This is Natasha Mikhailova – the five-year-old who walks on all fours, laps up food and drink with her tongue and communicates by barking after being raised by dogs.
Natasha, who is only the size of a toddler, is thought to have never left the squalid, unheated three-room flat she lived in with her dad and grandparents.
Rescuers found her dressed in ripped and soiled clothes and surrounded by dogs and cats following a tip-off from concerned neighbours on Monday.
Police said: “For five years the girl was brought up by several dogs and cats and had never been out.”
One neighbour in the city of Chita, Siberia, said: “We didn’t know she existed. They have three vicious dogs they took for walks but we never saw this child.”
Natasha, nicknamed Mowgli after the Jungle Book character raised by animals, is now at a rehabilitation centre where specialists are shocked at the way she leaps at humans and plays dog games.
They say she is not mentally retarded, just starved of contact with humans – and shuns other children.
Centre boss Nina Yemelchugova said: “When I went out of the room she jumped at the door and started barking, not just mewing or something, but barking. She laps up food from the plate.”
Police chief Larisa Popova, one of the first to enter the flat, said: “Her father was not there, but the dogs sought to protect her. She was living in filthy conditions. We were almost knocked over by the stink.”
Dad Victor Lozhkin, 27, and mum Yana Mikhailova, 25, who has had no contact with Natasha for two years, have been arrested on suspicion of neglect. They could face three years in jail.
Natasha’s case is the latest in a number of feral children in the former Soviet Union. In 2004 Andrei Tolstyk, seven, was found living with dogs in Siberia after being abandoned at three months. Like Natasha, he adopted traits including walking on all fours.