In 2014 Karina Chikitova was only 4 years old when she went missing in Siberia’s Wilderness. The girl, who only had her puppy with her, survived by eating berries and drinking water from rivers. For 12 days she was missing and became international news. She finally was rescued after 12 days in the woods when her little puppy Naida went for help. Now the famous 8-year-old is heading to become a ballerina star reports the Siberian Times.
Karina Chikitova since her rescue has become somewhat of a folk hero. She’s had a statue of her and her dog called the “Girl with Dog” created in honor for her and placed at Yakutks Airport in Russia. She became a local celebrity and a children’s book was made starring her.
Now the young girl who everyone thought had died in the woods is thriving as a ballerina. She attends a special ballet boarding school, around 350 miles from her village and her teacher thinks she could be something special. “I want to become a ballerina and dance Swan Lake,” Karina Chikitova told the Serbia Times.
Karina Chikitova has been living away from her mother while attending school. Her guardian Albina Cherepanova, 59, takes care of her during the school year and is raising funds for her future education.
Her teacher Dariya Ivanova has nothing but praise for the girl. She says Katrina is “very strong physically” and “extremely flexible, with strong legs.” In just two years when Karina turns 10, the teacher will know for sure if Karina will become a professional ballet dancer. But her teachers think she has a good chance. And if she doesn’t make it as a professional ballerina it looks like she will have a bright future. “I like to study, even though sometimes it’s hard … I have also learned how to play the jaw harp and piano,” she told the Serbia Times.
This coming from a girl who got lost in the woods after she followed her father without him knowing. A girl who snuggled up with her puppy at nights to stay warm. The puppy who went for help and was found by the rescue team. The rescue team that thought the sight of the dog was a bad omen because, “So when her dog came back we thought ‘that’s it’ – even if she was alive – and chances were slim – now she would have definitely have lost all hopes. Our hearts truly and deeply sank.”
However, the puppy ended up guiding the rescue team back to the girl who was laying in the tall grass. Her rescuer Arytom Borisov said, “She was sitting deep in deergrass, completely silent. I didn’t actually notice her. She saw me and stretched her arms forward. I picked her up, she was so tiny, so light, like fluff. She didn’t have shoes on. Her face, legs and arms were bitten to blood. She was dead scared. Straight away she asked for water and food, and burst into tears. To be honest I could hardly hold back tears too.”
The rescuer said that she was light as a feather and she was down to about 22 pounds when he rescued her.
Karina who remembers the whole experience said that “It was Nadia who rescued me. I was really, really scared. But when we were going to sleep I hugged her, and together we were warm.”