Raised by Wolves???

Someone posted on the thread about wolves attacking humans that they had actually read about a girl being raised by wolves. Is this fact or fallacy<— Spelling??

I feel a sensation in my leg, like it’s being pulled hard.

Could a child survive the exposure, presumably through winter? Could she survive on a carniverous diet such as wolves can? Wouldn't there be serious deficiencies like scurvy and rickets?

    What about parasites and disease? What about this tyke giving off wrong body language and responses?

I’d hate to saything is impossible, but this sounds pretty close.


With the book I cited that other thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=59381 The Wolf by L David Mech he has cited a work by A.M. Gesell called Wolf Child and Human Child. Gesell is reported to be a “distinguished psychologist.” (1940)

He apparently based this work on a diary by a Reverend J.A.L. Singh. Singh supposedly had:

These children “Amala” and “Kamala” were from Midnapore, India.

Mech states:

With that said he also goes into a little more detail on where the children lived and no one could come up with conclusive answers to whether or not the children were actually raised by wolves.

It really is an interesting book on wolves if anyone wants to check it out at your local library or bookstore. I am not sure if it’s still in print. It’s copyrighted in 1970 and the last print I have was the sixth printing in 1988.

A very smart man once wrote:

Read more here


Cecil either must have read the same book or another source for the information because Mech pretty much says the same thing, facts are the similar.

Mech says:

He also states that make people said that Singh was a liar, untrustworthy and unscrupulous.

It would be interesting to know if possibly somewhere, somehow “George of the Jungle” actually exists. Hopefully not as dopey but still if the existance of human and beast can be more than just a physical one in terms of us against them or us using them for food, clothing and the like. Don’t get me wrong, I think what animals can provide us is a blessing but at the same time I wish we as humans had more ability to work with our world than against it sometimes. (whoa that last part was off topic!)

You might want to think of ‘living in harmony with nature’ as ‘being at the mercy of nature’. Humans have survived thousands of years of blizzards, hurricanes, floods and volcanic disasters with enormous suffering and loss of life. We may love nature, but nature doesn’t always love us.

Feral children are a very old theme, predating Romulus and Remus. The Gilgamesh epic had a wild man Enkidu raised by animals.

The enormous popularity of Tarzan for the past ninety years shows how appealing it is for people to think of a situation where an animal raises a human child.

What do doctors and nutritionists have to say on this? Is it possible for a child to survive an upbringing like this? And all the experts on wolf behavior have studied the powerful rules and protocol that govern lupine behavior... do they think  there is  any chance that a pack's behaviour could accomodate something different and alien as a human?

I doubt that a human child could really be raised by wolves, but I don’t think it’s beyond possibility that lost or abandoned human children might sometimes be aided by wolves. About six years ago I read a newspaper story about a mentally disabled boy in northern Wisconsin who got lost in the woods in the winter. He was later found with a pack of wolves that had apparently been helping to keep him warm.

dr hermes,

While I am no expert on anything relating to child rearing and especially in this conversation with regards to children being raised by animals, I must admit I am not sure that a mammel outside of a primate could even come close to raising a human.

If you think about it. Even with capitive wolves, there is a society, a human baby requires more than just food and there are instincts that are bred into wolves and other such mammals. It requires examples that a primate possibly could handle like crawling, walking, grasping, use cognitive ability to get food, create shelter, have clothing to stay warm, etc.

I don’t think that a wolf can teach a human to cover it’s food with it’s nose, our noses aren’t built for that. Would a child, say 2 years or so have that ability to understand that using it’s hands is okay to bury food? Not sure.

What about the child’s digestive system, I think you brought this up before. Most predators rely upon the kill for food. In most human digestive systems these days, we can’t handle raw meat because of our thousands of years with fire and cooking foods.

How can a human child learn to help out a pack of wolves if they can’t be a part of that social order after such a short period of time in how we learn, think and feel compared to how a wolf pup learns? Again it’s instinctive. In addition, a member of the pack that is not able to contribute is usually pushed from the pack to live off the discarded remains (by following the pack at a safe distance) of the kill or finds another lonely wolf to start their own pack.

Now, wolf society is extremely complicated which makes most humans look at the possiblity of a wolf raising a human as impossible. Again I could see the slight possibility that a human could be raised by a primate because of the similarities of our species but very hard to visualize wolf raising human. It could be possible as anything is possible but the likelyhood of survival must be scored against such a child.