telegraph.co.uk A four-year-old girl was recovering in hospital after being lost for nearly two weeks in a bear-infested forest in Russia with only her puppy to defend her.
Karina Chikitova was found emaciated but alive at the weekend, having survived 11 days in the Siberian wilderness in what rescuers said was nothing short of a miracle.
The girl had left her village in Russia's northeastern Sakha region with her dog on July 29 to stay with her father, who lived in a neighbouring hamlet. But he had gone to fight a wildfire and the girl apparently walked into the forest alone to find him.
With no mobile phone signal in the sparsely populated region, where native Yakut people live from hunting and reindeer herding, her mother only realised four days later that her daughter had gone missing.
Despite a massive search, the breakthrough only came when Karina's puppy traipsed back to the hamlet - in which eight people live - allowing rescuers to send search dogs on the puppy's trail.
"We were sure that the puppy was next to the little girl all this time, warming her at night and scaring away wild animals," rescuer Afanasiy Nikolayev told the Zvezda TV channel. A report on the channel said the search party kept to creeks and meadows, going into the forest only in the presence of special forces because there are so many bears in the area. to read more: telegraph.co.uk
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