Surendera Kumar and his sister Rajeshwari, 25, wander into the jungle
They play with monkeys and other animals in the Chhattisgarh region
They never fear the wild animals that roam the area and love to play freely
But their mother is concerned after their father was killed by local militia
A pair of Indian siblings who have a close bond with wild animals have been compared to Mowgli from The Jungle Book.
Surendera Kumar and his sister Rajeshwari, 25, wander into the jungle for days at a time and play with monkeys in Rajnandgaon, in the Chhattisgarh region.
They never fear the wild animals that roam the area and love to play freely amongst the trees and fauna.
Their mother Pancho Bai, 45, lives her life in fear of losing them and in particular Surendera, 20, known as Golu, because of how close he gets to the animals.
She said: ‘He roams around in the jungle and I have to drag him home. I have seen him playing Kabaddi sporting game and hide and seek with monkeys and chasing them around.
‘I’ve often seen Golu behaving like a monkey. People in our village have even tagged him a Gorilla for the way he walks. He has a bond with animals and I believe that is why no animal has ever harmed him.
‘Strangers in our area are often shocked and frightened by his Gorilla like appearance but the children are now used to him and they often play.’
Pancho said the pair were born looking different to her three other children.
‘They were both born this way,’ she said. ‘They started walking normally aged one but neither have been able to talk properly, and have this remarkable connection to the outdoors.’
The family live in an area controlled by the communist guerilla group Naxal.
Their father was killed in 2014 by the group while hunting for his feral children after they had again disappeared.
Pancho, who works as a cleaner a few days a month and earns Rs160 a day (£1.50), remembered: ‘They’d gone into the jungle but when they didn’t return my husband went looking for them. He went deep into the jungle to search for them and the Naxalites got suspicious and killed him.
‘The children eventually returned home after three days with the help of some villagers but my husband was gone forever. I often worry my children will face the same end.’
Pancho’s brother-in-law, Harish Chandra Godh, 40, now supports his brother’s family after his death. He gives Pancho a small part of his monthly income of Rs 3,000 (£3) for meals.
He said: ‘We took the children to the doctor once because we knew they were different to other children but the doctor said they could not help. We have now appealed to the government for some kind of medical assistance.
‘They enjoy the jungle but I believe they would have a better quality of life if they were in a town so that they had more things going on around them. They have adapted to this jungle life.’
Dr Mithlesh Chaudhari, 52, the government’s Chief Medical Officer, said: ‘The two siblings have a disorder where the brain has not developed fully.
‘It is impossible to treat them as we cannot identify their condition. They now live their lives in the jungle, everyone knows about them and they seem to be able to look after themselves quite well in the jungle as they’ve never faced any harm.’