Saturday, October 31, 2009

Jungle woman wants to return to the wild

A Cambodian woman who spent 18 years living in a forest after going missing as a child has struggled to reintegrate in village life and wants to return to the wild.
Rochom P'ngieng, dubbed "jungle woman" when she emerged in Feb 2007, has still has not learnt to speak and refuses to wear clothes.
Her father said she had been admitted to hospital after refusing to eat for a month and had made several attempts to return to the forest.
Sal Lou said: "Her condition looks worse than the time we brought her from the jungle. She always wants to take off her clothes and crawl back to the jungle.
"She has refused to eat rice for about one month. She is skinny now... She still cannot speak. She acts totally like a monkey. Last night, she took off her clothes, and went to hide in the bathroom."
Rochom P'ngieng disappeared in 1989 when she was eight years old while herding water buffalo in the province of Ratanakkiri bordering Vietnam, north-east of the capital, Phnom Penh.
Her parents had long given up hope of ever seeing her. But in 2007, she emerged from the jungle naked and dirty, hunched over like a monkey, and was caught trying to steal by a farmer.
She was said to have been scavenging food in the forest and could utter only unintelligible words. Sal Lou described the sounds she made simply as "animal noises".
The drama of her disappearance and unlikely reappearance gripped Cambodians who described her as "half animal girl" and "jungle woman", though there were also many questions raised about her identity and whether she could really have survived in the jungle.

1 comment:

Chris O. said...