A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild

Categories: Animals | History | Nature | World |

Everyone knows the story of a little boy Mowgli, who once found himself alone in the middle of the jungle and was brought up in a family of wolves. And although this is just a fairy tale, it turns out that in real life such cases are also not uncommon.

In this article, we want to tell you about eight people who managed to live among wild animals for a certain time.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild

John Ssebunya

The story of this guy from Uganda, perhaps more than all the others, resembles the plot of the famous Kipling story.

John Ssebunya found himself alone in the middle of the forest when he was less than three years old. The boy was born at the height of the civil war, when the entire population of Uganda suffered from cruelty and human rights violations. In 1988, his father killed his wife during another quarrel, but the 4-year-old Ssebunya managed to escape to the forest.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild
By a lucky chance, John fell into a pack of monkeys, which sheltered him and raised him as one of their cubs. Later, the man told how his acquaintance with primates took place. For several days, the monkeys circled around him, sniffed and examined him, and then began to bring him nuts and roots.

Only three years later, the boy was found by rescuers. He was absolutely wild, his body and face were covered with long hair, his knees were almost white from constantly crawling on them. When the boy was taken to the orphanage, he was in a terrible condition. One-and-a-half-meter tapeworms were extracted from his intestines. Doctors say that if he had lived with the monkeys a little longer, he would have died soon.

Tippi Degre

Tippi Degre is called the "modern Mowgli". Now the girl is 29 years old, but she spent her entire childhood in Namibia, among wild animals and aborigines. Her parents are famous French photographers, "hunters" for fascinating pictures of nature.

Tippi's family constantly traveled, including to the countries of Africa. This allowed the girl to make friends with wild animals: zebras, ostriches, leopards, tigers, giant frogs and chameleons, meerkats, cheetahs and even lions.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild
The girl's parents Alain Degre and Sylvia Robert captured her childhood on film and released a photo book called "Tippy in Africa", which brought her wide fame.

Now Tippi is studying cinema at The University of Paris III is the New Sorbonne and makes documentaries about wildlife. But the whole world remembers it precisely because of the amazing photos with animals, which take your breath away from viewing!

Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja

When Marcos was three years old, his mother died, and his father sold him to a local farmer to help him farm in the mountains. The farmer was old and soon died, and the boy was left completely alone in an unfamiliar area. The only friends of the guy were snakes, goats and wolves. He had a particularly close relationship with the latter.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild
One day, Marcus hid in a cave where a wolf lived with small cubs. At first, the animals shunned the child, but soon they took him into their family. It was they who taught him to survive in the wild, showed him which mushrooms and berries can be eaten and which can not, shared their prey with him, taught him to hunt small game.

When, after 12 years of such a life, Marcos was discovered by Spanish gendarmes, he practically did not speak — instead, the boy imitated the sounds made by animals. He was forcibly returned to his father so that he could identify his son. The only thing the man asked was: "Where's your jacket?".

Returning to normal life was not easy for Marcos. The man was learning to live anew and for many years dreamed of escaping back to the mountains. Now he is well over 70, he lives in a small house that looks like a cave, plays guitar and piano, works part-time in a local bar.

Timothy Treadwell

American Timothy Treadwell is sometimes called the "grizzly man". All because this man has lived side by side with bears for 13 years! Timothy's parents said that before he was a teenager, he was an ordinary guy, but after moving and going to college, his life changed dramatically. The guy got hooked on drugs and alcohol, and in 1980 he suffered a fatal overdose.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild
It was then that he realized that he had to devote his life to something important, for example, studying wildlife. Treadwell was particularly interested in bears. For the entire summer season, the man went to live in the Katmai National Park, where he was in close contact with brown predators, despite the possible risks.

Unfortunately, ironically, it was from the paws of a bear that Timothy Treadwell died. This happened in October 2003. The bodies of a naturalist and his girlfriend were found in a camp in Katmai Park. They were dismembered and half-gnawed. Later it turned out that the lovers were victims of two grizzly bears. This case of killing a man by a bear was the first in the entire 85-year history of the national park.

Sean Ellis

Sean Ellis is a well-known British researcher who spent different periods of his life among wild animals. In order to study the wolves more closely, the man settled in their pack and for a while even became its leader. By the way, once a Georgian scientist Jason Konstantinovich Badridze ventured into a similar experiment. You can read about his fascinating experience of living with wolves here.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild
However, Ellis has lived with wolves much longer, thanks to which he "understands" the howl of a wolf, knows "by sight" every individual, knows how to hunt and perfectly imitates other wolf habits.

Once the zoologist even had a house on the outskirts of Combe Martin Park, which allowed him to spend even more time with his wild "brothers". The man said that with the help of his communication skills with wolves, he tried to protect them from contact with other people, thereby protecting them from each other.

Diane Fossey

Diane Fossey was one of the greatest primatologists. This woman understood the behavior of gorillas better than anyone else, was able to "communicate" with them, distinguished their emotions and even made friends with some primates. This proximity was facilitated by the long-term residence of Fossey among the great apes in Congo and Rwanda. In total, Diane spent about 18 years in the wild.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild
In 1983, Fossey published a book called "Gorillas in the Fog", in which she described in detail the life of monkeys and called for the fight for the protection of endangered species of animals.

A few years later, a woman was brutally murdered in her bungalow near the Karisok Research Center, Rwanda. The case was never solved, but there are suggestions that poachers who hunted gorillas killed her.

Marina Chapman

When Marina was five years old, unknown people kidnapped her from her home and threw her into the depths of the Colombian jungle, from where the girl, despite all her efforts, could not get out. The only thing left for her was to join a pack of capuchin monkeys who mistook a small child for one of their own.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild

She spent the next few years with monkeys until she was discovered by local hunters. By that time, the girl had already forgotten her native speech and moved like a primate. Marina was sold to a brothel, and a little later she became a slave of a mafia family. The girl was saved from a difficult situation by neighbors — when Chapman was 14 years old, she was adopted by a woman named Maria. After that, the girl began to live a normal life, but her path to full recovery continues to this day. At the moment, the woman is about 70 years old.

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall is one of the most famous researchers on the planet, who was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her scientific achievements. Starting in the 1960s, Goodall worked at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.

A friend among strangers: 8 real stories of people who managed to survive in the wild
The scientist lived for a long time in the society of monkeys, studied their behavior, was able to discover many unknown facts about chimpanzees and was even officially accepted into their family.

Thanks to Goodall, the world has learned that they have a much more developed intelligence than previously thought. The woman proved that these animals are able to use improvised tools as tools and can even improve them for high-quality work.

Keywords: Survival | Jungle | Wildlife | Wild animals | Animals | Forest | People | Predators