7 Shocking Cases of Feral Children raised by Animals

The Jungle Book has always been one of my favorite stories, it always fascinated me that a human can live happily among the wild but I didn’t know that there are actually several unfortunate and sad stories about many children abandoned by their human families and instead joined a new furrier family. Here are a few real cases of young humans who lived in the wild.

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1. Marie Angelique Memmie, France 1731

Found when she was a 19 year old woman Memmie survived 10 years on her own walking through the forest and was discovered that she had incredible hunting skills including capturing and eating birds, fish, and frogs. She also ate branches, leaves and roots and even learnt to combat wolves and other wild animals and used a club as her weapon. She was captured and was able o speak, read and write in French. She once went hunting with the queen of Poland and was said to be very quick to catch and kill rabbits. Memmie always had rich patrons and died a wealthy woman at age 63.

2. Kamala and Amala, India, 1920

A very famous story of the wolf children, these two girls, age 2 and 8 when found by a priest in western Calcutta, Midnapore where after he finally recued them had a hard time helping them to adjust to a human life. They tore off their clothes, refused to eat cooked food and scratched and clawed at anyone who tried to feed them. Some of their wolfish features included eyes would shine like dogs’ in the darkness, eating only raw meat, elongated canine teeth and the fact that at night they would call out to their wolf ‘family’ by howling. Amala died a year after coming back to human society from a kidney infection and although Kamala died 8 years later due to tuberculosis, she learned to walk upright, speak a few words as well as becoming house trained.

3. Oxana Malaya, Ukraine, 1991

Maltreated and finally thrown out only at the age of three by her alcoholic parents, Oxana found her way to the farm dogs’ kennel where she crawled up with them and survived 6 years! When found her behavior reflected that of a dog including barking, barring her teeth and running on all fours. Oxana now 31 has learned the basic verbal and social skills and she looks after her hospital’s farm animals under careful supervision.

4. Prava, Russia, 2008

Also known as ‘The Bird Boy’ this 7 year was discovered living in a bird house and as a pet to his own 31 year old mother. She treated him as one of her birds and never spoke to him. He soon learnt how to chirp and flap his arms in a birdlike motion if he was not understood while communicating with humans as learnt by the birds who were his only company. Finally let go off by his mother he is now being taken care of in a psychological rehabilitation center.

5. The Leopard Boy, India, 1912

This is an unusual case of a boy who was taken by a leopardess when he was only two years old, this young boy was found and identified three years later by which time he was walking and running as fast as an adult man on all fours and had thick skin and calluses on his knees and palms. He growled and grunted, never learned to speak and would attempt to bite and fight with anyone who tried to come in contact with him. He became blind later due a hereditary cataract problem that had nothing to do with him living in the wild for those years. By then he had learned to speak and walk upright.

6. John Ssebunya, Uganda, 1991

A six year old boy was found in a jungle in Uganda after he had ran away from home while he was only three years old because he witnessed the traumatic event of his own father  murdering his mother. He ran into jungle and found a home with the monkeys. His diet consisted of roots sweet potatoes and cassava along with nuts which caused him to attain a really bad of intestinal worms. Despite all this, ‘the monkey boy’ soon adapted to the life of a human including not just speaking but even singing, of which he is incredible, evident from the fact that he tours around the UK with the 20-strong Pearl of Africa children’s choir.

7. Wild Peter, Germany, 1724

One of the most well known cases of a feral child is that of Wild Peter, a 12 year old who was found in Hanover and was brought in front of King George I who became fond of him and sent to London where he became something of a celebrity, entertaining royalty with his crawling on all fours, lack of table manners and trying to kiss ladies. Wild Peter lived a very long life more than 70 years of age. He didn’t learn to speak much or adapt to human culture and was sent to live in the countryside ultimately where he stayed until he passed away.



26 Sep 2017 07:11 PM

Incredible - I had no idea there were so many accounts of this as well! It's heart breaking and fascinating all at the same time. Thanks for sharing.

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