Swiss ‘wolf child’ found in Málaga province

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wolf child

On March 18, a so-called ‘wolf child’ from Switzerland was accidentally found in the municipality of Coín by a local police patrol. The almost 18-year-old girl grew up in a Swiss forest with her sisters and father. There they had no ties with society whatsoever.

Because the girl was wanted by Swiss authorities, the father fled the country with her. Subsequently, an international arrest warrant was issued to deprive the father of parental authority and save the girl. However, after the police found her, she was temporarily placed in a youth shelter of the Junta de Andalucía. She returned to Switzerland on May 3, accompanied by Swiss youth care officials. There she is now under government supervision.


By chance, the local police discovered a car with a flat tyre near the La Trocha shopping centre in mid-March. The car looked like it was lived in. Near the car, the officers found a very unkempt-looking man with a – according to the newspaper SUR – ‘dejected’ girl who was also wearing dirty clothes. When the police checked their identity details, a warning from the Sirene system appeared. This is a partnership between countries of the European Union for missing and wanted persons. That system showed the father’s high flight risk, which meant that the girl had to be taken to safety immediately.

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Contact with Swiss authorities revealed that the girl grew up in completely feral conditions in a Swiss forest. She never registered anywhere, went to school or even had any contact with other people. Furthermore, the mother is said to have not seen the girl for six years. Both parents are said to suffer from a mental disorder. The father was said to have been against any form of authority or government and was therefore constantly on the run from all authorities. The other daughters are said to have already reached adulthood.

Why ‘wolf child’?

The term ‘wolf child’ was coined after the Second World War. “Wolf children” were minor orphans who were separated from their families and left alone after the conflict. They were forced to wander through forests isolated from humanity to survive. In Spain there is one known case in Andalucia. Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja lived from the age of 6 to the age of 17 in the Sierra Morena. He was taken in by a pack of wolves and grew up without any ties to humans. His story was made into a film in ‘Entre lobos’ (2010). The somewhat romanticised book ‘He jugado con lobos’ by the writer Gabriel Jane was also published.

Also read: More than 5,400 people missing in Spain

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