Do you know what a feral child is? Most of us don’t because we grew up in civilization. Feral children are kids that grew up outside of society. Many times they are abandoned; sometimes they are runaways; and other times they are locked in their rooms for years. Either way, the linguistic and cognitive development of the children tends to be stunted, with some never learning a language. These are 25 Crazy True Cases Of Feral Children In History.
Marie-Angélique Memmie Le Blanc
Originally from French Wisconsin (yes, Wisconsin was part of France back then), Marie was brought to France but then escaped into the woods of Provence. She lived in the wild for 10 years until she was 19. The unique part of her case was that she supposedly learned to read and write as an adult.
Also known as Steve of the Marsh, he was found near a marsh by two Hungarian fishermen in 1749. The local governor brought Hany to his castle and tried to raise him, but the child eventually ran away back into the wild.
Because Sujit had cerebral palsy, his father kept him under the house with the chickens. When he was found, he could only make clucking noises. He was known in the media as the “Chicken boy of Fiji.”
The Lobo Wolf Girl of Devil's River
A feral child who has made it into Texas folklore, she was captured in 1846 but then later escaped. She was last spotted in 1852 at the age of 17.
Also known as the “Russian bird boy,” Vanya was kept in his room by his mother with only birds to keep him company. When he was found in 2008, he would only chirp and flap his arms.
A Colombian born British woman, Marina claims to have spent most of her childhood alone in the jungle with a band of capuchin monkeys following a botched kidnapping in 1954.
Also known as the “ostrich boy”, Hadara was lost by his parents in the Sahara at two years old until he was rescued 10 years later. He eventually married and had kids.
Daniel the Andes Goat Boy
His name says it all. Daniel was found in 1990 in Peru after having lived with mountain goats for 8 years.
Oxana was a Ukrainian girl who made headlines when she was found to have been raised by a pack of wild dogs. Her parents had apparently abandoned her and when she was found she would run around barking on all fours. Unlike many children on this list, however, she eventually learned to communicate fluently and subdue her feral behavior.
Known only by his first name, Robert lost his parents in the Ugandan Civil War when he was 3 years old. He survived in the wild with a group of vervet monkeys until he was found by soldiers several years later.
First reported in 1973 in Uttar Pradesh, India, Ramachandra was said to be living an “amphibian” lifestyle in the Kuano River. Although he was eventually somewhat re-incorporated into society, he never learned proper human interaction. He died in 1982 after a woman he approached threw boiling water on him.
The Bamberg Boy
Found near Bamberg, Germany in the late 16th century, this unnamed boy had apparently been raised by cattle!
Cambodian Jungle Girl
In 2007, a woman emerged from the Cambodian jungle. A family in a nearby village claimed that she was their daughter, Rochom P’ngieng, who had disappeared nearly 20 years prior.
In December of 2007, Lyokha was found in the Kaluga Oblast of Russia. He had apparently been living with wolves and couldn’t speak any human language.
Irish Sheep Boy
Although he isn’t mentioned by name, Nicolaes Tulp wrote about this young lad in his book Observationes Medicae (1672). Some experts believe the boy was exploited and at one point even exhibited for money.
Ng Chhaidy, Theiva
Ng went missing in the Indian jungle when she was four years old. 38 years later, in 2012, she was found. Amazingly, she has been able to learn a few new words and interact with villagers.
Yes, that was the actual name given to a seven-year-old girl who was found in the jungles of Sierra Leone by an Italian missionary in 1984. Most likely raised by monkeys, she spent most of her time on all fours.
Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja
Depicted in the 2010 Spanish-German film Entrelobos, Marcos lived for 12 years with wolves in the mountains of Southern Spain. He was found when he was 19.
The Lithuanian Bear Boys
It was initially thought that three boys in the late 1600’s were found to be living with bears in Lithuania. Officials later determined that only one boy was found in 1663 and brought to Poland’s capital.
In 1998, Ivan was found near Moscow at the age of 6. For the previous two years he had been living with a pack of dogs and had even risen to the head of the pack! Ivan is one of the few on our list that made a recovery, learned human language, and even went on to serve in the Russian army.
Also known as Mowgli girl, Ehsaas was spotted in January 2017 in Uttar Pradesh, India. Woodcutters notified police, who found the girl in the presence of several monkeys. The monkeys apparently pursued the police when they took Ehsaas.
Saturday was a five-year-old boy who was found after spending a year in the wild with a band of monkeys. His given name was derived from day on which he was found (Saturday) and the name of the headmistress at the school which took him in (Mthiyane). In 2005, at the age of 17, he still couldn’t talk and would jump around like a monkey.
Victor of Aveyron
One of the first documented feral children, Victor of Aveyron was followed extensively by a young French physician, Jean Marc Gaspard Itard. Victor, however, had a bad habit of continuously running away from civilization.
Unlike many feral children on our list, Genie wasn’t raised by animals. Rather, her father kept her at home and refused to let her interact with people. When social services in Los Angeles were notified, Genie was taken into custody. Unfortunately, she never managed to properly learn a first language or acquire normal human behavior. It goes to show that some things can only be learned as a child. If we don’t learn those things, it seems we may be handicapped for life.
Amala and Kamala
One of the best documented cases of feral children, Amala and Kamala were two Indian girls allegedly raised by wolves. In 1926, Reverend J. A. L. Singh documented their case, and it gained world wide attention. Later on, however, French surgeon Serge Aroles argued that the case was a fraud that Singh made up in order to gain funding for his orphanage.
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