In a news story that bears unbelievable similarities to The Jungle Book, a girl around eight years old was discovered in a forest in India where she had been living "comfortably" with a tribe of monkeys, the Times of India reports. Police reportedly rescued the "Mowgli girl" from a tribe of monkeys after she was spotted by a park ranger in the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.
"She was terrified of us, she could not speak or hear properly," one of her rescuers, Inspector Ram Avtar, told Cover Asia Press in a statement, according to the New York Post. "She was surrounded by three monkeys. She had wounds on her body, specifically on her elbow and one on her leg. She was wearing clothes but not very dirty." He added that she "appeared to be abandoned by her family."
The Times reports that she cannot speak or understand any (human) language, is scared of humans, and often behaves violently towards the doctors trying to treat her (like any human who had been living with monkeys would). When they first found her, she would swing her arms and walk on four legs, according to reports.
Since her rescue, the girl has been in a district hospital for two months, where she is being taught to communicate and walk on two legs, Cover Asia Press reports. Dr. Dinesh Singh, who is treating her, said she is recovering slowly and "now walks like a human," but has tried to run away from the hospital. And can you blame her?
I can't imagine what's more traumatic—living in the forest with monkeys, or being plucked from your monkey family by weird hairless creatures who speak a foreign language and force you to walk on two legs.
Lots of media sources are calling her "Mowgli girl" after the young protagonist in The Jungle Book who lived in the forest among animals, quite happily aside from a few mishaps.
I hope this little girl will find her way into a loving family. And I also hope she learns to speak, and eventually write, her story. That'll be one hell of a memoir.