August 12, 2014 - Family and rescue workers almost lost hope of finding a 4-year-old girl who went missing with her puppy in bear-infested Siberian marshes and forests almost two weeks ago. Luckily, her pet returned and this helped find the trail to the missing girl.
Karina, from the village of Olom, in the Yakutia Republic in the east of Russia, left home on July 29 and went wandering in the swamps and forests.
The rescue operation started on August 2 and was joined by almost a hundred locals, who roamed the harsh Siberian taiga for several days. They entered the forest accompanied by armed hunters and special police forces as the area is inhabited by bears.
An array of technologies were involved in the search and rescue operation, including an unmanned aerial vehicle that surveiled the area in real time, while a helicopter crew also looked for signs of the little girl.
Several days ago Karina's puppy returned home, said rescue worker Afanasy Nikolaev, adding that at first the family had lost all hope that Karina was alive.
"We hoped that the pet was with the girl and kept her warm during the cold nights, when temperatures drop below zero," he told the NTV channel.
However, it was the puppy that helped the rescuers find a trail, which led to the missing child.