Girl found living with wild monkeys in India fears humans

Doctors in northeast India are treating a preteen girl who was discovered living with a troop of wild monkeys in one of the country’s wildlife sanctuaries, officials said Thursday.

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The girl was first spotted living with the animals in January in the Katarniyaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, located near the country’s border with Nepal in Uttar Pardesh state. She is believed to be between 8 and 12 years old.

Officials said the young girl continues to be hyper-frightened of humans, and that it took a great deal of effort from rescuers to separate her from the wild monkeys she had been living with.

The girl was hospitalized in Bahraich and continues to undergo treatment, The Hindu newspaper reported Thursday.

“Our priority now is to give her proper medical care and look for her parents,” Assistant Police Superintendent Dinesh Tripathi said.

Officials said the girl does not speak or understand any human language, that she only makes primal noises and often walks on all four limbs, similar to monkeys and other primates. She also eats often without the use of her hands.

The young girl is frightened by the sight of humans and often turns violent as a defense mechanism, doctors said, which has hindered her treatment. However, a medical superintendent said she does understand some communication and has sometimes even smiled at her caretakers.

Police are going through reports of missing children hoping to identify her.

By Doug G. Ware