A wild boy captured in the woods near the village of Lacaune, France, in 1797. The boy was taken by his captors (local peasants), kicking and struggling, to be displayed in the village square. The wild boy managed to escape, but a year later (1798) he was caught again in the vicinity of Lacaune by three hunters as he was climbing a tree. He was then taken to a local widow's house, who fed and clothed him for a week. At the first change, the boy again ran away to the forest. But the wild boy was now less wary of human company, and stared showing up hungry at farmhouse doors.
Eventually, in 1800 with winter at its worst, the hungry wild boy wandered near another village, Saint Sernin, and was captured again, this time by a a local leather tanner named Vidal. After that, Victor, as the boy came to be known, never returned to the wild.
The boy was dirty and inarticulate, and he moved on all fours and grunted like a beast. Brought to Paris Napoleon's brother himself, Lucien Bonaparte, the Minister for the Interior, demanded that the boy had to be examined by members of the society and exhibited in a cage, Victor would rock back and forth and appear completely apathetic. Pioneer psychologist Philippe Pinel examined the boy and diagnosed him an incurable idiot, doubting the story of his wild origins.
Despite the grim prognosis, a young physician and teacher of deaf-mute and retarded children named Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard took charge of the boy's education. Victor learned how to read, say a few words and to obey simple commands, but he never properly learned to speak. He died in 1828.
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