Kids raised by animals – from real life Mowgli to child found in chicken coop

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It has now been over 100 years since two girls were found living alongside a female wolf and her pack in an Indian jungle.

They famously became known as the “wolf-children” – but they are not the only real life Jungle Book kids who have been rescued since then.

From a little boy who began acting like a chicken after being abandoned in a coup to a girl who lived with cats and dogs – here we take a look at the most extreme cases of feral kids.

The 'wolf-children'

The most famous story involves the girls known as Kamala and Amala who were aged just eight and 18 months respectively when they were rescued from a wolves’ den in Midnapore, India.

It was never established whether the girls were related but they were found in 1920 living alongside a protective wolf family.

They were discovered by a Reverend Singh who took them to his nearby orphanage and recorded their adjustment back to human life.

He wrote in his diaries that the girls showed “wolf-like behaviour” and they reportedly walked on all fours and sometimes bit and scratched people.

Despite progress being made, Amala died one year later while Kamala lived for nine more years and learned how to walk on her two feet.

Living with monkeys

Marina Chapman, from Bradford, West Yorks, claims she lived with monkeys for around five years after being kidnapped as a child.

She says she was four when she found herself in an unforgiving rainforest in Colombia.

Marina was born in the South American country but claims to have lived in the jungle with monkeys after a bungled kidnapping from her back garden.

Now in her 70s, she says she has never seen her biological family since being snatched – and she credits a colony of capuchins for helping her to survive the wild.

And she thanked “grandpa monkey” in particular for saving her after being poisoned by a rotten fruit.

Marina said: “Grandpa monkey, a white-haired creature with no teeth, approached me and forced me towards a stream, shoving me into the water repeatedly.

“When he let go I lay on the bank coughing, and the coughing turned to vomiting. No sooner was I done than he began chivvying me toward the pool again, where I drank thirstily.”

After years of sleeping in a hollowed tree, Marina said she was captured by hunters.

She later wrote a book called The Girl with No Name where she documented her feral upbringing.

'Wolf boy'

Similar to Kamala and Amala, a boy known as Shamdeo had a similar wolf experience in India.

He was found in a forest in 1972 when he was around four-years-old.

Little Shamdeo reportedly had sharpened teeth and long hooked fingernails and he liked to hunt chickens and drink blood.

He had been living with wolves and was playing with cubs when he was discovered.

The boy died 13 years after being rescued from the forest but in that time he never learned how to speak.

However, he did communicate with some sign language before his death.

One of the pack

Oxana Malaya had a difficult start to life after being neglected by her alcoholic father when she was just a toddler.

Authorities eventually found her years later where she was living in a dog kennel in her Ukrainian home.

She crawled into the kennel after being left outside by her parents – and found warmth alongside the mongrels.

The girl soon began moving on all fours and even barked like her canine friends.

After being taken by social services in 1991 after living with dogs for six years, she eventually adjusted to human life.

She is now approaching 40 and she lives on a farm in Ukraine where she helps look after animals.

'Real life Mowgli'

A real life Mowgli girl was found living feral in the wilderness as recently as 2014.

Karina Chikitova had spent 12 days in a Siberian forest infested with wolves and bears.

She had followed her dad into the forest without him knowing – and the then four-year-old ate wild berries to stay alive after getting lost.

Her dog eventually left her side to find help and she was rescued after almost two weeks.

And last year the Daily Star reported how the girl, now 11, had won a place at a prestigious ballet school.

The little girl now dreams of one day dancing at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Found with cats and dogs

Little Natasha Mikhailova was locked in a room for years with her family’s cats and dogs.

The neglected child was raised by the pets and she adopted their behaviour – from drinking with her tongue to walking on all fours.

She even barked like a dog – leaving social services horrified when they rescued her from the home in Chita, Russia, in 2009.

Natasha was found surrounded by the animals while wearing ripped and soiled clothing.

One neighbour later said: “We didn’t know she existed. They have three vicious dogs they took for walks but we never saw this child.”

The girl was placed in an orphanage where she received intense education.

Like the previously mentioned Karina, Natasha was also nicknamed Mowgli after the Jungle Book character.

'Chicken boy'

The tragic story of Sujit Kumar involves being locked in a chicken coup by cruel family members.

Shockingly, he spent eight years in the coup in Fiji before social services finally discovered him in 1978.

He was taken to an old people’s home where he stayed for 20 years – but his aggressive behaviour often resulted in him being tied to the bed.

Elizabeth Clayton later rescued the boy in 2002 and set up a charity for children in need.

Remembering what Sujiit was like, she said: “Sujit tried to bite me when I approached. When he did get fed, he tipped his mushy food onto the floor and pecked at it.”

He was taken to an orphanage where workers are helping the boy to walk, talk and eat.

  • Animals
  • Monkeys
  • Family
  • Russia
  • Dogs
  • Cats

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