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Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Meet the woman who claims she was raised by monkeys
Marina Chapman claims to have lived in the Colombian jungle with monkeys for about five years. She talks to Simon Hattenstone about her escape from the jungle, living on Colombia's streets and moving
to Bradford. she has written a book about her life, called The Girl with No Name.
Chapman says she isn't as mobile as she once was. It's not so easy to climb trees these days, let alone swing from them. Well, she is about 60 or 62 years old – maybe older. She's not sure. Chapman is tiny, sinewy, bendy. At times she doesn't look quite human – a bit simian, a bit feline and quite beautiful.
Perhaps it's not surprising that Marina Chapman seems different from the rest of us. In her formative years, she says, she grew up with monkeys. Only monkeys. For around five years (again, she's unsure – there is no reliable means of measuring) she says she lived deep in the Colombian jungle with no human company. She remembers learning to fend for herself – eating berries and roots, nabbing bananas dropped by the monkeys, sleeping in holes in trees and walking on all fours. By the time she was rescued by hunters, she says, she had lost her language completely.