A feral child is a human child who has been brought up by animals in the wild. Feral children have little or no human contact and take up behaviors of the surrounding animals. You might be thinking of Mowgli and yes, he is a feral child in spite of being a fictional character. But here we have brought you the most sensational and absolutely real stories of feral children of all times.
Oxana Malaya’s alcoholic parents couldn’t look after her and she was abandoned at the tender age of three. She started living in the area behind her house in Novaya Blagoveschenka, Ukraine, inhabited by stray dogs. She became a part of the dog pack and learned their behaviors and manners. At the age of eight, when authorities came to rescue her, they faced fierce attack from the pack. Oxana walked on all fours, barked, growled and sniffed her food before eating it without hands. Later, with much help, she developed language skills and went on to work in a mental health facility’s farm.
Disappearing at 8 in the jungle of the Ratanakiri province, Cambodia, Rochom spent 19 years in the forest. She was discovered in a filthy state by villagers from whom she had stolen food. She would point towards her mouth for food, rejected wearing any clothes and preferred crawling rather than walking upright. Although her family tried to make her feel at home after she was found, Rochom was extensively restless and would endlessly hug a tree trunk. Three years after her discovery, she ran away and is said to have gone back into the wild.
At the age of seven, the little boy could not talk but only ‘chirp’. His mother, a 31-year-old, kept him in an aviary and brought him up like a bird. The apartment in Kirovsky, Volgograd, Russia had two rooms filled with cages and several birds. His mother didn’t beat him or starve him. She just never spoke to him, which is why the boy never developed any speech skills. When talked to, he would only chirp and wave his arms like wings.
In 1867, some hunters of Bulandshahr, India, were stunned to see a young boy walk into a cave with a pack of wolves. They separated the wolf and the boy and brought him back to civilization. Unlike others, Dina never learned to speak. The only habit he changed was eating cooked meat instead of raw flesh.
Born in an abusive family, Traian got separated from them and lived in the wild for three years. When found, Traian was 7 but still looked like a 3-year-old. He suffered from rickets, frostbite, and many injuries. He was found by a man at the Transylvanian countryside who said that Traian was living in a cardboard box covered with a plastic sheet, next to a half-eaten dog. His walking resembled a monkey’s, and he would only eat and sleep.
On witnessing the murder of his mother by his father, John ran away from home and was raised by green African (vervet) monkeys in the jungles of Uganda. His monkey family put up a fight when tribal people found John. His knees were wounded from extensive crawling, body covered with thick hair and defecated worms. After his treatment, John joined the Pearl of Africa children’s choir.
Kamala & Amala
Discovered by Reverend Joseph Singh in the jungles of Midnapore, India, Kamala (8) and Amala (2) are by far the most interesting of all feral children. Earlier, considered as ghosts by the villagers, the Reverend uncovered the mystery. After the rescue, both the girls stayed curled up together, ate raw meat, rejected clothes and howled like wolves. They have extreme difficulty in the sun. Singh tried his best to rehabilitate the girls but Amala fell sick and died. Kamala did show some progress but after a few more days, she too passed away.
Reverend Joseph felt a sort of remorse at having brought the wolf girls back to civilization. They couldn’t adjust to the human ways and succumbed to death. Maybe they would have been well off in the jungles. But then again John adapted well with the society and look how well he is doing. Most feral kids have a traumatizing past which leads to their abandonment and it’s debatable as to what is best for them.