Woman raised by monkeys as a child!

Woman raised by monkeys as a child!

Insisting that her story is anything but fictional, find out how South American Marina Chapman originally from Colombia was raised by monkeys and lives to tell her story. Read on for the details of this epic Tarzan tale!

Raised by monkeys Abducted when a child, Marina Chapman claims to have been raised by monkeys


Not very many people get to say that their ‘life is a fairytale come true’. But in the case Marina Chapman, as incongruent as it may sound, it was—or at least, the Yorkshire housewife’s claims are yet to be overturned. For those familiar with the Walt Disney depiction of Tarzan, you know how the fictional tale goes. However, reports indicate that there is nothing fictitious about this story.

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Raised in the wild

The scene is set in the Colombian jungle during the 1950s. A frightened South American four-year-old at the time, abandoned in the rainforest by kidnappers who bungled her abduction, Marina, is believed to have been raised by a troop of monkeys until her rescue by hunters five years later. Her memories, clearly defined in her book, The Girl with No Name, vividly spell out her wild jungle adventures.

Watch this video clip for a sneak peek into Marina Chapman's childhood:

Monkey see, monkey do!

The now mother of two and grandmother of three from England recalls waking up in the forest one day, greeted by curious Capuchins, which went to become her furry friends and oddly enough, family! Instead of finding cause to defend their nest by attacking the tiny intruder before them, one of the monkeys reached out its hand and rolled her over to her side.

An inspection by the troop soon ensued and before long, she had fully acclimatized to her new environment and became one of them. The animals’ eating habits and high-pitched cries were soon adopted as her own—including the art of climbing trees, although she slept in a tree trunk at lights out.

Her acceptance was clear. One time, Grandpa, a monkey she’d named, helped cure a tummy ache by leading her to a river and signaling for her to drink until she threw up —an unmistakable sign that she was cared for.

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From paradise to prostitution  

Following her rescue, Marina was traded as a sex slave where she served as a prostitute before ending up in England where she married her church organist husband, John, with whom she now resides in a Bradford suburb. While she can’t be sure of her actual birthdate, her guess is that she’s in her fifties.

A history colored with fantasy backed by a riveting reality, National Geographic has expressed interest in creating a documentary surrounding the Marina Chapman story. Although shocking, experts suggest that monkeys are known to accept young humans into their fold.

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A lesson in parenting?

You wonder how it's possible for creatures from the wild to take in a human child as their own and groom her for a life in the jungle using real survival skills and techniques. What drove this troop of Capuchin monkeys to reach out to a toddler left to die and starve out in the cold? How it is that when a man is capable of such evil and devoid of humanity, animals are able to exercise love and affection for beings different than them?

This is perhaps an epic lesson in parenting. As seen in the example of Marina Chapman in relation to her wild, outdoorsy heritage, parenthood is instinctive and knows no bounds. Love for a baby or child comes naturally to those serious about it. Just like how some people adopt a dog or cat and treat their pet like they would their own kid.

For a more detailed history, watch this BBC Breakfast interview with Marina Chapman:

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Written by

Felicia Chin

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