By Calvin Palmer
A five-year-old Russian girl who behaves like a dog has been taken into care by child protection services, police said today.
The girl was found in a filthy apartment living with relatives and a large number of cats and dogs, police in the Eastern Siberian city of Chita said in a statement.
She was never allowed outdoors and has not learned to speak. She communicates by barking and laps her food up like a dog.
When discovered in an unwashed and filthy state by child protection officers, the girl “threw herself at people like a little dog”.
“In all these years, the girl managed to master the animal language only,” the statement said.
The girl could understand Russian but could not speak it.
“For about five years the girl was ‘brought up’ by several dogs and cats and not once went outside,” the statement said.
She is now living in a care facility, where she is receiving medical and psychiatric help. The girl continues “to jump against the door and bark” if her care workers leave the room.
Her appetite is good but she laps up her food rather than using a spoon or fork.
Police have dubbed her “Mowgli” after the fictional character in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
Police plan to open up a criminal investigation into the abuse.
[Based on a report by AFP.]