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KRAO, THE “HUMAN MONKEY”

Abstract

THROUGH the courtesy of Mr. Farini, I have had a private interview with this curious little waif, which he is now exhibiting at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster, and for which he claims the distinction of being the long-sought-for “missing link” between man and the Anthropoid apes. Krao certainly presents some abnormal peculiarities, but they are scarcely of a sufficiently pronounced type to justify the claim. She is, in fact, a distinctly human child, apparently about seven years old, endowed with an average share of intelligence, and possessing the faculty of articulate speech. Since her arrival about ten weeks ago in London, she has acquired several English words, which she uses intelligently, and not merely parrot-fashion, as has been stated. Thus, on my suddenly producing my watch at the interview, she was attracted by the glitter, and cried out c'ock, c'ock, that is, clock, clock! This showed considerable powers of generalisation, accompanied by a somewhat defective articulation, and it appears that her phonetic system does not yet embrace the liquids l and r. But in this and other respects her education is progressing favourably, and she has already so far adapted herself to civilised ways, that the mere threat to be sent back to her own people is always sufficient to suppress any symptoms of unruly conduct.

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KEANE, A. KRAO, THE “HUMAN MONKEY” . Nature 27, 245–246 (1883). https://doi.org/10.1038/027245a0

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