This is a sad story about how low humans can sink. I hope her parents are suffering for what they did.
Oxana Malaya, the Dog Girl Her childhood spent in the company of dogs meant that Oxana exhibited many of the characteristics of feral children. Her actions and sounds mimicked those of her carers: she would run about on all fours and bark. When first found in 1991 she could hardly speak.
What has become of Oxana Malaya?
In 2006 at the age of 23, Oxana Malaya still resides at a home for the mentally handicapped, the Baraboy Clinic in Odessa, where she helps look after the cows in the Clinic's farm.
Oxana Malaya (Оксана Малая) (born November 1983) was found as an 8-year-old feral child in Ukraine in 1991, having lived most of her life in the company of dogs. Oxana Malaya picked up a number of dog-like habits and found it difficult to master language. Oxana Malaya has lived in the Baraboy Clinic in Odessa for the disabled since her discovery.
Oxana Malaya's alcoholic parents were unable to care for her and at 3 years of age, she was exiled from her home. They lived in an impoverished area where there were wild dogs roaming the streets. Oxana Malaya took refuge in a shed inhabited by these dogs behind her house. Oxana Malaya was cared for by them and learned their behaviours and mannerisms. Oxana Malaya growled, barked and crouched like a wild dog, sniffed at her food before she ate it, and was found to have acquired extremely acute senses of hearing, smell, and sight.
When she was discovered, Oxana Malaya found it difficult to acquire normal human social and emotional skills. She had been deprived of intellectual and social stimulation, and her only emotional support had come from the dogs she lived with. Oxana's lack of exposure to language in a social context made it very difficult for her to improve her language skills.
Today, Oxana Malaya can speak and many of her behavior problems have been remedied. Whether Oxana Malaya will be able to form strong relationships and feel part of any human community remains to be seen. In the British Channel 4 documentary, as well in the Portuguese SIC channel documentary, her doctors stated that it is unlikely that she will ever be properly rehabilitated into 'normal' society. Children develop the number of neurons they are going to have for the rest of their life by the time they are 6, and neglected children will not be able to develop normally past that age. Recently she met her father who had kept her in the dog shed when she was a child. Interestingly, she sought his love.
As of 2006 at the age of 23, Oxana Malaya resides at a home for the mentally handicapped, where she helps look after the cows in the Clinic's farm. Oxana Malaya has expressed that she is happiest when among dogs.
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