Police search for parents of girl found living with monkeys in India

Robin De Peyer
The girl is treated in hospital after being found in India: AP

An investigation has been launched after a girl was found living with monkeys in a forest in India.

Police are scouring reports of missing children in a bid to identify the girl, who is believed to be between 10 and 12 years old, and trace her parents.

She was found naked, emaciated and unable to speak in January, when she was taken to hospital in Uttar Pradesh, northern India.

She behaved like an animal, running on her arms and legs and eating food off the floor with her mouth, said D.K. Singh, chief medical superintendent of the government-run hospital where she is being treated.

After treatment, she has begun walking normally and eating with her hands.

"She is still not able to speak, but understands whatever you tell her and even smiles," Singh said.

Some woodcutters spotted the girl roaming with monkeys and alerted authorities, police officer Dinesh Tripathi told The Associated Press news agency.

"They said the girl was naked and was very comfortable in the company of monkeys. When they tried to rescue the girl, they were chased away by the monkeys," the officer said.

She was rescued later by a police officer in the Katarniya Ghat forest range. "When he called the girl, the monkeys attacked him but he was able to rescue the girl. He sped away with her in his police car while the monkeys gave chase," Tripathi said.

He said police are trying to determine how the girl got into the forest and who her parents are.

She will be sent to a home for juveniles until she is identified, Singh said.

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