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Girl Found Living With Monkeys in India

A girl living with a group of monkeys in a wildlife sanctuary was found by police near the Nepalese border in India. Now the girl — who didn’t appear to understand any language and was walking on all fours — has been dubbed a “real life Mowgli” after the feral child from Rudyard Kipling’s “Jungle Book.”

Officers found the girl with a pack of wild monkeys two months ago, while performing a routine patrol in the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary near the Nepalese border, authorities told the Times of India. When officers tried to communicate with the girl, she and the monkeys both screeched at the approaching humans. Authorities were eventually able to convince her to come with them, and she has been recuperating in a local hospital ever since.

Read: Wild Monkeys Create Stone Tools Unintentionally, Diluting Trait Considered Uniquely Human

Authorities say they don’t know who she is or where she came from, and since the girl doesn’t speak or write, authorities haven’t been able to learn anything about her identity. The Times reported the girl is eight years old, although it’s unclear how authorities could know the girl’s age. 

A chief medical officer at the hospital said the girl “eats and walks like animals, and runs away on seeing humans.”

“She has marks on her skin, looks like she has lived with animals for quite some time. Now she is better and healthy, showing improvement,” DK Singh  told Scroll.in

Doctors told the Times she is often violent and is scared by the presence of other humans. Her caretakers have taught the girl to walk, but she still often uses all fours to move around. Local reports did not indicate if hospital staff had given the girl a name. 

The girl is not the first documented case of a child living with monkeys. A South African boy eventually named Saturday Mthiyane was found in 1987 living with monkeys in Sundumbili. A decade later he still walked on all fours and hadn’t developed language skills. British woman Marina Chapman claimed to have lived with monkeys from the ages of four to nine in the Columbian jungle and later wrote a book about the experience. A disabled Nigerian boy named Bello was found living with chimpanzees in 1996 after he had been abandoned by his family. 

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