Photographer Julia Fullerton-Batten was always fascinated by stories of feral children. Throughout her career, tales of young ones who grew up alone — and, in some cases, with wild animals raising them — have seeped into the London-based artist’s work.
1. Lobo Wolf Girl, Mexico (1845-1852).
2. Amala and Kamala, India (1920).
Kamala, 8 years old, and Amala, 12, were found in 1920 in a wolves’ den. When the wolves left the cave, photographer saw two figures look out of the cave.Physically deformed, their tendons and the joints in their arms and legs were shortened. They had no interest in interacting with humans. But, their hearing, sight, and sense of smell was exceptional.
3. Shamedo, India (1972).
Shamdeo, a boy aged about four years old, was discovered in a forest in India in 1972. He was playing with wolf cubs. His skin was very dark, and he had sharpened teeth. He eat raw meat, never talked, but finally he learnt some sign language. In 1978, he was admitted to Mother Theresa’s Home for the Destitute and Dying in Lucknow. He died in February 1985.
4. Sumit Kumar Chicken Boy, Fiji (1978).
Sujit exhibited dysfunctional behaviour as a child. His parents locked him in a chicken coop. His mother committed suicide and his father was murdered. His grandfather took responsibility for him but still kept him confined in the chicken coop.
5. Genie, United States (1970).
She lived in solitary confinement for more than 10 years. She even slept in the chair. She was 13 years old in 1970 when she and her mother turned up at child services and a social worker noticed her condition. She gradually learned to speak a few words but couldn’t arrange them grammatically. She returned to a children’s hospital where it was found that she had regressed back to silence.
6. The Bird Boy, Russia (2008).
The bird boy, was found in a tiny, two-bedroom apartment, living with his 31-year old mother who treated his son as another pet and never spoke to him. He was never physically harmed. His only communication was with the birds. He chirped. When he wasn’t understood, he would wave his arms and hands bird-like.
7. Oxana Malaya, Ukraine (1991).
Oxana was found living with dogs in a kennel in 1991. She was eight years old and had lived with the dogs for six years. She ran on all fours, panted with her tongue out, bared her teeth and barked. Because of her lack of human interaction, she only knew the words “yes” and “no.”
8. Madina, Russia (2013).
Madina lived with dogs from birth until she was 3 years old, sharing their food, playing with them, and sleeping with them when it was cold in winter. When social workers found her in 2013, she was naked, walking on all fours, and growling like a dog. Her mother, 23 years old, took to alcohol. Madina would run away to a local playground when her mother got angry so dogs became her best and only friends. Doctors reported that the Madina is mentally and physically healthy despite her ordeal.
9. The Wild Boy of Aveyron, France (1797).
Victor was seen at the end of the 18th century in the woods of Saint Sernin sur Rance, in the south of France and captured, but somehow escaped. He was about 12 years old, his body covered in scars and unable to speak a word. Little is known about the background of his time as a feral child, but it is believed that he spent 7 years in the wild.
10. The Leopard Boy, India (1912).
The boy child was two years old when he was taken by a leopardess in 1912. Three years later, a hunter killed the leopardess and found three cubs, one of which was the now-five-year-old boy. He was returned to his family in the small village in India. He bit and fought with everyone who approached him, and caught and ate the village fowl raw. e had learned to speak and walked more upright. Sadly, he became gradually blind from cataracts.
11. The Wild Girl of Champagne, France (1731).
For ten years, she walked thousands of miles alone through the forests of France. She ate birds, frogs and fish, leaves, branches and roots. Armed with a club, she fought off wild animals, especially wolves. She was captured, aged 19, black-skinned, hairy and with claws.In 1737, the Queen of Poland took Memmie hunting with her, where she still ran fast enough to catch and kill rabbits. Memmie’s recovery from her decade-long experiences in the wild were remarkable. In 1755, a Madam Hecquet published her biography. Memmie died financially well-off rich in Paris in 1775, aged 63.
12. The Monkey Boy, Uganda (1991).
John ran away from home in 1988 when he was three years old after seeing his father murder his mother. He was captured in 1991, now about six years old, and placed in an orphanage. When he was cleaned up, it was found that his entire body was covered in hair. John has since learned to speak and other human ways and was found to have a fine singing voice, and is famous for singing and touring in the UK with the 20-strong Pearl of Africa children’s choir.
13. Marina Chapman, Colombia (1951).
Marina was kidnapped in 1954 at 5 years of age from a remote South American village and left by her kidnappers in the jungle. She lived with a family of small, capuchin monkeys for five years before she was discovered by hunters. She was befriended by the young monkeys and learned from them to climb trees and what was safe to eat. Marina was adopted by cute family . The family with Marina moved to Bradford, Yorkshire, in the UK in 1977, where she still lives today. She married and had children. Marina and her younger daughter, Vanessa James, co-authored a book about her feral experiences, and those afterwards – “The Girl With No Name.”