Recently, Russian social workers rescued a 7-year-old boy who has been raised as a pet bird by his mother. The boy was found in a tiny two-bedroom apartment filled with cages of birds.
He’s called “bird boy” by Russian media, and here’s why:
Social worker Galina Volskaya, who helped rescue the “bird-boy” from his home in Kirovsky, Volgograd, told Russian newspaper Pravda that he was treated like another pet by his 31-year-old mother.
Because she never spoke to him, Ms Volskaya explained, the boy’s only communication was with the birds he was surrounded by. “When you start talking to him,” she said, “he chirps.”
Russian authorities say the child was not physically harmed but is suffering from “Mowgli syndrome”, named after the Jungle Book character raised by wild animals, and cannot engage in any normal human communication.
Pravda reported: “(His mother) had her own domestic birds and fed wild ones. (She) neither beat him nor left him without food. She just never talked to him. It was all the birds that communicated with the boy and taught him birds’ language.
“He just chirps and when realising that he is not understood, starts to wave hands in the way birds winnow wings.”