Girl Found Living With Monkeys, Walking on All Fours

Police are reviewing missing children cases in an attempt to identify her
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2017 6:26 AM CDT
Girl Found Living With Monkeys in Indian Forest
A young Indian girl believed to have been living with monkeys is seen in Bahraich on Thursday.   (KK Productions, via AP)

Unbelievable as it may sound, authorities in northern India say they've rescued a young girl who appears to have been living with monkeys. Villagers first spotted the naked child looking "very comfortable in the company of monkeys" in January in the Katarniya Ghat forest range, a police officer tells the AP. They tried to approach but the monkeys chased them away, reports the Deccan Chronicle. Police were later able to seize the girl, though monkeys also chased an officer as he "sped away with her in his police car," the officer says. The "highly aggressive" girl was then taken to a hospital in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, where doctors say she initially walked on all fours, ate off the floor with her mouth, and ran from humans, per the Telegraph. She's described as being wound-covered, with long hair and nails.

She is now walking upright, eating with her hands, and responding to humans, authorities say. She doesn't appear to speak any language (the Telegraph says she makes only "unintelligible muttering[s]"), but is warming up to her doctors and nurses—a possible sign that she retains memories of living with humans, a doctor says. A psychological assessment also indicates she likely had human contact before her time with monkeys, according to doctors. Though media outlets are calling the child Mowgli in a nod to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, doctors have given her the name of Durga, after the Hindu warrior goddess. Doctors believe she is 8 to 12 years old. Officials say they're reviewing missing child cases in the hope of identifying the girl, per the BBC. (Kipling admitted something about his book in this 1895 letter.)

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