Home Top News Ukrainian Woman Says She Was Raised By Dogs, Used To Walk On All Fours

Ukrainian Woman Says She Was Raised By Dogs, Used To Walk On All Fours

Ukrainian Woman Says She Was Raised By Dogs, Used To Walk On All Fours


Ms Malaya was finally rescued at the age of 9.

You might have heard the story of Tarzan and Mowgli, who were separated from human habitats and grew up with wild animals in the jungles. While such literature is interesting and exhilarating to read, it seems far from reality. However, there have been recorded incidents where animals took in and raised children for real. Oxana Malaya from Ukraine is also one such case who claims to have spent her childhood with dogs. According to the New York Post, her life took an extraordinary turn when her alcoholic parents left her outside in the cold at the age of 3. Desperate for warmth and shelter, she followed her pet dog into the kennel and stayed there for nearly five years. 

During this time, Ms Malaya, who is now in her 40s, adopted animal traits, such as barking, growling and walking on all fours. Speaking about her unusual bringing, Ms Malaya said, “Mom had too many kids; we didn’t have enough beds. So I crawled to the dog and started living with her”. As per the Post, she said that to survive, she made a home for herself inside of her dog’s kennel and within the confines, she dwelled alongside the pooch for the next five years of her life – from the age of 3 to 9. 

Ms Malaya said that her dog and other neighbourhood strays treated her as their own. But by the time she was rescued, she had already lost her ability to speak and was running around on all fours. “I would talk to them, they would bark and I would repeat it. That was our way of communication,” she said. 

Moreover, Ms Malaya also licked herself clean, ate raw meat, rummaged through garbage bins for food and panted. “She was more like a little dog than a human child,” said Anna Chalaya, the director of the special care institution where Malaya now resides. “She used to show her tongue when she saw water and she used to eat with her tongue and not her hands,” Ms Chalaya said, as per the outlet. 

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Ms Malaya was finally rescued at the age of 9 when Ukrainian authorities were alerted about her canine-like condition. However, efforts to rescue her were initially thwarted by the gang of dogs that fiercely fought to protect her from the police. It wasn’t until officials distracted the dogs with food that they were able to remove the girl from the kennel. 

However, despite being taken into a foster home and learning how to walk and hold a conversation, she still held some of her canine behaviour. Even in her adult years, experts determined she had the mental capacity of a 6-year-old. 

“I don’t think she’s ever going to be able to read or do anything else that is going to be useful,” child psychologist Lyn Fry said of Ms Malaya. “If you haven’t got language by about [age] 5, you’re probably not going to get language at all,” the psychologist explained. 

Notably, as per the Post, Ms Malaya is just one of the approximately 100 known feral cases throughout history. She was reunited with both her mother and father in the early 2000s.



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