This story of a three-year-old girl surviving over a week and a half in the woods with her pet dog has taken the Japanese Internet by storm, and is sure to give you a case of the warm fuzzies.
Shortly before her fourth birthday, Karina, who resides with her mother in Sakha Republic, Russia, ventured out on her own into the Siberian forest with her puppy, Naida, in an attempt to follow her father to a neighboring town.
With each day that passed without any sight of her daughter, her mother began to believe the worst. Her fears that her daughter wouldn’t be coming backwere only deepened when Naida appeared almost ten days later without Karina in tow.
Then, in a miraculous turn of events, Karina was found two days after Naida helped lead rescuers to her location. Weak and cold, she was taken to the hospital where she managed to make a full recovery after doctors dressed the insect bites she had suffered as well as scratches on her feet from walking barefoot.
According to Karina, she survived by drinking river water and picking wild berries, and said Naida protected her from the wolves and bears that roam the woods by barking and scaring them off.
Many were moved by the story of Naida’s loyalty to Karina, nicknamed Mowgli girl after Disney’s The Jungle Book, and recently a statue was dedicated to the pair, who are both doing well two years later and are just as close as ever.
The piece, simply named Girl and Dog, was installed at the airport in the Sakha Republic’s capital, Yakutsk, and was sculpted by local artist Nikolay Chochchasov. No doubt it serves to remind visitors of the resilience of the human spirit, as well as Karina’s fortitude and Naida’s unwavering loyalty.
Karina’s story has since gone viral in Japan, with a total of almost 70,000 likes and shares to date. Japanese netizens have compared the story to the dog Hachiko and the famed statue that sits near the Shibuya scramble crossing.