Social workers in Russia's Urals have taken into their care a five-year-old girl who spent most of her life in a cowshed and had cigarette butts for toys, media said on Thursday.
The girl’s mother and stepfather, both farmers in Perm region, did not take her to kindergarten and forced her to stay with the farm animals to keep her off their hands, Uralinform.ru said.
The girl was also frequently locked in a cupboard when she got in the way of her alcoholic parents, Moskovsky Komsomolets said. The father also frequently beat her up, the report said.
The girl cannot speak or eat with knife or fork, Uralinform.ru said. Instead, she grunts and drinks milk straight from the pot.
A case was opened into the incident. The girl was sent to a rehabilitation center, but may never fully recover after years of neglect, Moskovsky Komsomolets said.
The girl is not the only neglected child in the area: last winter, social services took away from local parents a seven-month-old infant who had to live in an unheated house on a diet of chips and pickles he would steal from the parents’ table.