1. ITV Report

Puppy leads rescuers to 'miracle' girl lost for days in Siberian forest

Karina, 3, recovers on her mother's lap Photo: Siberian Times

A three-year-old girl owes her life to her puppy after surviving in the Siberian wilderness for 10 nights, according to local press reports.

Karina wandered into the woods from her family home in Olom in remote north-east Russia on 29th July. Her mother initially thought she had accompanied her father on a visit to a nearby village.

Several days later the alarm was raised prompting a major search operation involving a helicopter, unmanned drone and almost 100 locals on foot.

Almost a hundred locals joined the search for Karina on foot Credit: Siberian Times

It was later discovered that Karina had hidden in a patch of dense grass, which meant she could not be seen from the skies.

On the ninth day, Karina's puppy turned up at the girl's home. "Our hearts truly and deeply sank," said Afanasiy Nikolayev of the Sakha Republic Rescue Service.

He told the Siberian Times: "If she was to hug her puppy, we thought, this would have given her a chance to stay warm during nights and survive. So when her dog came back we thought 'that's it'."

An official prepares an unmanned drone for take-off in the search effort Credit: Siberian Times

But this turned out to be the breakthrough, since a search party followed the puppy back into the taiga.

Artyom Borisov, a 21-year-old volunteer with the local fire service, finally spotted Karina 11 days after she left her home.

Watch the video of that extraordinary moment below (tune in at 3:06)

Miracles do happen! I saw her sitting between hillocks in the tall grass. When the child saw me, she wept quietly and reached out her hands. My heart sank, and tears filled my eyes. She was weak, pale and very skinny. The girl immediately asked me for food and drink.

– Artyom Borisov speaking to the Siberian Times

Karina was given some tea and biscuits until she was able to be reunited with her mother. They pair have since been flown to hospital in Yakutsk.

Other than scratches and mosquito bites, the youngster was found to have no injuries.

Karina is given water just moments after being found by a search team Credit: Siberian Times

She has barely spoken about her ordeal, other than to say that she survived by eating berries and drinking river water.

Even at this time of year, the temperature can drop below freezing at night in Siberia meaning that she likely owes her life to her puppy in more ways than one.