The topic of feral children has fascinated me for several years. Now, to find out that two children were found in the Ukraine, living among wild dogs; has further provided researchers with questions regarding language development and human psychology.
Victor: The First Feral Child Documented
Victor was an 11 year old boy found in January 1800 near Saint Sernin sur Rance, in southern France. Victor survived 11 years by living in the forest; he crawled around on all fours and snuck food from people’s gardens.
It is thought, that since he had no human contact for the first 11 years of hisUkraine updates life that he probably gained the social skills that he had from animals. He did not wear any cloths and his body had several old and new scars from living in the wild.
When found, Victor could not speak human language. Researchers at the time tried to re-socialize Victor to more appropriate social norms of the time and tried to teach him language. They made barely minimal progress.
Victor lived to age 40, which was probably the average life span of that time. He was never able to be socialized to live the type of life that most of us would think of as normal and healthy. Since Victor’s case, psychologists and sociologists have been very interested in language development in cases of social neglect.
Feral Children in Modern Society
In 1991 an 8 year old girl was found in Novaya Blagoveschenka, Ukraine. Her name was Oxanna Malaya. At the time she was discovered living in the backyard of her family home in a dog kennel.
She had befriended the dogs in the yard and basically took on their behaviors and actions. She walked on all fours, growled and barked. She would defend the territory in an aggressive display similar to that of an angry dog. She had minimal human language abilities, but would communicate like her canine companions through animal-type actions.
Also, in Mirny, Ukraine in 1999, a young boy was discovered, named Edik. Edik was 4 years old at the time he was discovered. Edik was living in a run-down apartment on his own, in a very poverty stricken area of the Ukraine.
He had wild dogs co-habitating in the apartment with him, some say at any given time he had at least three dogs with him.