A real-life Mowgli boy discovered in 1873 could have been the inspiration for The Jungle Book

Charisa Bossinakis

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A real-life Mowgli boy discovered in 1873 could have been the inspiration for The Jungle Book

Featured Image Credit: Buena Vista Distribution. Rijksmuseum (Creative Commons)

A real-life Mowgli boy was discovered more than 100 years ago and could have been the inspiration for The Jungle Book.

Yes, that’s right kids, Disney fables can sometimes be true.

GQ India says the iconic movie could have been influenced by the story of Dina Sanichar, a ‘feral’ child who was discovered by a group of hunters in the forests of Bulandshahr, in India’s northern province in 1872.

The hunters saw Dina, who was reportedly six-years-old, crawling on all fours with a pack of wolves walking beside him.

The pack then disappeared into a cave with the child, according to Mysteries Unsolved.

Credit: Wikipedia
Credit: Wikipedia

The hunters attempted to rescue the child by separating him from his pack, which led the group of men to light the cave’s mouth on fire. 

The wolves ran out from the cave as the hunters killed them while they retrieved the boy.

However, the return to civilisation life proved to be difficult as Dina was immediately sent to live at an orphanage. 

He was given the name ‘Sanichar’, which means Saturday in Urdu, the day he arrived at the establishment.

According to Timeline, the child despised wearing clothes, only ate meat and sharpened his teeth with bones.

The boy could not also understand language, and though he wasn’t a mute, he would only communicate by emulating wild animal noises.

Child psychologist Wayne Dennis wrote in the 1941 American Journal of Psychology, which studied the ‘feral man’, that Dina had ‘little or no attachment to human beings’ and was ‘insensitive to heat and cold’.

Dennis shares that the boy didn’t develop any bonds with the other children at the orphanage until another ‘feral child’ was brought in.

He wrote: “A strange bond of sympathy attached these two boys together, and the elder one first taught the younger to drink out of a cup.”

While there were numerous attempts to teach Dina the ways of human civilisation, he never learnt how to speak and remained impaired for the rest of his life before passing in 1895 of tuberculosis.

A year before Dina died, Rudyard Kipling released his famous collection of stories titled The Jungle Book.

The collection of books led to multiple film adaptations, including a live-action film released in 2016 directed by Jon Favreau.

But the legend lives on as a sequel of the 2016 live-action film is reportedly in the works with Favreau returning as director.

Topics: Film & TV, News, Books, Film and TV

Charisa Bossinakis
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