A 20-year-old man living in Siberia for the past 16 years has been nicknamed the 'Siberian Mowgli,' after Kipling's famous jungle-dweller. The young man, named Odzhan, or "great soul", has been living in the wilderness of Siberia since 1997, when his hippy dippy parents decided to sever all ties with modern society.
Odzhan was unknown to the small community of Belokurihka (a spa resort that gives new meaning to the word "remote") until recently, when he surfaced near the village of Ulyanovka after his parents apparently left their small, one room hut earlier in the year. To date, there has been no word as to their whereabouts. The phrase "abandoned him" has been bandied about by several news outlets, though it's unclear exactly how you "abandon" a 20-year-old.
Young Odzhan has lived in the unforgiving forests of Siberia for at least 16 years. He has no actual government documentation. He's never been to a doctor. He doesn't even know what the word "vaccination" means. He's never been to any type of formal school, but that didn't stop him from learning English on his own. He's also an active reader and painter, when he's not working tirelessly just to survive. His one desire? To speak with an English speaker so he can brush up on his language skills. I guess there's at least one benefit to not living in society: learning remains fun after you cover the basics.
For his part, Odzhan seems perfectly content with his solitary lifestyle. He has no immediate plans to return to society, saying "I'm living well thank you. We are living well. This is the reality we have that we live here, and its quite a good reality."
That sentiment hasn't stopped the local government from attempting to help the Siberian Mowgli as he prepares for the coming Winter. Well, not help so much as get his paperwork in order. The government's first priority has been to get his identification documents back up to standard, at which point they will be able to lend Odzhan some assistance. Just like in America, until that time, they're not legally allowed to do anything.
At the moment, no one has any plans to bring Mowgli in. Local officials have determined that if the young man is happy in his mud hut, that's where he should stay. It's not as though the kid hasn't lived through a snowy season before, after all.