Doctors and forest officials do not believe that the girl found in the Motipur range of Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh was raised by monkeys, The Guardian reported on Saturday. Sanctuary officials suspect that the girl was abandoned there by her relatives, unlike media reports that claimed she grew up with the animals. The officials also told the newspaper that they think that the girl is differently abled, and was likely left in the forest by her family, who possibly did not want to take care of her anymore. The child’s condition is “still under investigation”.

“It is clear from first time view, if you see the girl, that she is only eight or nine years old, but her facial expressions show that she is disabled, not only mentally but also physically,” said JP Singh, district chief forestry officer. “I think the family members of this girl had been aware that she is not able to speak, and they may have abandoned her near the forest road,” he said.

Singh said the forest was under constant surveillance through CCTV cameras and the hence the girl could not have lived there for long without being spotted. “If she was living with monkeys it would have been for a few days only, not for a long time,” he said.

The girl was staying at a district hospital in Bahraich after she was found by forest officials two months ago. The chief medical officer there also agrees with Singh. “In India, people do not prefer a female child and she is mentally not sound,” DK Singh said. “So all the more [evidence] she was left there.”

The constable who found her told The Indian Express that the girl was clothed and there were no monkeys around when they rescued her. “She was moving around on her haunches,” said Head Constable Sarvajeet Yadav. “She was wearing a frock and kachchha [knickers]. She was very weak and tried to move away on seeing us… There were no monkeys. She was not naked, and she wasn’t using her hands to walk. I don’t know how these stories are being spread.” She was found in January.