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After time children lost in the wild begin to take on animalistic traits, and many times, even after being rescued, efforts to assimilate them back into society are futile. Here are 10 stories of children who were raised by wild animals.
1. Abandoned in the Nigerian Forest
A mentally and physically dis*bled boy named Bello was ab*ndoned by his parents in the Nigerian forest at the age of 6. Amazingly he was adopted by a group of chimpanzees for a year and a half. Eventually Bello began walking on two feet while dragging his hands on the ground and behaving just like his animal guardians. In 1996, hunters stumbled across the boy, and he was sent to the Tudun Maliki Torrey home in Kano to be reh*bilitated, but he was unable to readapt, reportedly leaping around his dormitory, smashing things. Sadly Bello passed away in 2005.
2. ‘Wolf Boy’
In India a group of hunters thought they had discovered a wild animal sleeping inside of a cave. After smoking the creature out, they were alarmed to discover it was actually a 6 year old boy walking on all fours, gnawing on bones, and eating raw animal meat. They took him to Sikandra Mission Orphanage in Agra where he was identified as Dina Sanichar and it was determined he had been living with a pack of wolves for most of his life. Some believe Wolf Boy was the inspiration for Mowgli in Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book.
3. Cambodian Jungle Woman
In 1989, a mentally dis*bled 8-year-old girl disappeared while herding buffalos in Vi*tnam. She was discovered years later, n*ked and covered in mud. Her biological family finally found her after her father saw pictures of the captured, young girl on Facebook.
4. The Boy and the Cats
In Argentina, a 1-year-old boy went missing when he wandered away from his father. A police officer later witnessed the lost boy eating scraps of food while a large group of feral cats licked him clean. The officer stated: “It is unusual to see so many cats together like that so I went for a closer look and saw the boy lying in the gutter. There were all these cats on top of him licking him because he was really dirty.”
If it weren’t for the cats huddling together to keep the baby warm, investigators believe he would’ve di*d in the freezing cold temperatures.
5. Raised by Goats in the Andes Mountains
Daniel was ab*ndoned by his parents and left to fend for himself in the Andes Mountains. It wasn’t until he was 12-years-old that a group of hikers discovered him in the wild, shocked to see him walking on all fours and unable to communicate. He had adopted a diet of fresh berries, roots, and goat’s milk, and even able to communicate with the animals.
6. Jungle Runner
This tr*gic story begins with 3 year-old John Ssebunya witnessing his father k*lling his mother. The toddler ran off, deep into the Ugandan jungle and came across a group of monkeys who eventually befriended the young boy. For the next eight months to a year, the monkeys taught him how to climb trees and search for food until he was recaptured, reintegrated back into society, and adopted by a loving family.
7. Raised by Dogs
Another story of ab*se involves Oxana Malaya, a Ukrainian child who was neglected by her alc*holic parents. They apparently forgot that Oxana had wandered outside, and that’s where the young girl remained for many years taking up refuge in the family dog kennel, curled up against her pets to keep warm. When the authorities finally stepped in, the group of dogs put up a fight trying to stop rescuers from taking her away. To this day Oxana has a tendency to revert back to barking and sitting on all fours.
8. The Life of a Monkey
A 5-year-old boy spent a year living in Kwazulu-N*tal, South Afr*ca, and was reportedly raised by monkeys. The year was 1987, and by the time he was discovered in 2005, he had all of the mannerism and traits of the primates: unable to talk, refused to eat cooked food, and had trouble interacting with other children after his capture.
9. Raised by Birds
Vanya Yudin of R*ssia was found in a two-bedroom apartment, surrounded by nothing but birds. It was later discovered that his mother refused to speak to him, so he communicated with the birds through chirping instead. When he was rescued and sent to a reh*bilitation center, authorities determined he was not harmed in any way, although would only respond with chirps when they attempted to communicate with him.
10. Ab*ndoned and Raised by Wolves
A young boy was found living among wild wolves in the forests of Transylvania after being abandoned by his parents. When he was 10, he was discovered by shepherds inside a cardboard box, unclothed, and with the physical size of a 3-year-old. He was barely alive at that time, and had forgotten how to communicate. If it weren’t for the animals who protected him, it’s unlikely he would’ve survived his time in the wild.
Which of these sad stories surprised you?