Sunday, March 21, 2010

wild children are not alway feral

We have all heard stories of children somehow being orphaned out in nature and miraculously adopted by wild animals. While seeming possible, we almost instantly disregard these stories as urban legend or severe exaggeration. After some research though it turns out that some of the stories are actually true. There are records leading back through history accounting for many children who were raised by animals.
Curious after last class’s discussion on how babies need attachment in order to develop correctly, I wondered if a child who was raised by parents of a different species would actually develop in a healthy manner. As you would expect, children who were raised by animals from a very early age i.e. less than one year old, never developed the traditional social behaviors of children. However, much to my surprise, despite their learned animalistic behavior many of these children are described as wild and not feral. That is to say, in many cases children who were raised by animals and then brought back to human society eventually developed into “normal” adults. It is hard to believe that a child’s own parents could ever be substituted with dogs or bears, but its true, and it happens. My only question now is: if left with their trans-species foster families, will these children ever realize they are different then their parents? And naturally these kids must have attachment to their animal parents, so would they ever seek a more human life if the decision was left to them? Or would they be happy living the rest of their lives as a different species?

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