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Meet the Real-Life Mowgli: 8-Year-Old Feral Girl Lives With Monkeys in a Forest in India

Apr 07, 2017 11:44 AM EDT
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Local woodcutters alerted the police in India of an eight-year-old girl spotted living with a group of monkeys in the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary last January.

Dubbed the "Mowgli-girl" because of her story's uncanny resemblance to the Jungle Book, this mysterious child was found to be unable to speak, wearing no clothes and abnormally thin and weak, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The girl's behavior was similar to an animal, including walking or running on her arms and legs. D.K. Singh, chief medical superintendent of the hospital, said that Mowgli-girl ate food off the floor using her mouth when she first arrived. In the beginning, she ran away from people from fear and even turned violent.

Now, after undergoing therapy, Mowgli-girl has started walking normally and learned to eat using her hands. While she's still unable to speak the language, Singh explained that she can now understand people when they talk to her and even responds by smiling.

Police officer Dinesh Tripathi revealed that woodcutters first spotted the girl, alerting the police of her presence. Naked and at ease with the monkeys, the group of woodcutters attempted to rescue her but got chased away by the animals.

A police officer -- identified as Suresh Yadav by the Times of India -- successfully rescued Mowgli-girl, bringing her straight to the government-run hospital in the town of Bahraich in Utar Pradesh, northern India.

It's unknown how the girl came about living with monkeys and how long ago she began, but the doctor surmised that it's been a while.

"The girl was found two months back, eats and walks like animals, and runs away on seeing humans," Singh told Scroll.in. "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."

Police are trying to determine the identity of the girl from past reports of missing children. While Mowgli-girl is not yet identified, she will be sent to a home for juveniles.

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