There are many cases of feral children through history, and feral used to mean raised by an animal. Now it refers primarily to any human child suffering from sensory deprivation and can be caused by their own parents. Child abuse takes many forms, including confinement and neglect.
Feral children raised by wolves, dogs, and monkeys have been recorded throughout our history.
Kamala and Amala, better known as the wolf girls of India, were captured in 1920 near Midnapore. They lived with a pack of wolves, two males and a female wolf with pups. The youngest girl was 18 months old, and the eldest was eight years old when captured. Apparently they were not related to each other and neither could speak when found.
John Ssebunya, also known as the monkey boy of Uganda, ran away at around the age of four after seeing his father murder his mother in a drunken rage. John survived with some help from Green African Velvet monkeys. He was captured at around six years of age after a villager named Millie spied him in a tree in 1991. The monkeys even threw sticks at his rescuers trying to protect him, fortunately for John they managed to rescue him since he might not have survived much longer filled with parasitic worms and suffering from malnutrition. John’s story has a happy ending, learning to talk and to sing, he sang for the Pearl of Africa Children’s Choir later on.
Most feral children raised by animals have a better chance of learning to talk and socialize than those reared by their own kin though they exhibit character traits of the animal they were around, and generally cannot walk upright or speak, depending on the age they left human company.
Humans that confine and deprive their own children of the necessary experiences in childhood cause very serious damage to a young mind. Being spoken to, and cuddled are as necessary to a child as food and air, depriving them of those essential elements can cause autistic like symptoms and if withheld into puberty may become permanent and non reversible.
Some examples of feral children right here in the United States, can also be found.
Dani was found in Plant City, Florida in July of 2005. She was found in a severely soiled diaper and nearly starved. The rescuers expected to find a corpse because of the stench, but instead found an abused little girl. Though she was seven years old, she could not speak, eat solid food, or walk correctly. She had never been toilet trained.
Edward and Edmond Rodriguez were five years old in 2003 when rescued in Phoenix, Arizona. They had been confined to cages for up to twenty hours a day and neither twin could speak.
Betty Topper had been chained to a bed by her own mother and grandfather for five years before being rescued in 1999. Rescuers pulled her out through a window due to the stench emitting from the house. She was six years old.
According to statistics from the Administration for Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and Human Services:
There were 3,000,000 cases of abuse in 2008 that ended with 2,000 fatalities.
906,000 led to convictions.
Children from 0-3 are the most likely victims.
79% of the fatalities are four years old or less.
One-third of all victims will grow up to abuse their own children.
Two-thirds of people treated for drug abuse report being abused as children.
These statistics were found at: http://www.childhelp.org/resources/learning-center/statistics
All other information was gathered from the Website of Feral Children at:
www.feralchildren.com/, a website with nearly 2,000 pages of content on the subject of feral children.