Oxana Malaya

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Oxana Malaya
Oxana Oleksandrivna Malaya

(1983-11-04) 4 November 1983 (age 35)
Known forFeral child

Oxana Oleksandrivna Malaya (Ukrainian: Оксана Олександрівна Малая, born 4 November 1983, in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine, (then Soviet Union) is a Ukrainian woman internationally known for her dog-imitating behaviour. Malaya has been the subject of documentaries, interviews and tabloid headlines as a feral child "raised by dogs",[1] although it is not clear if she ever lived separately from people.[2]


Malaya was born in the village of Nova Blagovishchenka in Hornostaivka Raion, Kherson Oblast, of the Ukrainian SSR. According to doctors and medical records, she was a normal child at birth,[3] but later she was neglected by her alcoholic parents at an early age, and she lived surrounded by dogs.[2] When Oxana was found by authorities, she was seven and a half years old, but she could not talk, lacked many basic skills, and physically behaved like a dog. She was running around on all fours, barking, slept on the floor, and she ate and took care of her hygiene like a dog.[3]

Malaya was eventually transferred to the foster home for mentally-disabled children in Barabol (rural Ovidiopol Raion of Odessa Oblast). She underwent years of specialized therapy and education to address her behavioural, social and educational issues. Upon adulthood, Oxana has been taught to subdue her dog-like behaviour, she learned to speak fluently and intelligently,[4] she works at a farm milking cows,[1][4] but remains somewhat intellectually impaired.[5]

In a Channel 4 documentary, and in the Portuguese SIC channel documentary, her doctors stated that it is unlikely that she will ever be completely rehabilitated into "normal" society. In 2001 Russian TV channel "NTV" made a documentary about her life.[6] There have been multiple articles about her in the press.

In 2013, Oxana gave an interview on national Ukrainian TV, on the talk-show Govorit Ukraina, where she talked about herself and answered questions.[4] During the show Oxana said that she wants to be treated like a normal human being, and is offended when others call her a "dog-girl".[4] She said that she wants her brothers to visit her more often and that her main dream in her life is to find her biological mother.[4] She also talked about her boyfriend, her life in the state foster home and her work with animals on the farm.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Grice, Elizabeth (July 17, 2006). "Cry of an enfant sauvage". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 17, 2006.
  2. ^ a b "Raised Wild". Animal Discovery. November 30, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "У Оксаны Малой нашлись родной брат и маленькая племянница" (in Ukrainian).
  4. ^ a b c d e f Channel Ukraine. ""Oxana Malaya on Ukrainian TV show"".
  5. ^ У героини публикации «фактов» оксаны малой, которая выросла в… Собачьей конуре, нашлись родной брат и маленькая племянница, тоже оксана - 2003 follow-up article in Fakty i kommentarii (in Ukrainian).
  6. ^ "Каталог" (in Ukrainian).

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