Sunday, June 6, 2010

“Jungle Girl” goes back to the Wild

CAMBODIA (ChattahBox) – A woman who spent most of her life in the jungle before being reintegrated into society has fled once again into her beloved wild wilderness.

Rochom P’ngieng was 8 years old when she disappeared during a trek where she herded water buffalo with her older sister. For 20 years she was missing, until she was discovered in the forest, living off of the land, crawling instead of walking, and unable to speak.

She was brought back to the village she disappeared from and reunited with her family, the Lu’s. But there has always been some question as to whether or not she was truly their little girl. Experts mostly agree that an 8 year old would not have been capable of surviving in the jungle for so long on her own and that there is a good chance that Rochom is actually someone else.

But how she survived when it is so obvious she has spent a life in the jungle is equally mysterious. Other experts believe that it is Rochom, and that it was trauma and years of isolation that led to her losing the ability to speak in anything more than animal-like sounds.

In addition to this, she has difficulty walking upright, is nervous around people, and hates wearing clothes.

Her father, Sal Lu, believes that it is the work of forest spirits that have called his daughter since she was a child and protected her as she lived among them. She has tried to escape back into the jungle numerous times, and earlier this week she managed to do so. According to her father, she stripped off her clothes and left running into the wilds, disappearing once again.

He has gone to a mystic in the village to assist in the search. And she has allegedly told him that a [sacrificial] offering of an ox, a pig, a chicken, and four jugs of wine (a hefty fee) will bring her back. [In misguided desperation,] he is saving up to pay the price. Source

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