Feral children, also known as wild children or wolf children, are children who've grown up with minimal human contact, or even none at all. They may have been raised by animals (often wolves) or somehow survived on their own. In some cases, children are confined and denied normal social interaction with other people.
Genie: modern "wild child"
Isolated, confined and feral children
Over 100 children are listed here, including children raised by animals, isolated children: children who lived on their own, and confined children. There is also a complete list of all the children.
Famous feral children
You'll find all the famous cases such as Victor d'Aveyron, perhaps the most famous feral child of all; Amala and Kamala, the wolf girls from India; Genie, the "modern-day wild child"; and the mysterious Marie-Angelique Memmie LeBlanc, the Wild Girl of Champagne.
Memmie: feral child
Ever since the legend of Romulus and Remus — the twins, brought up by a she-wolf, who founded Rome — people have been intrigued and fascinated by tales of children brought up by wild animals, away from normal human contact.
Raised by animals
There are wolf girls, dog boys, and wild kids raised by the most unlikely animals — even ostriches.
Kamala: feral child
Explore This Site
There are nearly 2,000 pages on this site, including academic papers, essays and book extracts about feral children.
Test your knowledge
Play xaosdog's Fun Trivia quiz: feral children in legend, literature — and life to test your knowledge on the subject of feral children.
There are many books about feral children if you want to learn more, plus some children's books about feral children and lots of feral children in fiction.
Naderi Twins: hidden secret
Join this site Interested in feral children? Then why not join the Feral Children Discussion Forum.
Many cases of feral children are of doubtful authenticity; even recent ones, such as John Ssebunnya, are questioned by some. And at least a few of the children were autistic and/or mentally disabled, and not feral at all.
One modern case in which we do have a direct witness who confirms he saw a young child in the company of monkeys for a period of a year is Saturday Mifune (Saturday's full story appears in the expanded paperback edition of Kaspar Hausers Geschwister).
Warning: Neglect and Abuse
No matter how fascinating, scientifically interesting or even romantic some of these stories seem, it isn't much fun to be a feral child, wolf boy or wild girl. We shouldn't forget that all these children have been abandoned, neglected or even cruelly abused: some of the stories are quite harrowing.
(For materials designed for caregivers dealing with maltreated children that is also helpful to parents and others in understanding how all children develop see The Child Trauma Academy website.)