Feral children are human children who have lived away from human contact from a very young age, and have little or no experience of human care, loving or social behaviour, and, crucially, of human language. They are confined by humans (often parents), brought up by animals, or live in the wild in isolation. There have been over a 100 reported cases of feral children, here’s a few interesting ones.


In May 1972, a boy aged about four was discovered in the forest of Musafirkhana, about 20 miles from Sultanpur, India, playing with wolf cubs. He had very dark skin, long hooked fingernails, sharp teeth, craving for blood, he loved darkness and was very friendly with wild animals. He was named Shamdeo and taken to the village of Narayanpur. In 1978, he was admitted to Mother Theresa’s Home for the Destitute and Dying in Lucknow, where he was re-named Pascal. He died in February 1985.

The Wild Girl of Champagne

She had probably learned to speak before her abandonment in Champagne, France in early 1700s, for she is a rare example of a feral child learning to talk coherently. Her diet consisted of birds, frogs and fish, leaves, branches and roots. She is said to have used her thumbs to dig out roots and swing from tree to tree like a monkey. She was a very fast runner and had phenomenally sharp eyesight.

John Ssebunya

One day in 1991, a Ugandan villager called Milly Sebba went further than usual in search of firewood and came upon a little boy with a pack of monkeys. His knees were almost white from walking on them. His nails were very long and curled round, and he wasn’t house-trained. A villager identified the boy as John Sesebunya, last seen in 1988 at the age of two or three, when his father murdered his mother and disappeared. For the next three years or so, he lived wild.