helped to guide the rescuers to the disoriented youngster.
The video footage shows the moment excited rescuers discovered her, after spotting her footprints.
"It was Karina's puppy that helped the adults find the girl," Mr Nikolayev said.
"She doesn't want to speak about the time she spent in taiga (the forest), or not yet. The only thing she said that she was eating berries and drank water from rivers."
Karina is now in hospital in Yakutsk where doctors are seeking to build her strength.
She has no serious injuries, though she suffered scratches to her feet after losing her shoes. She was also covered in bites from mosquitoes and other insects.