The Astonishing Story Of Marina Chapman Who Says She Was Abandoned As A Child And Raised By Monkeys

Date October 5, 2018 14:32

Marina Chapman has an incredible story. In fact, it's so out-of-this-world that some people just cannot believe it, although Marina insists it's the truth.  She said she was kidnapped from her family when she was a baby, abandoned in the Colombian jungle, and basically raised by monkeys. 

While sharing her story with The GuardianMarina said that she spent decades living among primates and figuring out how to survive. 

At first, she did not want to share her story with the world, she said. But after her daughter kept insisting, wanting to ensure her mother's story did not fade into oblivion, Marina decided it was time to open up. 


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The next step for Marina and her daughter was to team up with writer Lynne Barrett-Lee to create a memoir that went on to be a bestselling book. They pieced together Marina's childhood and gave the world a book that would cause quite a controversy.

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How it all began

In her book titled 'The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys', Marina says she was kidnapped shortly before her fifth birthday, while playing in her family's garden. She was then driven into a rainforest where she was dumped and abandoned.

After hours of weeping and wandering the unknown forest, Marina came to the realization that no one was coming for her. She eventually saw a group of monkeys and she watched them, curious about their behavior and even feeling envious of how close-knit they were.

At first, the monkeys didn't really show any interest in her until the day when she fell ill from tamarind food poisoning. One of the older monkeys guided her to muddy water. Marina drank it and eventually recovered.

It was from this moment she felt welcomed by the monkeys. From them, she learned how to survive, climb trees, what to eat, how to clean herself and other habits.

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She explained to the Guardian that she was not technically 'raised' by the monkeys but she was seen as an extended family of some sort. Even at the age of 5, she was quite bigger than the monkeys. She scavenged food from them, but they did not actually raise her.

Being rescued (or so she thought)

Hunters would occasionally pass by the forest but she was initially too afraid to make contact. Eventually, she did. However, instead of the comforting human salvation she hoped for, Marina was sold to a brothel. She said she never engaged in prostitution, but she was treated cruelly by those she lived with. She later ended up in the streets.

In a bid to find food and shelter, she found a family who took her in as a domestic maid. Things did not work out there either, as they were criminals who treated her horribly. 

A neighbor named Maruja then helped her and flew her down to live with one of her children, named Maria, in Bogotá. Maria adopted Marina and the kind woman was able to send her to North England, where Marina was able to build a life for herself. 

Believe it or not?

Many people find it hard to believe Marina's tale. There were those who thought she could be making up stories to perhaps deal with childhood trauma. It did not help that Marina, try as she did, could not recollect any instances from her childhood before the kidnapping. 

She and her family insist that they aren't looking for a financial gain. In fact, proceeds from the book actually go to a charity. 

So is her story true? At the end of the day, it's up to the reader to decide that. At the very least, it's an entertaining, captivating and insightful story that reminds us not to take things for granted and encourages us to believe in our own abilities.

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