An 8-year-old child has been dubbed “Mowgli Girl” after she was found living with monkeys in the jungle of India’s Uttar Pradesh state. The girl is believed to have been separated from society for a long time, as she can neither speak or understand any language, and gets scared at the sight of other people.
In Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”, Mowgli was brought up by a pack of wolves, but it the case of this real-life, feminine version of the jungle boy, it was monkeys who provided the care and protection that ensured her survival. Two months ago, Suresh Yadav, a sub-inspector with the Uttar Pradesh police department, was patrolling the Motipur range of Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, in the jungle of Bahraich, when he spotted a young girl surrounded by monkeys.
Photo: Times of India
Yadav later reported that when he attempted to approach the girl and investigate what she was doing so deep in the wilderness, the monkeys and the girl started screeching at him. The policeman was eventually able to drive away the primates and take the girl to a local hospital, where she has remained since.
The Hindustan Times reports a slightly different version of events. The girl had apparently been spotted by villagers living on the outskirts of the jungle, who later notified police about her. She was rescued by a crew of policemen, but the part about the monkeys putting up a fierce fight is confirmed by the Indian paper.
Photo: Times of India
The girl was found naked with a a mop of matted hair, claw-like nails and her skin tanned by excessive exposure to the elements.
The Times of India recently reported that Mowgli Girl can neither speak or understand any human language, and doctors treating her claim that she is uncomfortable in the company of other humans and often has bouts of anger.
Photo: video screengrab
Despite being taught how to walk on her legs, she sometimes still gets down on all fours and moves around like an animal. She also eats like one too, using only her mouth.
“The girl was found two months back, she eats and walks like animals and runs away on seeing humans. She has marks on her skin and looks like she has lived with animals for quite some time,” Chief Medical officer DK Singh told ANI. “Now she showing signs of improvement and is better and healthy.”
Authorities in Uttar Pradesh are now actively trying to find out who Mowgli Girl really is, where she came from and how long she had been living in the jungle for.
UPDATE (April 10th): According to The Guardian, earlier news reports comparing this girl to the Jungle Book’s Mowgli are exaggerated, and that the story is actually much darker. Authorities and doctors are now saying that she was probably abandoned by her family because of mental and physical disabilities.
“I think the family members of this girl had been aware that she is not able to speak, and they may have abandoned her near the forest road,” JP Singh of Uttar Pradesh police said. “If she was living with monkeys it would have been for a few days only, not for a long time.”