Marina Chapman may live a quiet life now, but the story of her childhood is more akin to a wild fairytale: Chapman claims she was raised by monkeys.
The British housewife alleges that capuchin monkeys raised her after she was kidnapped in Colombia and abandoned in a remote jungle, according to The Sunday Times via The Australian. Chapman alleges that she was kidnapped when she was 5 years old, presumably for ransom, and then left for dead in the jungle. Capuchin monkeys reportedly adopted her, fed her and acclimated her to their lifestyle.
After about five years living with the monkeys, Chapman was found by hunters and sold to a brothel, according to the report. In her teens, she became a maid, and in her mid-twenties, on a trip to Britain, she met and married her husband, John. The two had children together.
“When we wanted food, we’d have to make noises for it,” her daughter told the newspaper. “All my schoolfriends loved Mum as she was so unusual. She was childlike, too, in many ways.”
Chapman shares her story in the new book “The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of the Girl Raised by Monkeys,” which is set to be published in 2013, according to The Bookseller.
Chapman is represented by agent Andrew Lownie. On his website, Lownie offers more details on the Yorkshire housewife’s extraordinary tale.
“She was confronted by about twenty curious capuchin monkeys,” Lowie describes. “By following them and copying what they ate and drank, their social activities, their language, Marina gradually became part of the family for five extraordinary years. They fought, played and shared tender and terrifying experiences. Marina developed extraordinary super-human abilities such as tree-climbing, stealth and animal communication.”
Although her life is very different in England, Champan still embraces her primal side “by scaling trees in seconds, catching wild birds and rabbits with her bare hands, as well as milking the odd passing cow.”
Chapman can be considered a “feral child,” or a human child who lived isolated from human contact at a very young, developmental age.
Stories of feral children may be rare, but the cases reported are truly astonishing. Oxana Malaya, known as the “Ukrainian dog girl,” reportedly lived with a pack of dogs for five years, the Telegraph notes. In South Africa, a boy allegedly spent his childhood with a troop of baboons, according to National Geographic.