11 Incredible Animals You Ve Probably Never Even Heard Of Children Found Raised By Dogs

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Children Found Raised By Dogs

The topic of feral children has fascinated me for several years. Now, to find out that two children were found in Ukraine, living among wild dogs; it has further provided researchers with questions about language development and human psychology.

Victor: The first documented feral child

Victor was an 11-year-old boy found in January 1800 near Saint Sernin sur Rance, in southern France. Victor survived 11 years living in the forest; he crawled on all fours and grabbed food from people’s gardens.

It is thought that since he had no human contact for the first 11 years of his life, the social skills he had may have been acquired from animals. He wasn’t wearing any clothes and his body had several old and new scars from living in the wild.

When found, Victor could not speak human language. Researchers at the time tried to resocialize Victor to the more appropriate social norms of the time and tried to teach him the language. They made almost minimal progress.

Victor lived to the age of 40, which was probably the average life expectancy at the time. He was never able to socialize to live the kind of life that most of us would think of as normal and healthy. Since Victor’s case, psychologists and sociologists have been very interested in the development of language in cases of social neglect.

Feral children in modern society

In 1991 an 8-year-old girl was found in Novaya Blagoveschenka, Ukraine. Her name was Oxanna Malaya. At that time she was discovered living in the backyard of her family home in a dog kennel.

She had befriended the dogs in the yard and basically took over their behaviors and actions. She walked on all fours, growled and barked. She would defend the territory in an aggressive display similar to that of an angry dog. She had minimal human language skills, but would communicate like her canine companions through animal-type actions.

Also, in Mirny, Ukraine, in 1999, a young man named Edik was discovered. Edik was 4 years old at the time he was discovered. Edik lived alone in a dilapidated apartment in a very poor area of ​​Ukraine.

He had feral dogs living in the apartment with him, some say he had at least three dogs with him at any given time.

Researchers believe it was the symbiotic relationship between man and animals that strengthened the bond and created the “pack” mentality between the boy and the dogs. The dogs discovered that the boy would provide a source of food, no matter how rare; which meant that dogs were not supposed to hunt. In return, the dogs gave the boy love and companionship.

What have Oxanna and Edik achieved today?

Today, Oxanna and Edik are not classified as true wild children due to their previous human socialization and the fact that they had some basic language skills early on.

But even to this day, their language skills still lag behind their chronological development to date. Researchers believe that Oxanna’s language skills will always lag behind other people her age because she was discovered after the age where the brain can regain those skills in full functional capacity.

Edik, on the other hand, has made good progress. His language skills are still behind other children his age. But studies believe he will be able to regain enough language to function well in society. They believe it’s just based on the fact that it was discovered young enough that the brain can still learn the basic foundation needed for language development.

Today, Oxanna and Edik live in care homes where they interact with other people and staff. Both Oxanna and Edik have dogs in the houses they live in, so they can still enjoy them as pets. They are no longer dependent on these animals for survival, so their relationship with animals has changed a lot.

Both Oxanna and Edik now walk on 2 legs, like the rest of us, and wear clothing in a socially appropriate manner. It took months and years for both of them to learn these basic social norms. An update from 2010 shows that Oxana is now trying to find her birth mother and father to learn more about herself.

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