Earlier this year, a group of woodcutters saw something unusual in the Indian forest: a naked human girl roaming the area with a group of monkey. She was incredibly thin and her hair was disheveled, but she seemed comfortable with her animal companions.
When police arrived to rescue her, they faced resistance from the monkeys, as well as the girl.
“We spotted her playing among apes. As we tried to go near the girl, the monkeys surrounded her and some of them pounced on us,” sub-inspector Suresh Yadav told the New Indian Express. The girl screeched at them as they wrestled her away from the group. They raced away with her in a car as the monkeys chased after them.
The girl, believed to be between 10 and 12 years old, was taken to a hospital in Bahraich, where she has been treated for about two months. When she arrived, she had wounds all over her body, as well as unkempt nails and hair. She would sometimes walk upright, but then drop to all fours to move around. When given food, she would push it to the floor or bed and eat it directly with her mouth. Her behavior often made treatment difficult.
“She behaves like an ape and screams loudly if doctors try to reach out to her,” said Dr. D.K. Singh, chief medical superintendent of Bahraich District Hospital.
The girl reportedly didn't understand when people spoke to her and made noises and faces as a monkey would. She would often get violent when she saw people watching her.
“From her behavior, it appears that she had been with the monkeys since birth,” says Dinesh Tripathi, superintendent of police.
The girl's story is being compared to Mowgli's of Rudyard Kipling's well-known tale, "The Jungle Book," in which a child is raised in the jungle by animals.
According to the Associated Press, police are reviewing missing children reports in hopes of identifying her and figuring out how she ended up in the Katarniyaghat forest range.
After several months of treatment, the girl is making some progress, reports Sky News. She is beginning to understand when people speak to her and will occasionally even smile.