The cases of feral children are extremely interesting as to how small children were abandoned in forests and jungles and managed to survive in those conditions amongst wild animals, with some animals adopted them. One such story inspired Rudyard Kipling to write the now famous book “Jungle Book”. We bring to you 10 most famous cases of feral children.
1 Lobo Wolf Girl – 1845-1852, Devil’s River
A couple by the name of John and Mollie were on the run from the law, as John had murdered his fellow trapper and were passing through Texas. Mollie was pregnant and in May 1835, on a very rainy night, Mollie went into labor and both reached a cabin. John decided to go alone to get help and left Mollie in the cabin. But a lightning strike killed John and his horse, but he had asked some goat herders for help and when they reached the cabin, they found no baby and Mollie alone and dead.
However, a decade later in 1845, a boy saw a girl running with wolves in pursuit of a hunt. She was again spotted attacking and killing some goats and her last sighting was in 1852, when she was spotted suckling on two wolf cubs. Many say she was daughter of Mollie and John and was never seen again.
2 Leopard Boy – 1912, India
A leopardess was seen carrying away an infant in 1912 from a village in rural India. 5 years later, a hunter killed the leopardess and found the now 5 year old boy and he brought him to the village and he was reunited with his family. He was aggressive and grunted and growled at people, but with time, learnt to speak, but could run very fast on all fours.
3 Oxana Malaya – 1991, Ukraine
Oxana Malaya was 3 years old, when she was left outside in cold by her parents and she crawled in a kennel dug by a dog for warmth. Surprisingly, she stayed there for 6 years as no one came looking for her. She stayed with dogs and adapted their traits like walking on all fours, panting like them. She had very less interaction with humans and spoke very little. She was integrated into the society and after intense therapy was able to communicate with others and now works at a farm with animals in Odessa.
4 Kamala and Amala – Kolkata, India
Kamala and Amala are the best examples of feral children, from 1920s. The two children were found in Kolkata by a Christian missionary, as they were hiding on a tree along with wolves. The missionary killed the mother wolf and captured them. They were inseparable and always stayed together. However their weak immune system proved too much to them and Amala died after a year of capture and though Kamala lived till age of 17 and started walking straight, kidney failure ended her life.
5 Memmie Le Blanc-Wild Girl of Champagne
The wild girl of Champagne is a completely different case of feral child. She knew how to speak before she was left to fend for herself, near the village of Songi in France. She lived in the forest feeding on fruits, birds, frogs and fishes for more than 10 years. She kept on hunting rabbits and roots even when she was captured. She ran very fast and had exceptional eyesight. She met Queen of Poland in 1737, who was impressed by her hunting skills.
6 Wild Peter- 1700s
Wild Peter is perhaps the earliest recorded instance of a feral child. He was found and captured in 1724 in Hanover. He walked on all fours and ate roots and leaves, refusing any other meal than plants. He learnt to eat fruits and vegetables later on, but he never learnt to communicate with others. He lived till he was 72 and learnt two words in his lifetime, “Peter” and “King George”.
7 The Bear Girl
While hunting in Mt. Olympus, Ali Osman and his companion killed a huge female bear, but were attacked by a feral child immediately. When they checked out the bear’s lair, they found that the girl lived with the bear they had killed. She was taken back to Bursa in Turkey and admitted in an asylum. She refused to eat any cooked meal and sat in a corner. Police eventually found that she disappeared from a village nearby when she was 2 and was then adopted and raised by the bear.
8 Dina Shanichar – Uttar Pradesh, India
Dina Shanichar was a feral boy found by hunters in Bulandshehar in Uttar Pradesh, India in 1800s. Hunters were amazed to see a boy run extremely fast on all four limbs and they captured the boy after smoking the wolves out of their den. The boy was named Dina Shanichar and though he initially ate raw meat and bones, he eventually took liking to cooked meat, but never learnt to communicate with others. He died in 1895.
9 Marina Chapman
Marina Chapman is the name given to a girl who was abandoned in a jungle by her abductors in 1954 at the age of 5. She learnt to fend for herself and eventually lived with a group of capuchin monkeys. She ate whatever food the monkeys dropped for her from the trees and survived like that for 5 years in the jungle. She was rescued by hunters and now lives in England and wrote a famous book titled “A girl with no name”.
10 Victor of Aveyron-France, 1797
In late 1700s, a boy named Victor was captured from the jungles in France. His body was covered in scars and injuries, and he couldn’t communicate with others. No one knew how he got in the jungle and how he survived there. Scientists found that he could survive in extreme cold and though they tried to integrate him into civilization, Victor died at the age of 40.