The discovery of a girl believed to have been raised by monkeys in a northern Indian forest has taken a darker turn.
Rangers at Katarniya Ghat forest range found the eight-year-old naked and crawling on all fours in January. They figured she must have lived with the monkeys for years. The story was reported widely earlier this week.
But doctors now say the girl, who has since been named Durga, has mental and physical disabilities, and her quick progress since being found suggests it's likely she was recently abandoned in the wilderness by her carers.
The district chief forestry officer told UK paper The Guardian the girl was actually found on a roadside near the forest, and while there were monkeys nearby, his rangers "never found this girl living with monkeys".
"I think the family members of this girl had been aware that she is not able to speak, and they may have abandoned her near the forest road," he said. "If she was living with monkeys it would have been for a few days only, not for a long time."
The chief medical officer of the hospital in Bahraich, where the girl is being treated, told The Guardian that in India people "do not prefer a female child", and said the fact she isn't mentally sound is more evidence she was likely abandoned.
The girl will be moved to a children's home this Saturday to continue her recovery.