A recent News report said an 8year old girl dubbed ‘Mowgli’ used to crawl on all 4 without any speech and ate from floor only makes screeching sounds. The girl found living with Monkeys in India a few months ago now is able to walk upright and eats normally. In India, the rescued girl who initially was believed to be living in the forest with monkeys officials now say is disabled and abandoned by her family. The girl’s story was reported on 6 April 2017 in the Times of India in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. This 8-year-old girl found living with a colony of monkeys in the Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary was near the Nepal border:
Cops in Uttar Pradesh have found a girl who can neither speak nor behave like normal human beings. The 8-year-old girl was rescued by the police in Bahraich from a troop of monkeys. The girl was spotted by sub-inspector Suresh Yadav, on a routine patrol in Motipur range of Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
When he tried to rescue the girl, who seemed to be comfortable with the apes, they screeched at him and so did the girl. But the cops after a great effort managed to rescue the girl and got her admitted to district hospital.
No one seems to know how the girl was found up in the forest by herself. The doctors treating her said she exhibited some violent animal-like behaviours when she was first hospitalized and was afraid of human beings. Seemed unable to speak or understand human speech. It is similar to slightly different version of events recounted by the South Asian news agency ANI that the girl was 10 years old when found and had been under the care of the hospital since February 2017, when police originally discovered her:
The City Hospital doctors, who have been treating a ten year-old girl found in the Katarniaghat forest by Uttar Pradesh Police, on Thursday said girl was showing improvement in health. “The girl is better and healthy and has started showing improvement,” Chief Medical Officer, D.K. Singh told ANI. A ten year-old girl was found amongst animals by the police personnel in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district two months back. The girl was seen amongst the animals of the forest and was completely unfamiliar with human language.
Her age range was an estimate since the girl cannot communicate or verbalise to authorities her accurate age. The child nicknamed “Mowgli” by the press after the feral child in Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 novel The Jungle Book was discovered in January, not in February as reported:
The girl, believed to be 10 to 12 years old, was unable to speak, was wearing no clothes was emaciated when discovered in January and taken to hospital in Bahraich town in Uttar Pradesh in northern India. She behaved like an animal and was running on her arms and legs eating food off the floor with her mouth said D.K. Singh the chief medical superintendent of the government-run hospital. After treatment, begun walking normally eating with her hands. Still not able to speak but understands whatever you tell her and smiles, Singh said.
The videos of the girl shows a child who seems uncomfortable in surroundings and exhibits some behaviours as might be characterized “ape-like.” It is unclear at what stage of her hospitalization they were recorded but she does not speak in the videos and does interact with adults around her. Is seen performing normal tasks like drinking a glass of water. The Police superintendent Dinesh Tripathi, said he visits patient regularly and told the New Indian Express it appeared she lived with monkeys since birth, though is pure speculation on his part. Reports of the “feral children” discovered living among animals in the wild forest is not unprecedented in the historical record, the Washington Post reported. Some were documented in the past:
Numerous stories of feral children like the young girl exist both in legend and in documented cases in history. Some recent cases include children who like girl, were raised by primates. A British woman named Marina Chapman claimed to live with monkeys from the ages of 4 to 9 in the Colombian jungle and later wrote a book about it but some questioned veracity of tale. A disabled Nigerian boy named Bello was found living with chimpanzees for 18 months in 1996 after he was abandoned by family.
Six-year-old John Ssebunya was found living with green vervet monkeys in the Ugandan jungle in 1991. He is believed to have run away from home when he was 3 years old after seeing his father murder his mother. He was placed in an orphanage and later adopted. He learned to speak, was socialised and a member of the Pearl of Africa children’s choir and participated in the Special Olympics, later moving into a home of his own. Ssebunya’s story was featured in a number of documentaries, including a 3 part Animal Planet series, ‘Raised Wild’ by anthropologist and broadcaster Mary-Ann Ochota who investigated the three cases of feral children, in Uganda, the Ukraine and Fiji.
On 8 April 2017, another version of the “Mowgli girl” story emerged that shed doubt on the claim that the girl found in Uttar Pradesh was herself a feral child, however. The British newspaper The Guardian said a district forestry officer came forward to dispute the previously published details of the case. He painted picture instead that the child may have been abandoned by her family because she was disabled:
JP Singh said the girl was actually found on a roadside near the forest, not deep in the wilderness. And though there were monkeys in her vicinity, his rangers “never found this girl living with monkeys,” he said. “I think the family members of this girl had been aware that she is not able to speak, and they may have abandoned her near the forest road,” he said. If she was living with monkeys it would be for a few days only, not for a long time. “It is clear from first time view, of the girl she is only eight or nine years old, but her facial expressions show she is disabled mentally, physically, he said. Forest closely monitored by rangers and CCTV and was unlikely she could survive in wilderness for long without being spotted he said.
The hospital’s chief medical officer, D.K. Singh, agreed that no one could really say precisely when she was abandoned. “In India, people do not prefer a female child and she is mentally not sound,” he told the Guardian. The chief medical officer of the district of Bahraich, Ankur Lal, said it was unlikely she was raised in the forest, much less by monkeys. He believes symptoms of her disabilities were mistaken for evidence she lived without human contact in the jungle. As a recent report says the girl has been transferred to a children’s home in the city of Lucknow for further recovery.