Barking' Feral Girl 'Raised By Dogs'
A five-year-old girl who was allegedly "brought up" by cats and dogs in a flat has been taken into care, Russian police have revealed.
The child, who lived in the eastern Siberian city of Chita, could not speak Russian and acted like an dog.
"For five years, she was 'brought up' by several dogs and cats and had never been outside," a police statement said.
"The unwashed girl was dressed in filthy clothes, had the clear attributes of an animal and jumped at people," it said.
The flat had no heat, water or sewage system.
A police spokeswoman said the girl, known as Natasha, is being monitored by psychologists in an orphanage.
Her mother was being questioned but her father has not been found yet.
She has the appearance of a two year old, although her real age is five.
The youngster refuses to eat with a spoon and has taken on many of the gestures of the animals with which she lived, police said.
"When carers leave the room, the girl jumps at the door and barks," the police said.
Feral children, the stuff of folklore all over the world, usually exhibit the behaviour of the animals with whom they have had closest contact.
The condition is known as the Mowgli Syndrome after the fictional child from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book who was raised by wolves.
Such children have usually built strong ties with the animals with whom they lived and find the transition to normal human existence highly traumatic.