We’ve often heard of feral animals, but how often do you hear about feral children? Feral children have been isolated from human contact from a very young age and grew up wild, sometimes being taken cared of by animals. Some feral children have been confined by people (usually their own parents), but here we’ll only be discussing some cases of children raised by animals in the wild.
Take a look at the children who were raised by animals:
1. Marina Chapman
Marina is a Colombian-born British woman known for her claim to have spent much of her early childhood in the jungle, alone except for a colony of capuchin monkeys. She spent the next several years following capuchin monkeys, until hunters rescued her — by which point she had no human language. According to Chapman, she later was sold to a brothel in Cúcuta, then lived on the streets, and then became a slave of a mafia family.
2. Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja
Marcos is a noted feral child. He was reportedly sold to a hermitic goatherder at seven and after the goatherder’s death, he lived alone with the wolves in the Sierra Morena. At 19, he was returned to civilisation, but had difficulty adjusting. Gabriel Janer Manila went on to write a PhD thesis concerning him, which was titled He jugado con lobos (English title I Have Played with Wolves). He later became the subject of the film Entrelobos (English title Among Wolves), in which he appears briefly.
Bello, the Nigerian Chimp Boy was found in 1996, at the age of about two. Both mentally and physically disabled, he had probably been abandoned by his parents at the age of about six months. The child was raised by chimpanzees for a year and a half. When the story reached the news agencies some six years later in 2002, Bello had been living at the Tudun Maliki Torrey home in Kano. He died in 2005.
4. Ivan Mishukov
Ivan Mishukov is a Russian citizen, notable for being a feral child who lived with dogs for about two years between the ages of 4 and 6. Mishukov was captured by Moscow police in 1998, when he was six. The police separated the boy from the dogs by leaving bait for the pack in a restaurant kitchen. Prior to capture, he had escaped the police three times, defended by the pack. Because he had lived among the dogs for only two years, he re-learned language. He speaks very fluently and intelligently, he gave interviews on Russian and Ukrainian National TV. He studied in military school and served in the Russian Army.
5. Ng Chhaidy
Perhaps one of the most spectacular cases of feral children – and adults – is Ng Chhaidy. She went missing at the age of 4, going into the jungle, and was only seen after 38 years, in 2012. Local communities have been hearing rumors about a jungle girl for years, but they always dismissed it as gossip. She went missing in India, close to the border with Myanmar, and was later found in Myanmar, living naked in a cemetery. But what’s perhaps even more remarkable is that for someone who lived in the jungle for basically all her life, she’s very human-like. She can talk (in a simple fashion), she learns new words, and she is not particularly shy of human interaction. Her family hasn’t allowed any medical or psychological attention, so there is no clear evaluation on her state.