WHEN seven-year-old Oxana was living in a dog kennel, authorities were appalled at the appalling conditions in which her alcoholic parents had left her.
But when the young girl crawled out of the enclosure on all fours and could only bark to speak, it was like nothing they had ever seen before.
At the age of three, in Kherson, Ukraine, Oxana Malaya was left out in the cold by her abusive mother and father.
In a desperate attempt to keep warm, she crawled into a kennel with her dog Naida – a pen where she would live for the next five years.
Naida and the other neighborhood strays treated Oxana like their own — shared her food with her and even guarded her from the cops who spotted her.
By the time she was rescued, she had lost her speech, was on all fours, panting and barking like a dog.
She ate off the floor, had no basic human skills, and even groomed herself the same way her canine friends did.
The abuse case provided experts with a unique opportunity to study Oxana as part of the nature-care debate – as she was thought to be a normal and healthy child prior to her exposure.
Despite being placed in a foster home and learning how to walk and talk, she still held onto some of her canine behaviors.
She hid objects much like a dog and doctors said it was unlikely she would ever be fully rehabilitated.
Even in her adult years, experts noted that she had the mental capacity of a six-year-old.
Her case has been compared to that of Genie Wiley, a 13-year-old girl who had been shut out from the outside world for most of her life by her abusive parents.
Although Genie was not raised by animals, she suffered from the same social deprivations as Oxana, being unable to speak or walk.
She was locked in her bedroom from the age of two and bound in a handmade straitjacket and strapped to a chair because her father believed she was disabled.
She was locked in her cradle at night and fed only liquid food, leaving her severely malnourished.
After she was rescued in 1970, experts had the opportunity to study critical learning stages for children while attempting to teach Genie new language skills.
PART OF THE PACK
On November 4, 1983, in the Ukrainian village of Nova Blagovishchenka, a young girl was born into a poverty-stricken family.
Doctors say the child was “normal” at birth despite having alcoholic parents, but was reportedly neglected and largely forgotten during his early years.
One night when she was just three years old, she ventured outside before being locked out by her cruel parents.
The young girl snuggled up to her dog, Naida, for warmth before slowly being incorporated into the pack with other neighborhood dogs.
It is believed that she shared the food the dogs were given and may have ventured into the house to retrieve leftovers before being kicked out by her cruel father.
She learned every part of her canine behavior, barking, growling and even licking her skin clean.
Oxana said in a 60-minute documentary, “Mom had too many kids, we didn’t have enough beds. So I crawled to the dog and started living with her.
“I would talk to them, they would bark and I would repeat it. That was our way of communicating.”
The director of the institute where Oxana was taken told 60 Minutes: “She was more like a little dog than a human child.
“She used to show her tongue when she saw water, and she ate with her tongue and not with her hands.”
Shocking video footage also showed a young Oxana running on all fours, barking and drinking water from a faucet like a dog.
Visitors rarely came to see the family, which meant Oxana’s bizarreness went unnoticed for five years.
It wasn’t until Oxana barked at a neighbor that suspicion arose and the woman called the Ukrainian authorities.
When they arrived at the home, they found a horrifying scene – a young girl walking on all fours and being protected by a pack of dogs.
The animals were so protective of young Oxana that they would not let the police get close and had to be lured away with food.
She didn’t understand the officers and could only communicate by barking and growling – she was a completely wild child.
She also reportedly hid items given to her and hid them – much like a dog with a bone, and would attack and bite when frightened.
Oxana was placed in a children’s home, where she was taught “how to be human” by stunned staff.
She learned to walk upright, communicate and eat properly for the first time.
She is now 38 years old, living as an adult in a special care home, caring for animals and able to speak and convey some emotions.
One of the nursing home workers said: “I remember when she was originally brought here. She wasn’t like a human, she was like a little animal.
“About half a year later she had completely changed.”
However, Oxana said she still has time when she’s feeling lonely and goes back to her canine ways.
She said: “When I’m feeling lonely, I do whatever I can crawl on all fours. I feel so lonely
“Because I don’t have anyone, I spend my time with dogs, go for walks and do whatever I feel like doing. Nobody notices that I walk on all fours.”
She has been scrutinized by child psychologists and experts and subjected to a series of cognitive tests.
They believe she will never be able to catch up on the learning she missed during the pivotal years of her development.
In 60 Minutes’ shocking documentary, Oxana decides to meet her mother and father, who abused her as a child.
She said, “I’m so desperate to see them with my own eyes because I’ve been told I have no parents, but in fact I do.”
The team was unable to locate her mother but did arrange a tense reunion with her father.
In the clip, the two are silent before Oxana hugs him and is introduced to her half-sister.
Unfortunately, Oxana is not the only case of feral children around the world.
In one of the most famous cases of children living in the wild, two young girls were found in the Indian jungle in the 1920s.
Rescued from a wolf den at the tender ages of three and eight, the children lived with a she-wolf and her protective pack.
It was never clear if the two were related or how exactly they ended up there.
They were both later rescued and placed in an orphanage by Reverend JAL Singh who tried to help them adjust to human life by first naming them Kamala and Amala.
But the couple sadly struggled to adjust to society after their incredible start in life and reportedly continued to exhibit “wolf-like behavior” – such as walking on all fours, being mainly nocturnal and biting people.
Marina Chapman’s extraordinary case dates back to 1954 when she was kidnapped from a remote South American village when she was just five years old and later abandoned in the jungle.
She claims she was abducted from her back garden in Colombia and abandoned in a rainforest — when a family of capuchin monkeys then took her under their wing.
Marina, now in her 70s, says she slept in a hollowed-out tree, ate berries, roots and bananas, and walked on all fours like her peers for five years.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6449905/walked-all-fours-barked-raised-wild-dogs/ I walked on all fours and barked after being raised by wild dogs from the age of three when parents locked me outside