The Syrian Gazelle Boy

Jean-Claude Auger, an anthropologist, was traveling alone across the Spanish Sahara (Rio de Oro) in 1960 when he came across a child. The boy walked on all fours, but occasionally assumed an upright gait, suggesting to Auger that he was abandoned or lost at about seven or eight months, having already learnt to stand. He habitually twitched his muscles, scalp, nose and ears, much like the rest of the herd, in response to the slightest noise. He appeared to be herbivorous apart from the occasional agama lizard or worm when plant life was lacking. His teeth edges were level like those of a herbivorous animal. In 1966, an unsuccessful attempt was made to catch the boy in a net suspended from a helicopter; unlike most of the feral children, the gazelle boy was never removed from his wild companions.

Oxana Malaya

Oxana Malaya (born November 1983) was found as an 8-year-old feral child in Ukraine, having lived most of her life in the company of dogs. She found it difficult to master language. Oxana’s alcoholic parents were unable to care for her. They lived in an impoverished area where there were wild dogs roaming the streets. She lived in a dog kennel behind her house where she was cared for by dogs and learned their behaviours and mannerisms. She growled, barked and crouched like a wild dog, sniffed at her food before she ate it, and was found to have acquired extremely acute senses of hearing, smell, and sight.

Prava, the Bird Boy

The most recent case of Mowgli Syndrome was that of a seven-year-old boy who was rescued by Russian healthcare workers after being discovered living in a small apartment with his mother and cages filled with dozens of birds. One of his rescuers said that his mother treated him like another pet. While he was never physically harmed, she simply never spoke to him. “He just chirps and when realising that he is not understood, starts to wave hands in the way birds winnow wings,” she reported.