Exerts from the United States claim a story that an African boy was brought up by wild monkeys is probably untrue and that the child is just mentally retarded.
Exerts from the United States claim a story that an African boy was brought up by wild monkeys is probably untrue and that the child is just mentally retarded. The experts virtually disproved the theory after examining the boy in a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday (4 June).
The story of the "monkey boy" began four years ago when farmers in the Central African nation of Burundi claimed they saw the child living with monkeys. The said they chased him and eventually captured him.
Last year Catholic missionaries from the Burundi town of Gitega heard about the boy, who had been put into an adult lunatic asylum and he was sent to an orphanage until he was flown to Nairobi on Wednesday (2 June).
Newspaper reports described the boy as having a larger than normal head, glaring eyes, a pot belly and being unable to speak other than to chatter like a monkey. He was also said to grimace and walk on all fours.
The "monkey boy" theory was further strengthened when officials said that they thought the child had been "adopted" by monkeys when his family was killed in a series of massacres in Burundi several years ago.
Two weeks ago Dr. Harland Lane, a psychologist, and Dr. Richard Pillard, a psychiatrist, flew to Burundi to see the boy, in the hope that he could provide to the effect on man of living in the wild for an extended period of time.
But after taking the boy to Nairobi and conducting X-rays, brain and blood tests on him, they now believe that their trip was in vain and the boy is mentally retarded.
SYNOPSIS: A small boy was the centre of attention at a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, on friday as he underwent tests to try to find out whether his unusual appearance and mannerisms were the result of living with monkeys or whether he was just mentally retarded.
The boy was flown to Nairobi on Wednesday from Burundi where he had been in an orphanage. Four years ago some farmers in Burundi claimed they saw the child living with monkeys and after giving chase, caught him. At first he was placed in an adult lunatic asylum, but later he was rescued by Catholic missionaries and last year put into the orphanage.
The story was widely reported and caught the attention of two U.S. doctors, Dr. Harland Lane, a psychologist, and Dr. Richard Pillard, a psychiatrist, who flew to Burundi to see the boy a fortnight ago.
They were hoping he would provide an excellent study on the result of man living in the wilds for an extended period of time. The child's appearance, mannerisms and monkey-like chatterings pointed to the authenticity of the story, but the doctors decided to take him to hospital to verify or disprove the evidence.
On Friday he underwent the first in a series of X-rays, brain and blood tests. But after careful examination of the results a hospital spokesman said the two doctors were almost sure that the monkey theory was untrue and the child was mentally retarded.