Authorities have found a young man–dubbed the “Siberian Mowgli” by Russian media–living by himself in a remote Siberian forest after spending some 16 years living in a hut with his parents.
The man, who was not named, told local prosecutors that he was born in 1993 and lived in the forest since 1997. His family decided to live in the forest to leave society, reported the AFP news agency.
His parents left him by himself in the hut before he went to a village to ask for assistance when the summer ended. Locals from the town of Belokurikha found the man.
Altay region Prosecutor Roman Fomin told AFP that “I am not sure if he needs all this attention. He looked normal and healthy, he only spoke slowly, since he doesn’t communicate as often as most people.”
He said that his parents have not been located, adding that they exited society not for religious purposes. “They are not religious people,” he said.
Locals said that his parents departed for the island of Sakhalin off Russia’s Pacific Coast. The reports said the the man looks no older than 15 years old.
“He was just afraid that he won’t survive the winter without his parents,” Fomin added. “But maybe they have already come back.”
Elaborating on the situation, Fomin said that “He has got no education, doesn’t have any social skills and has no conception of the world outside of the woods,” according to RT.com.
He said that a local court will “definitely help” the young man after an ID card is issued for him, reported Ria Novosti.
There have been other cases of Russian children raised in the wild–often without social or communications skills. They are deemed “Mowgli children,” named after the main character in Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”
Social workers in Volgograd found a 6-year-old boy whose mother kept him locked inside an apartment building. They boy could not talk but chirped like a bird in an attempt to imitate the birds that lived there.
In 2007, it was reported that a girl named Alesha–a child raised by wolves–was discovered. The child only communicated via howling, barking, and biting. She eventually escaped police capture.
Local media reports say that the man who was recently found still lives in the forest and has began to gather firewood.