'Bird boy': The Russian boy was treated like another pet by his mother
A seven-year-old boy who can only communicate by chirping after his mother raised him as a pet bird has been rescued by Russian care-workers.
Reports in Russian media claim the child, suffering from "Mowgli syndrome", was found in a tiny two-room apartment that appeared to double as an aviary, filled with cages containing dozens of birds, bird feed and bird droppings.
Social worker Galina Volskaya, who helped rescue the "bird-boy" from his home in Kirovsky, Volgograd, told Russian newspaper Pravda that he was treated like another pet by his 31-year-old mother.
Because she never spoke to him, Ms Volskaya explained, the boy's only communication was with the birds he was surrounded by.
"When you start talking to him," she said, "he chirps."
Russian authorities say the child was not physically harmed but is suffering from "Mowgli syndrome", named after the Jungle Book character raised by wild animals, and cannot engage in any normal human communication.
Pravda reported: "(His mother) had her own domestic birds and fed wild ones. (She) neither beat him nor left him without food. She just never talked to him. It was all the birds that communicated with the boy and taught him birds' language.
"He just chirps and when realising that he is not understood, starts to wave hands in the way birds winnow wings."
The boy is temporarily living in an asylum, but soon will be transferred to a centre of psychological care, according to reports.
His mother signed an abdication form to release him into care after he was discovered last week.
Though admittedly unusual, the case is not without precedent.
In February 2006, social workers took three weeks to catch a four-year-old "wolf-boy" discovered living on the streets with a pack of stray dogs and cats in the Stavropol region of southern Russia. Arthur Zverev barked and ran on all fours. And in January 2007, a Cambodian woman named Rochom P'ngieng was found wandering naked in the jungle, unable to speak after living among animals since she disappeared from home aged eight.
First pictures of the 'bird boy' who was raised as a pet and can only communicate by chirping | the Daily Mail