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'Forest boy' found after 16 years in wilderness

Published On: Sep 11 2013 04:22:00 PM CDT   Updated On: Sep 11 2013 03:51:43 PM CDT
Forest boy in Siberia

Belokuriha prosecutor's office

Officials in Siberia say they have discovered a 20-year-old man who appears to have lived in the forest for the past 16 years.

Dubbed the "Siberian Mowgli" in a nod to the boy in "The Jungle Book," the man was found by a woman living near the town of Belokurikha, a famous resort area in Russia's Altai region, according to UPI.

In delayed but clear speech, the boy told authorities he was born in 1993 and had been living in the forest since 1997, when his parents decided to "abandon society."

His parents then appear to have abandoned him in May this year, AFP reported.

"I'm living well thank you," he told The Siberian Times. "We are living well. This is the reality we have that we live here, and it's quite a good reality."

After speaking with authorities, the man fled back to forest hut, where RIA Novosti reports he is collecting firewood ahead of winter.

"He has no education, no social skills and no ideas about the world beyond the forest," local prosecutor Roman Fomin told Russia Today.

Officials are expected to issue the man an ID, which would allow him to receive state support.

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