New Delhi, India — Ramu, the famed “wolf boy” raised by a pack of wolves in a jungle where he was found in 1976, has died at a home for paupers run by Nobel laureate Mother Teresa. He was 10 and never had learned to speak.

In 1976, the news made headlines around the world that a baby boy  with tough, claw length fingernails and toenails had been discovered in the company of three wolf cubs in the dense jungle of the Sultanpur district.

His death on Feb. 18 reported by the Times of India Saturday leaves his jungle origins and his life with the wolf family a mystery. During his eight years of life in civilization, he never learned to speak.

The Times of India said the boy developed cramps about two weeks ago and failed to respond to medical treatment.

Ramu died at the Prem Nivas home for sick and dying destitutes, it said. The home in the Uttar Pradesh capital of Luck now is operated by Mother Teresa, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

When Ramu was discovered in a jungle forest near Musafir khana in 1976, he was naked and walking on all fours, like a wolf, rescuers said. The nails on his fingers and toes had grown the length of claws, they said, and his palms, elbows and knees were calloused. His hair was matted.

He fought to avoid capture, reports said, but was restrained and taken to the Little Flower convent in the Sultanpur district.

“The sight of raw meat attracted Ramu and he would seize an opportunity to sneak out and prey at fowls in the neighbor’s chicken coop,”’ The Times of India said.

Zoologists from throughout India were called in to examine him. They agreed that his survival in the jungle was made possible by the wolf family that instinctively treated him as one of its cubs.

The ‘Wolf Boy’ was later moved from the convent and placed in the care of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charities Prem Nivas home in Luck now.

Under the nuns’ tutelage, he learned to bathe and dress himself but never learned to speak.

No one knows how the boy came to be in the forest where he apparently was adopted by the wolves. And the details of his upbringing by the wolf pack have never been learned.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 1, 1985