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Chita's "Mowgli Girl" Getting Adjusted to Normal Human Life

CHITA. June 9 (Interfax) - Specialists have said they have seen progress in the rehabilitation of a Chita girl, who spent a long time living with cats and dogs.

"The girl's rehabilitation is proceeding well," Tatyana Misnik, head of the Nadezhda (Hope) rehabilitation center, told Interfax on Tuesday.

"But making final conclusions would be premature, since the rehabilitation course began just a week ago," she said.

Earlier reports said, citing the territorial interior department, that police inspectors found a five-year old girl, reared by dogs and cats, not by her parents, while inspecting an apartment. The girl had never been outside her home.

Unwashed and wearing dirty clothes, her ways resembling those of a domestic animal, the five year-old Natasha would attack newcomers like a dog. Over the years, the girl had only managed to learn the language of the animals. The decision was to move her to the rehabilitation center Nadezhda.

The girl, however, cannot be likened fully to Mowgli, experts said. She has got adjusted well, she walks on her feet and her "cat" and "dog" ways come very occasionally, Natasha's teachers said.

The girl's mother learned about her daughter's whereabouts from media reports. She claimed the girl had been taken away by the father two and a half years ago. The father, however, said he had taken the girl at the request of his wife's grandmother. Since then, he said, Natasha had lived with him and his family in a three-roomed apartment in Chita. The man was reportedly employed by a private entrepreneur.

Natasha's parents have two more children - an older daughter, who lives with the grandmother on the mother's side, and the youngest daughter, who lives with the mother.

Criminal cases have been opened in relation to both parents.