Thinking of feral children, the first thing, it cross my mind is The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story, the Rudyard Kipling's book that chronicles the story of a little boy raised by savage animals until he is refound by humans many years later as a teenager. However, the real stories of feral children have little in common with Mowgli's stories as most times these kids are victims of neglect rather than of accident like Kipling's book.
Raised by savage animals, feral children have no social skills. They cannot speak but inarticulate sounds, imitating the sounds of the animals that raised them. Their physical appearance often alters to adapt to their environment or the look of their "new family" so they barely seem human. And once captured, the road towards a normal life is tough and full of difficulties.
London based and world-wide acclaimed photographer, Julia Fullerton-Batten, inspired by the real stories of feral kids, decided to narrate them through her camera in order to honor these lost kids. The photos below depict 10 different heart-breaking cases of feral kids.
When police finally managed to lure the protective dogs away from then six year old Ivan, he re-entered society, was able to re-learn language, and made a full recovery, eventually even serving in the Russian Army.
When brought back to his family, the young boy could only walk on all fours, would only communicate in growls, and would fight anybody that came near him. He even caught and ate the village chicken raw.
Found by hunters who sold her into a brothel at aged nine, Marina’s re-entry into human society wasn’t easy, but she was eventually adopted by a loving human family. She moved to Bradford in 1977, where she still lives today, and even co-authored a book about her feral experiences.
Although Oxana was able to learn some social and verbal skills, she remains at the level of a five year old. She currently lives in a clinic, where she is able to interact daily with the hospital’s farm animals.
With no interest in interacting with human society, the girls didn’t last long once taken away from the wolves. Amala died the year after they were captured, and Kamala a few years later.
John was able to learn both social and verbal skills after he was brought back to society, and became famous for singing in the UK with the Pearl of Africa children’s choir.
Her immersion into the wolf pack was so extreme that when she was last spotted, aged around 17, she was suckling two wolf cubs.
He was taken into care, where doctors are still trying to rehabilitate him today.
Numerous documentaries have been made about her since, as various psychologists, linguists and other such scientists have learnt valuable information from her case. Seeing as nobody spoke to her until she was 13 years old, she was never capable of proper speech.
Sujit was taken to an old people’s home, but when hIS behaviour became aggressive, he was tied to a bed. He remained tied down for over 20 years, when he was eventually rescued.