A WOMAN raised by monkeys after her kidnappers abandoned her in a Colombian jungle has told her pitiful story.
Marina Chapman was four years old when she said she was captured from outside her home in Colombia and left to rot in a forest.
Although she remembers almost nothing of her life before living in the wilderness, she can vividly recall her time there.
“I remember counting the monkeys,” she said.
“I think I remember I used to be able to count to 20 but I stopped after counting to 20. So it was more than 20 and I couldn’t continue because they were too fast for me.”
She insisted the monkeys – believed to be small black and white capuchin primates – did not harm her because “they know [a child is] won’t hurt them” – but they’re definitely not friendly with her.
Marina recalls a horrifying moment when one of the older monkeys dubbed “Grandpa” shoved her head into the water and kept it there.
At the time, it was terrifying – but Marina believes he was trying to help her because she was unwell from eating what she believed to be tainted berries.
“He squeezed my arm, then started shaking me, shoving me, as if determined to take me somewhere else,” Marina said, claiming she was forced to drink contaminated water that made her vomit. vomiting and subsequently lead to recovery.
But it wasn’t all unhappy memories.
Marina said she learned to forage and climb trees thanks to her primate friends.
She even claims to have learned how to make a tree bed using twigs to sleep at night All that interesting.
When foraging, the monkeys will break tree branches and use them as a tool to get food, while Marina realizes that the biggest tree cutter is considered the strongest by the rest.
She eats by following them around and picking up what they drop.
“I had to learn to eat quickly because if you don’t have one there is always one of them who comes and gets it very quickly,” she explains – even now her husband asks why she eats so fast.
While they were tolerant of her, the monkeys didn’t show her how to survive.
So instead, she copied them, shrinking the trees so she could sit with them on the tall branches.
“I fell many times and my stomach was scratched many times and it hurt,” she recalls.
“When I was at the top, they were like a family, together.
“It was the best thing for me. I was so lonely and struggling and I forgot about the problems.”
There are other bonding moments as well, like when Marina and the monkeys groom each other.
“I’ve groomed them, especially the young ones because they’re soft,” she says.
“They tend to climb over your shoulders and that’s the best thing because they rub your hair and they stay on your shoulders and that’s a comfort.”
Even the grandfather became more accepting and started grooming her and sharing his food.
How Marina finally came out of the woods is another incredible story.
She claimed to have approached a group of hunters after seeing a smiling woman.
Marina thought the woman seemed kind so she walked towards them.
Although Marina tried to touch her hand, the woman wouldn’t let her go, and instead a man grabbed her.
“He was quite rough, and then he ended up trying to hold my hand and get me to get up to walk properly and then he put me in this truck – it took a long time for us to get in the van. load and I just wish I could go back to the monkeys because of the way he hugged me and pushed me,” Marina said.
“I’m feeling like going back to the monkeys. I feel like I made the wrong choice. I’m really confused and scared.”
Marina was taken to a city she knew as Cucuta in Colombia, where she was nearly sold into a brothel but managed to escape.
It forced her to live on the streets, where other children taught her to speak.
She lived on leftovers until she decided to try to find a home by working for a family – Marina never saw her biological parents again.
But then she found a Braford couple who adopted her and raised her in England.
She is now married and has two older daughters, Vanessa and Joanna, and grandchildren.
Her childhood had a lasting impact and even now she finds things like using appliances and eating sluggishly difficult.
“I can’t talk. I have problems with moving my legs and walking properly,” she said.
“I struggled – couldn’t eat food and handle food. I just grabbed it and ran as fast as I could.
It’s still not easy for me to learn. I still have trouble holding my cell phone, my daughter taught me how to use it but it’s not easy
“I still do that.
“It’s still not easy for me.
Marina’s story is so unusual that many people refuse to publish it, as Marina was too young to live with monkeys – believed to be a breed of small monkeys called capuchins – unable to verify her claims.
It wasn’t until 2013 when a major publisher backed her manuscript and Untitled Girl: The Incredible Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys finally hit the shelves.
Daughter Vanessa used a series of tricks to activate her mother’s memory to write the book.
In 2007 they travel to Colombia to try to reconstruct her memories but to no avail and end up weaving together chronological stories that loosely tell Marina’s life in the jungle.
Like when visiting a farmers market and she sees a brazilian nut, or a small banana, or sees her grandmother hit the other with a long stick, the triggers happen, says Vanessa. coming out like that will always pull a story out.”
Although critics say parts of Marina’s story could be made up, they don’t say all of that is untrue.
Vanessa says that criticism no longer bothers her or her mother.
“We’re not trying to prove anything,” she said. “We’re just telling our family story, and it doesn’t really matter what people think.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4538106/woman-raised-by-monkeys-colombia-jungle-retells-story/ I was raised by monkeys from the age of four after my kidnappers abandoned me in the forest