For centuries, many folktales all around the world have described feral children who grow-up among wild animals. The question is, did these specific persons in history really exist or were these stories based on peoples’ imaginations? And if, the stories were true, what were the lives of these feral children really like? In the two-part series Children of the Wild on Get.factual, two famous stories are depicted – and spoiler alert, one really happened.

John SsebunyaBildschirmfoto 2020-09-02 um 14.19.20

In 1989, a little boy was found among a group of wild apes in Uganda. His name was John. Turns out, he was abandoned in the jungle and lived with the animals for several years. When the villagers tried to pick up the little boy, the apes threw sticks on them in order to save little John, whom they regarded as part of the group. However, once the villagers brought John into town, they were shocked to discover he was actually 6 years old! For such a young child left alone without human interactions, he had already learned to mimic and adapt many behaviors and attitudes shared by his wild ape family. 


While John’s story is a true event, the story of Mowgli is a world-famous tale by Rudyard Kipling called, The Jungle Book. It’s about the little boy named Mowgli, who was raised by wolves. He tales tells of his survival in the jungle, outsmarting an Indian python named Kaa, as well as a dangerous Bengal tiger named Shere Khan. Ever since its publication in 1894, the story of Mowgli has fascinated people, leading to many different films and series about his character.

Learn more about the incredible stories of children who were raised by animals in the wilderness in the series Children of the Wild. You can also sign up for our newsletter to for new releases, interesting titles, and articles delivered directly to your inbox.


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