Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Girl raised by dogs 

(esp. of an animal) In a wild state, esp. after escape from captivity or domestication: "a feral cat".
Resembling a wild animal.

Some people believe feral children to be a hoax. We dont usually see Mowgli from Jungle Book or baby Tarzan running around in the woods. Can there actually be real children that are wild or have been raised by animals. I have researched severel feral children finding some that the facts didnt add up while others actually have documentation to be true. I would like to share the stories of two feral girls i've researched and how one overcame her extreme neglect while the other sweet girl was not as lucky. 
Oxana Malaya was born in November of 1983 in a small town farm village of southern Ukraine. Oxana's parents were severe alchoholics and could barely take care of their selves much less a child. Oxana's enviornment as a young child lacked care and love that a child needs for proper development. When Oxana was around two or three she wandered outside her parents were to drunk to even notice she was gone. She went to the dog pen that was in her backyard and laid down by the her dogs. For the first time in Oxana's life she felt warm and nurtured. Her parents decided to keep her with the dogs so they didn't have to take the responsibilty of being parents and continue to drink. Oxana was fed raw meat and scraps and even nursed with the dogs. She walked on all four legs, licked herself,whined when she was hurt, ate off the ground without hands, panted, barked, and even growled when she felt threatend. For an estimate of around two years Oxana was raised by dogs. She wasn't taught how to walk,talk or have any kind of normal social characteristics.
September 8th 1987 a social worker finally took Oxana from her parents custody. She was taken to Teremok Elementary School and Orphanage in Ukraine. Oxana stayed at this school for 4 years from September 8th 1987 to August 29th 1991. There is documentation of an assessment done by her teachers and staff at Teremok. The assessment stated that Oxana was very undeveloped in culture skill, hygeine, social skill, and was very aggressive. This documentation also stated she was very "dog like" Oxana was sent to a secondary school after four years of elementary school even though her cognition and social skills were still very undeveloped. She stayed 6months at the secondary school until her teachers decided she needed more help. Oxana's job at the new orphanage was to feed and water the dogs. Staff and teachers said she still couldn't even walk she was still walking on all fours. Oxana would follow the dogs around all day when teachers tried to help her she would bark histarically and bite them. The teachers would then use a stick and point it at her to calm her down. After six months the staff decided Oxana needed more help than they could offer. She was relocated to a special institute for children with behavioral problems and cognitive delays. 
Oxana was eight years old when the rigurous training began for her at her new school. The first nurse to see her walked into her room and found her laying on the floor when the nurse tried to approach her she growled and started barking then tried to bite her. Oxana started to make improvement. Nurses and teachers taught her how to walk and she started learning new words. It took five years of extensive training and learning to get Oxana to the cognitive and social level as her peers. 
If you go to youtube and search for Oxana Malaya you will find a video of how she acted as a dog. Oxana looked much older than thirteen in this video.  Oxana was older in this video she was actually fifteen. So if she was rehabilitated from her old ways at thirteen why was there a youtube video of her still acting like a dog at fifteen. Come to find out a Ukranian news station wanted to do a documentary on her. She was asked to perform her old ways and habits of a dog for the camera crew and even show a trick by jumping over a rock on all fours. Since dogs were the first thing to ever love and nuture Oxana this brought back feelings of happiness for her. After doing this documentary Oxana's dog like behavior was in remission. It took the child psychologist almost a month to bring Oxana back. Oxana stayed at this institute doing well until she was eighteen years old then she was sent to an adult home for the disabled.
Oxana was interviewed by Anthrapologist Elizabeth Grice at her adult home Baraboy located in Odessa, Ukraine. Grice was suprised to see a young grown woman standing and talking with friends much different from the way Oxana use to be. When asked about her childhood Oxana seemed very embarrassed to talk about it. She replied " It was a long time ago. All i really remember is the nannys and nurses trying to catch me i was fast." Oxana's memory of early childhood is absent from her memory as if she blocked it completly out. While interviewing Oxana a dog walked up to them. Oxana petted the dog and continued walking with Grice. She told Grice her job at the home was to milk the cows it " It helps keep my mind off wanting to be a dog again". Oxana also told Grice " I will walk around my room like a dog still when no one is watching. It gives me pleasure and calms me down when i feel rejected by people. Its a way i love myself and feel respected" she said. 
Today Oxana is 29 years old and has come a very long way since she was first taken from her parents. She was only a child seeking what every child needs to properly develop, love. She still lives at Baraboy in Ukraine. She says she is at peace with her past and is happy.