Marina Chapman lived with capuchin monkeys for five years after being kidnapped in Columbia (pic Andrew Lownie/Wiki Comms)
A woman from Yorkshire is set to reveal how she spent five years living with capuchin monkeys after being kidnapped in Columbia at the age of four.
Marina Chapman - who thinks she is 62 but does not know for sure - will release The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of the Girl Raised by Monkeys next April.
The book details how she was grabbed by abductors and left in a remote Columbian jungle. She tried to find her way home but was confronted by a colony of capuchin monkeys, which took her in.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, her daughter, Vanessa James, said: "It's assumed the kidnap went wrong. All that mum remembers is being chloroformed with a hand over her mouth. Before that, all she can recall of her life is having a black doll.
"I got bedtime stories about the jungle, as did my sister. We didn't think it odd - it was just Mum telling her life. So in a way it was nothing special having a mother like that."
Chapman claims she followed the monkeys and copied what they ate and drank, even imitating their social activities and language.
She learned to catch birds and rabbits with her bare hands and eventually became part of the family. Over the five years, she developed extreme abilities, such as tree-climbing and animal communication.
However, some experts has questioned the authenticity of Chapman's story, as capuchins cover great distances every day, which a toddler would not be able to keep up with. They are also very small, and at four she would have been far too large to carry.
A monkey expert told the Daily Mail: "They live in colonies of around 30 or 40 and roam the jungle, covering around 12-18km a day, so how a human would be able to follow them and become part of the colony I do not know.
"I could imagine a young child learning certain skills from capuchins, especially from those primates which have grown up in areas populated by humans, but it stretches the imagination to think of a child becoming a part of a capuchin family."
Chapman then says she was found by a pair of hunters and sold into slavery for a parrot. She escaped from her captors and went to Cucuta, in Columbia, where she lived on the streets and eventually lead her own gang of thieves.
She ended up working as a maid for a family, who took her with them when they went to stay in Bradford for six months on a business trip. It was in Bradford that she met her husband John Chapman, who she married in 1977.
On Chapman's literary agent, Andrew Lownie's website, it says: "From encountering pythons, crocodiles and big cats in the wilds of Colombia to surviving car crashes and bombs on the streets of Cucuta to scrambling up the trees of Bradford, England, from facing three seemingly insurmountable tragedies to finally finding love in the UK, Marina's inspirational and astonishing story is truly unforgettable."
A TV documentary about Chapman's life is now being planned. Her profits from the book will be donated to charities that aim to combat human trafficking and child slavery in Columbia.
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