In January, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a group of woodcutters stumbled across a naked young girl surrounded by a pack of monkeys. The men tried to rescue her, but the monkeys would not let them get near her, and the girl acted as if she was terrified of them.
Fearing for the girl’s safety, the woodcutters alerted local police, who were able to rescue the child and get her to a hospital. Based on the girl’s behavior, hospital authorities believed that the girl might have been raised by monkeys in the forest. She would only walk on all fours, and she ate her food off the floor with her mouth the way animals do. She also could not speak and did not appear to be able to understand what was being said to her.
The police immediately began searching through missing children reports to determine who the child was. As of yet, they have not discovered the girl’s identity.
As if this story is not bad enough, it has recently taken a darker turn. Doctors now believe that the girl was not raised by monkeys and that she was actually abandoned in the wilderness by her family. They have determined that she has severe mental and physical disabilities, and they are fairly certain she was left in the forest quite recently.
They have determined that the girl is around eight or nine years old, and that she has never had the ability to speak. Soon after her rescue, she began showing signs of improvement. She quickly ceased walking on all fours, and made rapid progress in her feeding abilities. This quick improvement makes it evident to her doctors that she was not raised in the forest. In addition, authorities doubt that she could have lived long in the wilderness without being discovered, due to the large numbers of CCTV cameras placed in the forest.
It is relatively common for poor families to abandon disabled children, especially girls. There is very little state support given to families with special needs children, leading to these high rates of child abandonment. Fortunately for this child, she was left near a road, which ensured her quick discovery. She will reportedly be moved now to a nearby children’s home, where she will receive proper care.