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Wild Children

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posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 12:10 AM
Children raised by animals? What the heck! The stories are intriguing. "Feral children" narratives are stories of children raised by animals, or otherwise discovered in the wild. Most accounts hold that they behave as animals, often barking as dogs or otherwise identifying with animals more than the human society that wants to mold them in to some image of itself.

Some wild child accounts are less than believable, such as children who suddenly develop sharp teeth and glowing eyes. It may be that some of those stories are embellishments. Children may have been literally raised by wolves and then astonished villagers told of sharp eyes and glowing teeth. Hence, even those stories may have truth in them.

A number of intriguing cases:

1) Modern case: A child in Africa claiming to have been raised by monkeys. He shows a strange ability to interact with monkeys even today. Like other "wild children," he has tremendous physical abilities. He can run very fast. Scientists tend to dismiss some of his claims because of his account of monkeys having shaped leaves in to cups so that he could drink water as a youth. Presumably non-ape primates would not have the ability or willingness to do something like that. I suspect, however, that if a monkey were to raise a human child they might think of creative and innovative ways of feeding them should the need arise.

2) Peter the Wild boy lived during the time of the Enlightenment. He was discovered walking on all fours. His socialization was in the wild, and he displayed tremendous physical strength. Peter often tried to escape in to Nature and away from human society. He never really learned to talk, but was able to say a few words, among them "King George" who was his friend.

3) Victor of Aveyron: Eighteenth century case. Discovered naked in the woods. He could learn to speak. Hailed as a child of Nature.

There are many other cases, including some girls. Many could not learn to speak well, while others did. Some were raised by parents who had them in the backyard with dogs until discovered, others locked in closets, yet still others genuinely claimed to have been raised by animals. The most believable cases of the last category are children who claimed to have been raised by either primates or wolves. Other accounts are less believable.

What intrigued philosophers of the Enlightenment about wild children was the idea that they might have been emblematic of the State of Nature. The idea is that humanity in a state of Nature would be gentle, kind and free. Wild children supposedly embodied that idea. This might have led to a romanticizing of wild children. It might have led to them over-stating the degree to which they were wild and overlooking the abuse that some suffered. Skeptics dismiss the whole idea of wild children and claim that these accounts are overly romanticized. But, the idea of Wild Children still inspired the Enlightenment, and in a strange way the American Revolution's grand experiment in a world begun all over again.

What is less explored is what these stories, if true, tell us about the female wolf or primate. Could a female animal see a human as a surrogate for her own? Is Nature red with tooth and claw? Enlightenment philosophers focused on man but I think that the stories of the animals who may have been willing to raise humans are stories that need to be told. If true, if they did raise human children and save human lives at no real benefit to their own gene pool, then they should be honored by humanity.

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 12:31 AM
reply to post by EarthEvolves

With recent attempts by various individuals at living with animals, the old "wild child" stories do seem a bit more feasible these days. The internet is ripe with videos of that guy featured on "Stan Lee's Super Humans" who could socialize with wolves, and that "Grizzly Man" guy. Grizzly Man, of course, was eaten, but the wolf guy is still alive... I think.

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 12:36 AM
Well I could go into my childhood being raised by the Monkey God but.....

Really good post I have always wondered about wild kids and stuff here is a good documentary about it.

The part with the russian girl raised by dogs freaked me out, she still goes into dog mode when stressed here

Sorry couldn't find an english version, just wanted to show you the girl.

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 01:27 AM
reply to post by boymonkey74

This can be found in the documentary Trom, I was as you pretty shocked when I saw it. I don't remember what section it was under but it was in the beginning of it.

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 02:22 PM
The girl raised with dogs is an interesting case. She did have parents, but they kept her with the dogs and she socialized with the dogs. When discovered she was barking. She now speaks, and is part of human society to some extent. However, she is reported to be happiest when with dogs.

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 03:45 AM
reply to post by EarthEvolves

Yeah this sort of thing has always fascinated me especially the story's of a child being raised by wolves when you'd think the wolf would eat the child?
Also makes me think that if an animal like a wolf would take in and nurture an infant from an entirely different species, maybe they could take in other animals species and we just don't know about it?
I dunno just brainstorming

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 01:15 PM
reply to post by doodles40

I think that if this phenomenon is true it raises a lot of questions about so-called "human nature," the naked ape, and the tooth-and-claw nature theory.

posted on Apr, 19 2012 @ 09:13 PM
What if the origins of dog domestication were that an Aurignacian child was raised by wolves. That child learned the culture of wolves. When re-adopted by humans, the tribe was wise enough not to make the mistake that "civilized" peoples made of trying to force the child to change. Instead, the child was integrated and the "Wolf Clan" was born. The child was even allowed to invite his or her adopted family in to the tribe. Domestication began.

Soon enough, the clans broadened to include other animals, not all necessarily the adoptive parents of wild children. What I like about this hypothetical scenario is that it allows for an alternative narrative to domestication that does not rely on domination or hierarchy. It is a thought, anyhow.

Rewilding forever!

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