Family of woman who was ‘raised by monkeys’ speak out
By Julian Simmonds and Philip Sherwell, in Cúcuta, Colombia
Ms Chapman’s forthcoming book claims she learnt to catch birds and rabbits with her bare hands after being abandoned in the jungle by kidnappers.
The Tarzan-like episode was brought to an end when she was discovered by hunters, but by her ordeal continued when she was sold to a brothel in the city of Cucuta and groomed for prostitution.
She was eventually found living on the streets and was taken in by a family who adopted her.
Her cousin, Carlos Velasquez, described how she was believed to have survived amongst the animals for so long.
“Apparently she was very little and she saw the monkeys eating food in the middle of the jungle. In order to survive she would imitate, or eat what they ate,” he said.
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An expert at the state Environment Agency in Colombia explained how it might be possible for a human to survive in these conditions.
Antonio Ramirez said: “The social behaviour of the monkeys is such that they can embrace the human as long as it doesn’t show any aggression.”
Ms Chapman and her family have now decided to tell her story to help highlight the horrors of human trafficking in South America.