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In spite of the development of modern day science like Sociology, the world is still unable to explore the mysteries about Feral Children. Feral children are the humans nurtured by wild animals instead of their human parents, some of them are deliberately confined in basements and cages or isolated from society due to some misadventures such as a conflict, War or mental abuse and some of them run away from their human parents and live on their own because of abuses. Though this is a vast topic, the article will cover its various mysteries and their importance towards child psychology and physiology.

                               Many myths, false stories and fictions have been written about feral children and many movies like Tarzan, Jungle Book, Shiver, and Feral have been released on this Topic. Ancient History has many myths about children raised by animals, but the first feral child was reported by Roman Historian Procopius .That boy was left by his parents in the wake of Gothic Wars in about 250 A.D .He was found living with a She-Goat when the survivors of the War returned to their homes .The boy was named Aegisthus. Carl Linnaeus, classified feral children as Homo-Ferens in 1758 a sub-specie of Homo-Sapien . People until 18th century believed that feral children are not reality. But many cases in the recent world came on scene such as in 1724 “Peter” or “The wild boy of Hamelin”, “Victor” was discovered in woods of Aveyron , France in 1799, “Kasper Hauser” was discovered in Nuremberg, Germany in 1828, In 1920, two young girls Kamala and Amala were discovered under the care of a She-Wolf in Godamuri, India, A girl named “Genie” who was brought to a welfare house in California on 4th November,1970 and Oxana Malaya ,who was discovered in 1991 in Ukraine . These cases suggest that feral children are not myths. 

                        The discovery of Kasper Hauser was very mysterious as Bjerg reported that Kasper was having a letter which was addressed to the captain of the 4th squadron of the 6th cavalry regiment:
“Honored Captain,
I send you a lad who wishes to serve his king in the Army. He was brought to me on October 7th, 1812. I am but a poor laborer with children of my own to rear. His mother asked me to bring up the boy, and so I thought I would rear him as my own son. Since then, I have never let him go one step outside the house, so no one knows where he was reared. You may question him, Honored Captain, but he will not be able to tell you where I live. He cannot find his way back. If you do not keep him, you must strike him dead or hang him.”

                     Feral children adapt more or less all the characteristics of their nurturing parents, this shows that children mimic all those features which they see in their parents .Their younger brains learn everything in front of them . Most of the instants Feral children show almost exactly the same features of their animal parents like whining, granting, biting, walking naked and screaming or barking in the night. The mysterious characteristic of feral children is their sense of smell and touch which is extremely sharp and is more important than sight; they also have excellent night vision like their parents. They are indifferent to sex and money, love music and eat raw food with great pleasure. They don’t have common sense of normal human beings therefore “Once when Kasper Hauser was given a mirror in his hand he looked behind it to find the person looking towards him in the mirror and burned his hand while touching a candle’s flame in curiosity”( Bjerg ). “Kamala and Amala used to sleep all the day and walked on all fours and ran after moon in the night time.”( Sieveking ). Most of them behave like small young children and cannot distinguish between right and wrong, hot and cold. They are scared of people and always want to escape from humans and use to attack and bite the people if they are threatened.

               One of the greatest problems of feral children is of language acquisition, which is because of “The critical period hypothesis” that states that “the ability to learn a language is limited to the years before adolescence after which, as a result of neurological changes in the brain, the ability is lost.” (the critical period hypothesis).According to this concept if children are not given the required nurture they are unable to adapt to humans in future, that is why feral children are always unable to speak because of his isolation from society . The study of feral children has led to the discovery of alternate language and communication skills for people with disabilities for example “Braille”. This research has helped scientists to know about the evolution of language and to know that which features of us are natural and which are learned. Sociology is failed to describe this phenomena research is still in progress to expose its truth.

                           The cases of feral children exemplifies that the malformation of their body and psyche is because of the social disorder that led to the negligence of their parents in the critical period. Their foreign behavior is still behind the curtains of darkness. Feral children’s study leads us to differ between “nature” and “nurture”. Although they resemble with humans in appearance only, their bodily genetic functions are like humans but their behavior is characterized by the nurture of their wild parents. These cases conveys an important message that we should not deprive children of their right of communication and language skills in the critical period because once this period is passed they are unable to learn any language or communicate with either of human beings in future.

Written By Asif Bahadur

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