young girl found living with monkeys
Photo: AP

Young Girl Found Living Amongst Monkeys

“The way she moved, even her eating habits, were like that of an animal.”

That’s what chief medical superintendent Dr. DK Singh at Bahraich District Hospital in Bahraich, India, had to say about a young girl, believed to be between 10 and 12 years old, that was discovered roughly two months ago living in a forest among monkeys.

New Indian Express reports that Bahraich police were on a routine patrol in the woods of Katarniyaghat earlier this year when they spotted a small girl “playing among apes.” Police sub-inspector Suresh Yadav adds that when the party of officers he was leading tried to rescue her from the pack of simians that surrounded her, they were met with serious resistance and were even attacked by monkeys that “pounced” on him and his officers as they tried to retrieve the girl, whom police thought was in danger at the time of their discovery. Even after properly “rescuing” the girl from the woods, the cops were pursued by the animals as they left in their vehicles.

The young girl, who was discovered unclothed, was immediately admitted to Bahraich District Hospital, where doctors immediately had, and continue to have, trouble examining the girl and running routine exams on her. “She behaves like an ape and screams loudly if doctors try to reach out to her,” said Singh. Authorities have not yet successfully located the girl’s parents or any other members of her family, and the fact that she’s unable to properly communicate or understand written language is a sizable obstacle.

It’s unclear exactly how long the girl was in the forest living out the premise of Rudyard Kipling’s classic Jungle Book, but police superintendent Dinesh Tripathi has an idea: “From her behavior, it appears that she had been with the monkeys since birth.”

This behavior, according to NIE, includes screeching any time a doctor approaches, growling at people peering at her, or using her mouth to spread food across her hospital bed, presumably to examine it before she consumes it—without using her hands, of course.

At this time, doctors and medical staff don’t seem to have any idea when the girl will be more receptive to care, but at least they have a recent precedent to study. A British woman named Marina Chapman famously released a memoir, The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of the Girl Raised by Monkeys, in 2013. In it, she tells the story of when she was kidnapped for ransom from her home when she was just 5, and left for dead in a jungle in Colombia, her native country. Chapman says she lived among capuchin monkeys for roughly five years. A National Geographic documentary was also created around Chapman’s unique story. She was eventually able to adapt to the human world—when The Guardian interviewed her in 2013 she was living in Yorkshire, had a “wonderful” speaking voice and a memory that was intact enough for her to reminisce over the specifics of her jungle life.

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