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On This Day

On This Day… The Boy Who Strolled Out Of A Forest!

Written by: George Chittenden : 26 Jun 2019

It was on this day, 8th January, back in 1800, when a young boy emerged from a forest in France. He was feral and the number of scars on his body suggested that he had been in the wild for most of his life. The boy was going through puberty, and doctors could only assume his age at the time of his discovery to be around twelve.

Surprisingly, he was first spotted in the woods near Saint-Sernin-sur-Rance in 1794. In 1797 he was captured by three hunters. They brought him to a nearby town where he was cared for by a widow but, he soon escaped and returned to the woods. After his surrender in 1800 he was given many people to stay with, however he ran away from civilization around eight times.

Eventually, his case was taken up by a young physician, Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, who worked with the boy for five years and gave him his name, Victor, but history remembers Victor as the Wild Boy of Aveyron. Itard tried to teach Victor to read and write, and in the end the boy could identify some words and phrases, but sadly he was never able to speak.

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