Woman Raised by Capuchin Monkeys Has to Be Monkeying With Our Minds

If you ever invite Marina Chapman to a dinner party and she proceeds to eat with her hands and then swing from the chandelier, cut the woman some slack! She was raised by monkeys in the jungle, after all. So she says. Chapman has a book coming out next year about being kidnapped at the age of four, dumped by her nappers in the Colombian jungle, and then adopted by a bunch of capuchin monkeys who taught her how to kill prey with her bare hands and speak monkey-talk. Hey, if anything, she'll have the best childhood story at the party, amiright?


Chapman's incredible tale starts when, at four years old, she claims she was the victim of kidnappers, who eventually left her in the jungle to die. But she managed to hook herself up with a tribe of capuchin monkeys, who let her be a part of their family for five years. You gotta love dem capuchins, they are so cute!

Says the publisher for Chapman's book, The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of the Girl Raised by Monkeys:

By following them and copying what they ate and drank, their social activities, their language, Marina gradually became part of the family for five extraordinary years. They fought, played and shared tender and terrifying experiences. Marina developed extraordinary super-human abilities such as tree-climbing, stealth and animal communication.

Chapman was eventually found by hunters, who then sold her into prostitution for a parrot. Sheesh, monkeys are so much nicer. Chapman says she managed to escape and years later made her way to the UK, where she married and had two children. Says her daughter, Vanessa:

I got bedtime stories about the jungle, as did my sister. We didn’t think it odd -- it was just Mum telling her life.

Chapman (real name: Ooo-ooo-ooooo!!!) isn't the first "feral child" to claim being raised by species other than human. But experts wonder if Chapman is monkeying around with the truth. Says one expert, who notes that capuchins are not only aggressive, but that they cover too much jungle in one day for a four year old to possibly keep up:

Chimpanzees, yes, I could imagine that. And possibly orangutans. But capuchins? That would be truly extraordinary.

Extraordinary, indeed. This is one family reunion I'm hoping Animal Planet will document.

Do you believe Chapman was raised by capuchins?


Image via Andrew Lowney Literary Agency

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