Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Return of the Jungle Girl?

The parents of a girl who went missing 19 years ago at the age of eight in Cambodia are celebrating what they say is her return. A young woman, being called a "jungle-girl", was found in the forest scavenging for food. Though some are skeptical, a family has claimed her, and they are undergoing DNA tests to prove she is their daughter.

One strange piece in the reunion story is that the woman does not speak. An eight-year-old would have acquired the family's language before disappearing. But if she has indeed been living in the jungle for 19 years, it would not be terribly surprising if she undergoes some language and culture shock as she reenters village life. A psychologist is travelling to the remote village to assess the unusual--and potentially research-worthy--situation.

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