'Feral dog' child found in Russia
STUNNED cops find girl who walks on all fours, barks like a dog and laps up food
WE know there are some people out there who wouldn't win any awards for Parent of the Year, but surely being raised by humans has to be better than being brought up by a beast?
This week, a five-year-old girl was found in a flat in the Siberian city of Chita, dressed in filthy clothes, barking at people and 'displaying all the attributes of an animal.'
The girl, known only as 'Natasha', had been shut up in a flat for five years with only cats and dogs for company. As a result, she'd learned their behaviour and could not even speak her native language.
She has now been taken into care, but still exhibits dog-like behaviour, preferring to 'lap' her food from a plate rather than using cutlery, and jumping up against the door when her carers leave the room.
She understands Russian but can't speak it, and can only communicate through a series of barks. Horrifying as this sounds - and police are now searching for her parents to bring charges of child abuse against them - Natasha is not the only child to have grown up amongst animals after being abandoned to their care.
Another Russian child, Andrei Tolstyk, was discovered in 2004, aged seven, after being abandoned by his parents when he was only three months old.
He'd survived with the help of his family's guard dog, who looked after him as if he was a puppy. As a result, he walked on all fours, bit people who came near him, and sniffed at his food before eating it.
There are some even stranger cases out there. In 1991, John Ssebunya became known as the Ugandan 'Monkey Boy' after a villager came across a little boy roaming with a pack of monkeys. His knees were almost white because he'd been walking on them.
John had fled to the jungle when he was only three after his father murdered his mother, and lived wild there for three years after being befriended by five monkeys who taught him to forage for food and climb trees.
After being adopted by a couple who ran an orphanage, he was studied by experts who wanted to see how he interacted with monkeys. When left with a group of them, he avoided eye contact and approached them from the side with open palms, the way monkeys do.
In 1920, two little girls were spotted with a pack of adult wolves in remote countryside in Midnapore, India.
They were tracked down to a wolf den, where they were found with a female wolf and two cubs. When they were taken to an orphanage, a missionary named them Kamala and Amala.
Kamala was thought to be five or six, and Amala around two years old. They ate raw meat like dogs, howled but couldn't talk, had exceptional night vision, and walked on all fours.
And at the end of the 19th century, a young girl was found in a bear's den in Jalpaiguri, in the east of India.
No-one is sure how she came to be there, but she had been raised by a she-bear and had many bear-like traits.
She tried to bite and scratch people, growled, and moved like a bear, using her arms as well as her legs. When she was taken to a hospital, she learned to walk, eat and drink like a human being.
In most cases, people do try to rehabilitate feral children, and hope to teach them how to get back to their human roots.
How much they learn depends on how much they knew before they were abandoned and how old they are. By LAURA MILLAR @The Sun
Click to view image: '68c25b8782ed-natashamain_814485a.jpg'