Saturday Mthiyane: The Child Of The Wild

On a Saturday in 1987, a 5-year-old boy, who looked like he had been through a lot, was found living with monkeys near the Tugela River in the wilderness of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

This feral child, also known as a wild child, displayed only animal-like behavior. He could not speak, walked on all fours, enjoyed climbing trees, and loved fruit, particularly bananas.

It was believed that his birth mother had abandoned him in the wilderness when he was an infant and he was raised by monkeys until he was discovered by Sundumbili residents. He was brought to the Ethel Mthiyane Orphanage and was given the name "Saturday Mthiyane" for the day he was found.

"He was very violent during his first days here," said Ethel Mthiyane, the founder and head of the orphanage. Saturday used to break things in the kitchen, steal raw meat from the fridge, and get in and out through windows. He didn't play with other children, but rather would beat them and often whoop at them. Unfortunately, Saturday Mthiyane died in a fire in 2005, almost 18 years after he was found.

It is unfortunate that Saturday lived a tragic life until the end, and one can't help but wonder if he would have been happier and better off living out his life in the wilderness, surrounded by nature.