14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Categories: Children | Photo project

"Brutalized Children" is one of the most powerful photo projects of Julia Fullerton-Batten (Julia Fullerton-Batten). This is a series of dark but atmospheric productions inspired by real-life stories about children growing up in the wild or among animals. As Julia found out in the course of her research, there are many documented cases of feral children in the world. Lost, lost, and for the most part simply abandoned by their parents, children quickly forgot their essence and adapted to the new conditions of life.

"There are only two scenarios: in the first case, the child remains in the forest, and in the second, the child actually stays at home, but because of the careless attitude of adults and constant humiliation, he feels more comfortable among the animals," the photographer explains. 

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Lobo, the wolf girl (Mexico, 1845-1852)

In 1845, a strange incident occurred in Mexico: a herd of goats grazing in a meadow was attacked by a pack of wolves, along with a little girl running on all fours. She was caught, but after a while she ran away. In 1852, a girl was seen in the woods feeding two cubs. When people approached, she immediately ran away. She was never seen again.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Oksana Malaya, raised by dogs (Ukraine, 1991)

Eight-year-old Oksana was found in a doghouse in 1991. She lived with the dogs for six years. The girl's parents were alcoholics. One night, they just left it on the street. In search of warmth, a three-year-old girl crawled into a doghouse and fell asleep, curled up. Over time, Oksana began to behave more like a dog than a human child. It moved on all fours, breathing with its tongue out, baring its teeth, and barking. The girl, deprived of human communication, knew only two words: "yes" and "no".

Intensive therapy helped Oksana master basic social and verbal skills, but at the level of a five-year-old child. Now Oksana is 34 years old. She lives and works in a boarding house in Odessa, where she takes care of cows and horses.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Shamdeo (India, 1972)

Shamdeo, a boy about four years old, was discovered in 1972 in a forest in India, where he was playing with cubs. His skin was very dark, his teeth were pointed, his nails were long and curled, his hair was matted, and there were calluses on his palms, elbows, and knees. He liked to hunt birds. In 1978, he was taken to the Mother Teresa Home for the Destitute and Dying in Lucknow, where he was given the name Pascal. The nuns were never able to completely wean the child from raw meat, he did not speak, but he learned sign language. He died in February 1985.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Vanya, the bird boy (Russia, 2008)

Vanya, a seven-year-old boy, was found in a small two-room apartment where he lived with his 31-year-old mother. He was locked in a room filled with bird cages, surrounded by bird food and their droppings. The mother treated her son like another pet. She never beat him, never punished him, never left him without food, but she never spoke to him. The boy communicated only with birds. He could not speak, only chirped and waved his arms like a bird when he did not understand something. The woman was deprived of her parental rights, and the boy was sent to a psychological assistance center for rehabilitation.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Marina Chapman (Columbia, 1959)

Five-year-old Marina was abducted in 1954 from a South American village and abandoned in the jungle. She lived with a family of small capuchin monkeys for five years before being discovered by hunters. The girl ate berries, roots, and bananas that the monkeys dropped, slept in the hollows of trees, and moved on all fours. Once Marina received severe food poisoning. An old monkey took her to a pool of water and made her drink, and she threw up and got better. Having made friends with young monkeys, Marina learned to climb trees and understand what can be eaten and what is not.

By the time the hunters found her, she had completely forgotten the human language. Marina was sold to a brothel, but managed to escape. So she was on the street. Then the girl was sheltered by a mafia family. They treated her like a slave. A good neighbor saved her and sent her to Bogota to live with his daughter and son-in-law. They adopted Marina, despite the fact that they already had five children of their own.

In 1977, the family together with Marina moved to Bradford (Yorkshire, UK), where the woman lives to this day. She married and had several children.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Madina (Russia, 2013)

Madina lived with the dogs from birth until she was three years old. She ate, played, and slept with the dogs. According to social workers, Madina moved on all fours and growled like a dog.

Madina's father left her just after she was born. Her 23-year-old mother drank and was often too drunk to take care of the child, drinking buddies constantly gathered in the house. Once Madina ran away to the playground when her mother was angry with her once again, but the other children did not accept her because she could not speak and behaved aggressively. In the end, the baby found friends among the dogs and stayed with them.

Doctors reported that Madina is mentally and physically healthy, despite what she had to experience.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Gini (USA, 1970)

When Jeanie was young, her father thought she was mentally retarded. He kept the girl locked up in a small room, where she lived in complete isolation for more than a decade and slept in a chair. In 1970, the guardianship authorities found Jeanie. According to the social worker, the girl, despite the fact that she was already thirteen years old at that time, was not accustomed to the toilet, could not speak, constantly spat and scratched. Jeanie moved sideways, jumping like a rabbit. During the following years, it became the subject of research.

After a while, Jeanie learned a few simple words, but still couldn't form sentences. Later, the girl was taught to read and developed basic social skills. She lived with her mother for a while, then spent several years in various orphanages, where she was beaten and abused. Jeanie was forced to return to the children's hospital. It turned out that she had stopped talking again. Funding for Gini's treatment was discontinued in 1974. Nothing was known about the girl's fate until a private detective took over the case. He found Jeanie in a private facility for mentally handicapped adults.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

A boy raised by a female leopard (India, 1915)

In 1915, a hunter who killed a female leopard discovered that she had three cubs left, including a five-year-old boy. The child was returned to his family, who lived in a small Indian village. When he was first found, he could only squat and run on all fours, as fast as an adult can run on two legs. His knees were covered with calluses, and his fingers were bent almost at right angles to the palm and covered with hard, horny skin. He bit and attacked anyone who came near him, trying to catch chickens and eat them raw. He could not speak, but only moaned and growled.

Later, he learned to speak and walk on two legs. Unfortunately, the boy gradually became blind from cataracts. But this was not caused by his life in the jungle, the disease turned out to be hereditary.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Sujit Kumar, Chicken boy (Fiji, 1978)

As a child, Sujit was a very naughty boy. His parents decided to lock him in a chicken coop. Soon his mother committed suicide, and his father was killed. Sujit's grandfather took care of the boy, but still did not let him out of the chicken coop. Sujit was eight years old when he was found in the middle of the road, clucking and waving his arms like wings. He pecked at his food, perched on a chair like a chicken on a perch, and made clicking noises with his tongue.

Sujit was eventually placed in a nursing home. But because he was aggressive, he was tied to the bed with sheets for twenty years. Now in his forties, he is being cared for by Elizabeth Clayton, who has taken him out of a nursing home.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Kamala and Amala (India, 1920)

Eight-year-old Kamala and twelve-year-old Amala were found in 1920 in a den of wolves. This is one of the most famous cases of feral children. The girls were discovered by the Reverend Joseph Singh, who was watching the cave where they appeared from a tree. When the wolves went hunting, he saw two figures coming out of the cave. The girls looked terrible, moved on all fours, and didn't look like people.

After they were first caught, the girls slept curled up, growled, tore off their clothes, ate nothing but raw meat, and occasionally howled. They had deformed tendons and joints in their arms and legs, and their limbs were half-bent. They absolutely did not want to communicate with people. But their hearing, sight, and sense of smell were exceptional.

Amala died the year after they were found. Kamala eventually learned to walk upright and speak a few words, but died in 1929 of kidney failure at the age of 17.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Ivan Mishukov (Russia, 1998)

Vanya has always been a burden to his family and ran away when he was four years old. He lived on the street, begged. As a result, the boy joined a pack of wild dogs and shared with them the food that he could get. The dogs began to trust him, and eventually he became something of a pack leader. So he lived for two years, but then he was caught and sent to an orphanage. Even living on the street among the dogs, Ivan used speech when begging. This, and the fact that he was only wild for a short time, hastened his recovery. Now he lives a normal life.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Marie Angelique Memmy le Blanc, wild girl from Champagne (France, 1731)

Memmi's story took place in the 18th century, but is surprisingly well documented. In ten years, Memmy had walked thousands of miles alone through the forests of France. She ate birds, frogs, and fish, leaves, branches, and roots. Armed with a baton, she fought wild animals, mostly wolves.

She was found at the age of 19, the girl was black, hairy and with long claws. When Memmi knelt down to drink water, she repeatedly cast sidelong glances, in a state of constant alert. She could not speak and communicated only by screeching and shouting. She ate rabbits and birds raw. She hadn't eaten cooked food in years. Her fingers were twisted as she used them to dig up roots and cling, jumping from tree to tree like a monkey.

Memmy's recovery from her ten-year stint in the wild was going very well. She had rich patrons, and learned to read, write, and speak French fluently. In 1747, she became a nun for a time, but after that she returned to normal life. In 1755, Memmi published her biography. She died, as a well-to-do lady, in Paris in 1775, at the age of 63.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

John Ssebunya, the Monkey Boy (Uganda, 1991)

John ran away from home in 1988 when he was just three years old. He had unwittingly witnessed his father kill his mother. John ran away to the jungle, where he lived among the monkeys. He was caught in 1991 and placed in a shelter. When the boy was washed, it turned out that his entire body was covered with hair. His food consisted mainly of roots, nuts, sweet potatoes, and cassava, and in the jungle he suffered from acute intestinal infections and parasites. Doctors found huge worms about 50 centimeters long in his intestines. The child had calluses on his feet, like monkeys.

John learned to speak and mastered the necessary social skills. He had a beautiful singing voice. Now he performs with the Pearl of Africa choir and goes on tour around the world.

14 real stories about mowgli children in a beautiful photo project

Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron (France, 1797)

Victor was caught in the woods of Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance (southern France) in January 1800. He looked to be about twelve years old. His body was covered in scars. He couldn't talk. It is believed that Victor spent seven years of his life in the wild.

The biology professor decided to test Victor's resistance to the cold by leaving him out in the cold on a snowy day. This did not affect the boy's physical condition in any way. Other professors tried to teach him to speak and behave "normally", but to no avail. He was eventually taken to an institute in Paris and died at the age of forty.

Keywords: Photographer | Kids | Jungle | Photo project | Parenting | Mowgli

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