Oxana Malaya – The Russian Feral Child Who Was Raised By Dogs

The ‘feral child’ Oxana Malaya’s story is a pretty clear indicator that nurture plays a bigger role than nature. At merely 3 years old, her alcoholic parents neglected her and left her outside one night. Instinctively, she crawled to the closest thing that could provide her with warmth and shelter, the dog kennel. She ended up living surrounded by dogs all the time and psychologically, becoming one of them.

Oxana Malaya
© MRU CC

Early Life Of Oxana Malaya:

© UnheardPerception

Oxana Malaya was born on November 4th, 1983, in the village of Nova Blagovishchenka in Hornostaivka Raion of Kherson Oblast in southern Ukraine. According to doctors and medical records, she was a normal child at birth. But later she was neglected by her alcoholic parents at an early age. When she was just 3 years old she was abandoned by her parents. Alone in the cold, she crawled into a farmyard dog kennel. It became her home and the dogs became her family, and she lived surrounded by dogs.

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Rescue Of Oxana Malaya:

Oxana Malaya, The Russian Feral Child

When Oxana was finally discovered by authorities six years later, she was walking on all fours, jumping, running, eating and barking just like the dogs that raised her. She could not talk, lacked many basic skills, and physically, all her behaviours were like a dog. Even, she ate and took care of her hygiene like a dog.

Up to this point, you think the girl could be acting – but the moment she was shaking her head and neck free of droplets, exactly like a dog when it emerges from a swim, you get a creepy sense that this was something beyond imitation.

If you heard her barking, you would be completely shocked. The furious sound she was making was not like a human being pretending to be a dog. It was a proper, chilling, canine burst of aggression and it was coming from the mouth of a young woman, dressed in T-shirt and shorts.

Oxana Went Through A Long Specialized Therapy:

Oxana was eventually transferred to the foster home for mentally-disabled children in Barabol – rural Ovidiopol Raion of Odessa Oblast. She underwent years of specialized therapy and education to address her behavioural, social and educational issues. Upon adulthood, Oxana has been taught to subdue her dog-like behaviour, she learned to speak fluently and intelligently, she works at the farm milking cows, but remains somewhat intellectually impaired.

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Oxana Malaya’s World Wide Recognition:

In a British Channel 4 documentary, and in the Portuguese SIC channel documentary, her doctors stated that it is unlikely that she will ever be completely rehabilitated into the “normal” society. In 2001, the Russian TV channel “NTV” made a documentary about her life. There have been multiple articles about her in the press.

Oxana Malaya in an interview

In 2013, Oxana gave an interview on national Ukrainian TV, on the talk-show Govorit Ukraina, where she talked about herself and answered questions. During the show, Oxana said that she wants to be treated like a normal human being, and is offended when others call her a “dog-girl”. She said that she wants her brothers to visit her more often and that the main dream in her life is to find her biological mother. She also talked about her boyfriend, her life in the state foster home and her work with animals on the farm.

Oxana Malaya – The Feral Child Raised By Dogs:

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