Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024
Tuesday May 21, 2024

Woman kidnapped at four, raised by monkeys, emerges from Colombian jungle



Marina Chapman’s astonishing journey of survival, silence, and the wild

In a truly extraordinary tale, the life of Marina Chapman from Colombia unravels a gripping narrative of abduction, abandonment, and an unexpected upbringing in the heart of the jungle.

Kidnapped at the tender age of four, Marina has scant recollections of her parents or her pre-abduction life. Her memories begin with the traumatic moment of being seized by two men and spirited away from her rural village in Colombia.

Dumped in the jungle, a four-year-old Marina found herself alone, left to navigate the challenges of survival in the wilderness. In a bizarre twist of fate, Marina claims to have been raised by monkeys, forming an unlikely bond with these creatures who became her closest companions.

In her 2013 book, The Girl With No Name, Marina recounts the harrowing events of 1954, an era marked by prevalent child-trafficking gangs in Colombia. Describing her abduction, she recalls, “I saw a hand cover my mouth – a black hand in a white hanky. Then I realised there were two people taking me away.”

Left to fend for herself, Marina’s fate took an unexpected turn when she heard the rustle of a monkey in the trees above. The creatures, initially cautious, eventually accepted her into their group, becoming her surrogate family in the dense Colombian jungle.

Reflecting on those early days, Marina shared, “It was just a nice feeling about seeing something in that moment. I just forgot to cry, and I still was frightened about it.”

In the weeks that followed, Marina claims to have developed a unique understanding with the monkeys, learning to recognize their varied sounds and discovering ways to find food. She explains, “Many sounds mean something. The ‘danger’ one is the louder one, and then the whistle one is the ‘food’ one. Each sound means different things, but it took me a while to get used to it.”

Remarkably, Marina’s jungle upbringing came to an end when hunters discovered her five years after her abduction. However, her journey took another unexpected turn when she alleges that the hunters, rather than reuniting her with her family, took her to a brothel in Cucuta.

Eventually, Marina found employment as a maid before relocating to the UK. Her incredible story challenges the boundaries of human resilience, survival, and the enduring connection between species.


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