Two months after being found close to death, a Wolf Boy who lived in the forests of Transylvania for years with wild dogs after running away from home is returning to his family.
The boy?s mother, Lina Caldarar, has been reunited with Traian, age seven. The feral gypsy child was found by a shepherd two months ago, barely alive, naked and huddled in a cardboard box. He was the size of a three-year-old and had forgotten how to speak.
His mother says she left her husband home three years ago after he beat her. She believes Traian ran away for the same reason.
Doctors say it would have been almost impossible for him to have survived alone. They think that he was taken care of by wild dogs that live in the forest. When he was rescued, he was suffering from severe malnutrition and rickets, and his circulation was bad, possibly because of frostbite. He became violent when hungry, and preferred to sleep under his bed, rather than on it.
He was kept under observation in an orphanage until last week when the authorities decided his mother is fit to look after him. Caldarar says, ?I loved my son, but I had a violent husband who beat me. When I fled, I lost contact with Traian, although I tried to get him back. I never stopped thinking about him but there was nothing I could do. I hoped he had perhaps been adopted by another family.?
Traian?s new home is less than seven miles from where he was found in February. He lives in a remote village in Romania with his mother, her parents and her three brothers and three sisters.
The youngest of Ms Caldarar?s brothers, who is nine, has become Traian?s best friend, although they can?t hold a conversation with each other. ?He still hasn?t got used to saying when he needs to go to the lavatory,? his mother says. ?Someone needs to keep an eye on him at all times because it?s easy for him to get hurt. He still can?t identify the dangers in the street. Like an untrained puppy, when he sees something interesting like a cat on the other side of the road, he?ll just run across, regardless of whether there are cars coming.?
She is relieved that her son has gained weight. ?When he came here, he wasn?t even able to climb five stairs. I don’t think he would have lasted much longer in the wild. He was so weak. But now he can do that all alone. Doctors tell me he has strengthened, and this is a good sign,? she says.
Two months ago, Traian was defending his food and growling for more before finishing the food on his plate. ?My husband starved us both,? his mother says. ?He didn?t give us food for days.?
Caldarar lost touch with her husband, but when she saw a TV report about him, ?I said to my mum, ?that?s my son?that?s Traian.? They were showing him while he was in hospital. My mum couldn?t believe it. She said, ?no, Lina, it?s not him. Calm down.? But I recognized him,? she says.
?I went with my mother to the hospital in Fagaras and there he was. The doctor asked my son, ?Who is this woman?? He recognized me immediately. He said, ?Lina, Mum.? They are still some of the only words he knows.? Police are trying to track down the boy’s father, who will be charged with abandonment and abuse.
When Traian was found by a shepherd, who was walking in the woods after his car broke down, he was next to the body of a dead dog, which the boy had apparently been eating.The child was taken to a nearby hospital, where Dr. Mircea Florea says, ?He was found in an animal position, and his movements are animalistic. The facts show that he was not brought up in a social environment and might have been abandoned a long time ago.
?He was not fussy. He ate everything we gave him, but didn?t know what fruit was. He has now started to learn how to behave himself,? says Florea. ?With proper care, he can learn how to become a human being.?
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