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More than 150 years ago, Sir Francis Galton coined the phrase "nature versus nurture." At that time, the scientist investigated what more affects the psychological development of a person - whether his heredity or the environment in which he is. It was about behavior, habits, intelligence, personality, sexuality, aggression, and so on.
Those who believe in upbringing believe that people become so precisely because of everything that happens directly around them, the way they are taught. Opponents assert that we are all children of nature and act according to the genetic predisposition and animal instinct (according to Freud) inherent in us.
What do you think about this? Are we a product of our environment, genes, or both? Wild children are an important aspect in this complex discussion. The term "wild children" is understood as a young man who was abandoned or found himself in a situation where he was deprived of any kind of interaction with civilization.
As a result, such children usually find themselves among animals. They often lack social skills, even such a simple skill as speaking, they do not always acquire. Wild children learn from what they see around them, but the conditions, like the paths of cognition, differ markedly from normal conditions.
History knows a few pretty revealing stories of "wild children". These are quite real people who can already be called by their names, and not by nicknames given by the sensational media.
Bello from Nigeria. This boy was nicknamed the Nigerian chimpanzee boy in the press. He was found in 1996 in the jungle of this country. No one can say with certainty the exact age of Bello, it is assumed that at the time of the discovery he was about 2 years old. The boy found in the forest was physically and mentally disabled. This is due to the abandonment of his parents at the age of six months. This practice is very common in the Fulani tribe. At such a young age, the boy, of course, could not stand up for himself. But some chimpanzees who lived in the forest took him into their tribe. As a result, the boy adopted many of the behavioral traits of the monkeys, in particular their walking. When Bello was found in Falgore Forest, this discovery was not widely reported. But in 2002, a popular newspaper found a boy in a boarding school for abandoned children in Kano, South Africa. The news about Bello quickly became sensational. He himself often fought with other children, threw objects, and jumped and ran at night. After six years, the boy had already become much calmer, although he retained many of the chimpanzee demeanors. As a result, Bello was never able to learn to speak, despite constant communication with other children and people in his home. In 2005, the boy died altogether for unknown reasons.
Vanya Yudin. One of the most recent cases of a wild child was Vanya Yudin. News agencies nicknamed him "Russian Bird Boy". When social workers in Volgograd found him in 2008, he was 6 years old and could not speak. The child's mother abandoned him. The boy could hardly do anything, he just chirped and folded his arms like wings. He learned this from his parrot friends. Although Vanya did not suffer physically, he was not capable of human contact. His demeanors became birdlike, he expressed emotions by waving his hands. Vanya spent a long time in a two-room apartment, in which dozens of his mother's birds were kept in cages. One of the social workers who discovered Vanya, Galina Volskaya, said that the boy lived with his mother, but she never spoke to him, treating him like another feathered pet. When people tried to talk to Vanya, he only chirped back. Now the boy has been transferred to a psychological aid center, where, with the help of specialists, they are trying to return him to normal life. The lack of human relationships brought the child to another world.
Dean Sanichar. One of the best-known oldest cases of a wild child is Dina, nicknamed the "Indian Wolf Boy". When hunters found him in 1867, the boy was supposedly 6 years old. People noticed a pack of wolves that was entering the cave, and with it a man running on four legs. The men smoked the wolves out of the shelter, entering there, they found Dean. The boy was found in the jungle of Bulandshahr, and an attempt was made to treat him. True, at that time there were simply no effective means and techniques. Nevertheless, people tried to communicate with him in order to rid Dean of his animal demeanor. After all, he ate raw meat, tore off his clothes and ate from the ground. And not from dishes. After some time, Dean was taught to eat cooked meat, but he never learned to speak.
Rochom Piengeng. When this girl was 8 years old, she and her sister herded a buffalo in the Cambodian jungle and got lost. The parents had already completely abandoned the hope of seeing their daughters. 18 years later, on January 23, 2007, a naked girl emerged from the jungle in the Ratanakiri province. She secretly stole food from one of the peasants. He, discovering the loss, went hunting for a thief and found a wild man in the forest. The police were immediately called. One of the families in the village recognized the girl as her missing daughter, Rochom Piengeng. After all, there was a distinctive scar on her back. But the girl's sister was never found. She herself miraculously managed to survive in a dense jungle. After getting to the people, Roch worked hard to try to bring them back to normal living conditions. Soon she was able to pronounce some words: "mother", "father", "abdominal pain". The psychologist said that the girl tried to say other words, however, it was impossible to understand them. When Rochom was hungry, she just pointed at her mouth. The girl crawled on the ground more often, refusing to wear clothes. As a result, she was never able to adapt to human culture, escaping back to the forest in May 2010. Since then, nothing is known about the whereabouts of the wild girl. At times, conflicting rumors appear. They say, for example, that she was seen in a cesspool of one of the village toilets.
Traian Kaldarar. This famous case of a wild child also happened recently. Trajan, found in 2002, is more often called the Romanian boy-dog or "Mowgli" after the literary character. He lived apart from his family for 3 years, starting at the age of 4. When Trajan was found at the age of 7, he looked 3 years old. This is due to extremely poor nutrition. Trajan's mother fell victim to a series of violence from her husband. It is believed that the child could not stand such an atmosphere and ran away from home. Trajan lived in the wilderness until he was found near the Romanian Brasov. The boy found his shelter in a large cardboard box covered with leaves on top. When doctors examined Trajan, he was diagnosed with a severe case of rickets, infection of wounds and poor circulation. Those who found the boy believe that stray dogs helped him survive. Found it by accident. The shepherd Ioan Manolescu's car broke down and he had to walk through the pastures. It was there that the man found the boy. The remains of a dog were found nearby. It is assumed that Trajan ate it to stay alive. When the wild boy was taken into care, he refused to sleep on the bed, climbing under it. Trajan was also constantly hungry. When he was hungry, he became extremely irritable. After eating, the boy went to bed almost immediately. In 2007, it was reported that Troyan adapted well under the supervision of his grandfather and even studied in the 3rd grade of the school. When the boy was asked about his educational institution, he said: "I like it here - there are coloring books, games, you can learn to read and write. The school has toys, cars, teddy bears and they feed very well."
John Ssebunya. This man was nicknamed "Ugandan Monkey Boy". He ran away from home at the age of three when he witnessed the murder of his mother by his own father. Impressed by what he saw, John fled to the Ugandan jungle, where he is believed to have come under the tutelage of African green monkeys. At that time, the boy was only 3 years old. In 1991, John was seen hiding in a tree by a woman named Millie, his tribe. After that, she called for help from other villagers. As in other similar cases, John resisted his capture in every possible way. In this he was helped by the monkeys, who began to throw sticks at people, protecting their "fellow tribesman". Nevertheless, John was caught and taken to the village. There he was washed, but his whole body was covered with hair. This disease is called hypertrichosis. It manifests itself in the presence of excessive hairiness in those parts of the body where there is no usual such cover. Living in the wild, John also contracted intestinal worms. Some of them are said to have been nearly half a meter in length when removed from his body. The foundling was full of injuries, mostly from trying to walk like a monkey. John was transferred to Molly and Paul Waswa, to their orphanage. The couple even taught the boy to speak, although many argue that he already knew how to do it before running away from home. John was also taught to sing. Today he is on tour with the Pearls of Africa children's choir and has practically got rid of his animal behavior.
Kamala and Amala. The story of these two Indian young girls is one of the most famous cases of wild children. When in 1920 they were found in a lair of wolves in the Indian Midnapor, Kamala was 8 years old, and Amala was 1.5 years old. The girls spent most of their lives outside of people. Despite the fact that they were found together, researchers question the fact that they were sisters. After all, they had a rather large age difference. It's just that they were left in about the same place at different times. The girls were discovered after mystical stories spread throughout the village about the figures of two ghostly spirits who were led along with wolves from the jungle of Bengal. The locals were so afraid of the spirits that they called the priest to find out the whole truth. The Reverend Joseph hid in a tree above the cave and waited for the wolves. When they left, he looked into their lair and saw two hunched over people. He wrote down everything he saw. The priest described the children as "disgusting from head to toe." The girls ran on all fours and had no signs of being human. Eventually, Joseph took the wild children with him, although he had no experience in adapting them. The girls slept together, curled up in a ball, tore off their clothes, ate nothing but raw meat, and howled. Their habits were reminiscent of animals. They opened their mouths, sticking out their tongues like wolves. Physically, the children were deformed - the tendons and joints on the hands became shorter, making it impossible to walk upright. Kamala and Amala had no interest in communicating with people. Some of their senses are said to have worked flawlessly. This applies not only to hearing and vision, but also to a sharp sense of smell. Like most Mowgli children, this couple in every possible way sought to return to their former life, surrounded by people feeling unhappy. Soon Amala died, this event caused deep mourning for her friend, Kamala even cried for the first time. The Reverend Joseph thought that she too would die and began to work hard on her. As a result, Kamala barely learned to walk upright and even learned a few words. In 1929 this girl also died, this time due to renal failure.
Victor from Aveiron. The name of this Mowgli boy will seem familiar to many. The fact is that his story formed the basis of the movie "Wild Child". Some say that it was Victor who became the first documented case of autism, in any case, this is the well-known story of a child left alone with nature. In 1797, several people saw Victor wandering in the forests of Saint Sernin sur Rance, in the south of France. The wild boy was caught, but he soon ran away. In 1798 and 1799 he was seen again, but finally caught on January 8, 1800. At that time, Victor was about 12 years old, his entire body was covered with scars. The boy could not utter a word, even his origin remained a mystery. Victor ended up in the city, where philosophers and scientists showed great interest in him. The news about the found wild man quickly spread throughout the country, many wanted to study him, looking for answers to questions about the origin of language and human behavior. Biology professor, Pierre Joseph Bonnaterre, decided to watch Victor's reaction by removing his clothes and laying him outside in the snow. The boy began to run in the snow without showing any negative effects of the low temperatures on his bare skin. They say that they lived naked in the wild for 7 years. Unsurprisingly, his body was able to withstand such extreme weather conditions. The famous teacher Roche-Ambroise Auguste Bebian, who worked with the deaf and sign language, decided to try to teach the boy to communicate. But soon the teacher became disillusioned with his student due to the lack of any signs of progress. After all, Victor, being born with the ability to speak and hear, never did it right after he was left to live in the wild. Delays in mental development did not allow Victor to start leading a full life. Subsequently, the wild boy was taken to the National Institute for the Deaf and Dumb, where he died at the age of 40.
Oksana Malaya. This story happened in 1991 in Ukraine. Oksana Malaya was left by her bad parents in a kennel, where she grew up from 3 to 8 years old, surrounded by other dogs. The girl went wild, she was kept in the backyard of the house all this time. She adopted the general features of the behavior of dogs - barking, growling, movement on all fours. Oksana sniffed her food before eating it. When the authorities came to her aid, other dogs barked and growled at people, trying to protect their fellow tribesman. The girl behaved similarly. Due to the fact that she was deprived of communication with people, in Oksana's dictionary there were only two words "yes" and "no". The Wild Child has undergone intensive care to help him acquire the necessary social and verbal skills. Oksana was able to learn to speak, although psychologists say that she has big problems in trying to express herself and communicate emotionally, and not with speech. Today the girl is already twenty years old, she lives in one of the clinics in Odessa. Oksana spends most of her time with cows on the farm of her boarding school. But in her own words, she feels best when she is near the dogs.
Gin. If you professionally engage in psychology or study the issue of wild children, then the name Jean will certainly pop up. At the age of 13, she was locked in a room with a pot tied to a chair. On another occasion, her father tied her up in a sleeping bag and laid her like that in the crib. Her father abused his power extremely - if the girl tried to speak, he beat her with a stick to keep her quiet, he barked and growled at her. The man also forbade his wife and children to talk to her. Because of this, Jin had a very small vocabulary, which was only about 20 words. So, she knew the phrases "Stop", "No more." Gene was discovered in 1970 and is one of the worst cases of social exclusion known to date.She was initially thought to have autism, until doctors discovered that the 13-year-old girl was a victim of violence. Jean was admitted to the Los Angeles Children's Hospital, where she was treated for many years. After several courses, she was already able to answer monosyllables to questions, learned how to dress independently. Nonetheless, she still adhered to the behaviors she had learned, including the "walking bunny" manner. The girl constantly held her hands in front of her, as if they were her paws. Jean continued to scratch, leaving deep marks on things. In the end, Jean was sheltered by her therapist David Riegler. He worked with her every day for 4 years. As a result, the doctor and his family were able to teach the girl sign language, the ability to express herself not only in words, but also in drawing. When Jean left the therapist, she went to live with her mother. Soon the girl got to the new adoptive parent. And with them she was unlucky, they again made Jean become dumb, she became afraid to speak. Now the girl lives somewhere in Southern California.
Madina. The tragic story of this girl is in many ways similar to the story of Oksana Malaya. Madina grew up with dogs without any communication with people. It was in this state that experts discovered it. At that time, the girl was only 3 years old. When she was found, she preferred to bark like a dog, although she could say the words "yes" and "no". Fortunately, the doctors who examined the girl declared her physically and mentally healthy. As a result, despite some developmental delay, there is hope for a return to a normal lifestyle. After all, Madina is at such an age when it is still possible, with the help of doctors and psychologists, to return to the usual path of development.
Lobo. This child was also nicknamed "the wolf girl from the Devil's River." The mysterious creature was first discovered in 1845. Among the wolves, a girl ran on all fours, attacking with the predators a herd of goats near the Mexican San Felipe. A year later, the information about the wild child was confirmed - the girl was seen greedily eating a raw killed goat. The villagers were alarmed by such a neighborhood with an unusual person. They began searching for the girl, soon catching her. The wild child was named Lobo. She constantly howled at night for wolves, as if calling on packs of gray predators to save themselves. As a result, the girl escaped from captivity and fled. The next time a wild child was seen after 8 years. She was by the river with two wolf cubs. Frightened by people, Lobo grabbed the puppies and ran away. Since then, no one has met her.
Wild Peter. Not far from German Hameln in 1724, people discovered a hairy boy. He moved exclusively on all fours. They were able to catch a wild man only with the help of deception. He did not know how to speak, but ate exclusively raw food - poultry and vegetables. The boy, after his transportation in England, was nicknamed Wild Peter. He never learned to speak, but he became capable of performing the simplest work. It is said that Peter was able to live to a ripe old age.