After doing some research on feral children (many of which were hoaxes or sitings that were undocumented), I found a story of a girl who was raised by dogs. Her name is Oxana Malaya, otherwise known as Dog Girl, and as a three-year-old, she was left to live outside by her alcoholic parents. She found shelter with a pack of wild dogs and lived with them on a rundown farm in a village in Ukraine. And over the next 5 years Oxana developed mannerisms of a dog, and lost all human social interaction. When she was found at the age of 8 in 1992, she could hardly speak, and “humans were no longer her species: all meaningful life was contained in a kennel”.
This raises the question: What really makes us human? Some say it’s language and our social interactions. According to this video, Oxana was born healthy and without any abnormities. But the now adult Oxana rather take walks “by herself in the woods” when she’s upset. The lack of human interactions had wired the sense of independence into Oxana, but is that powerful enough to override the desire to interact with others, which is a quality that supposedly defines humans? There have been many accounts of people who can’t contain bottled up emotions, but is that still the case when a person is brought up with no one to turn to? It is really hard to clearly say which qualities we have are in our genes, and which are results of the society we created.
Oxana’s case also shows that humans are very flexible in adapting to their surroundings in order to survive. She had developed very acute senses of sight, taste, and smell, and can eat raw meat and food scraps lying around without getting sick. Another feral child named Memmie Le Blanc, found in France in the 1700’s, was able to outrun rabbits and skin them with her hands. This shows that humans are not helpless in the wild; it’s just that society has so much for us to depend on that nature seems harsh in contrast. Nature has everything we need to survive: food, water, shelter. But because we grow up in an environment filled with technology, we lose the ability to acquire those things ourselves. Although human babies need much more nurturing than any other kind of animal, once we get past that threshold, we are not innately different from wild animals on terms of survival skills.