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Raised by Wolves

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"Two worlds, one family."
"Well, yet another backstory, that... Basically, my parents disowned me; I was being raised by ocelots."

A character who lost their human parents and was raised by animals.

Animals in fiction range from the almost human to the bestial, but since Most Writers Are Human, animals tend to think, feel and talk like we do. Thus a literal Mama Bear might be an ordinary parent — or a wildly offbeat role model. This trope ranges from a purely cosmetic touch of exoticism to a comedy trope to a full-blown otherness trope that drives drama.

A character raised by animals will seem unusual to ordinary folk. They may speak crudely or just strangely. They are a Funny Foreigner — but without the risk of offending an audience member. In more extreme cases they have No Social Skills, and it is common for them to be Better with Non-Human Company.

Expect to see at least some discrimination. His adoptive siblings might get over him being funny-lookin', human society might get over them scratching their head with their foot, but he may ultimately be seen as a Half-Human Hybrid.

It can be an extreme case of the longing for the Good Old Ways — a vision of the good life before any of the corrupting influences of civilization, the Noble Savage being In Harmony with Nature. They may be a Nature Hero or a Jungle Princess. Sometimes they pick up powers from their family. Lamarck Was Right: Mysterious Animal Senses abound and having birds for family teaches flight.

Expect a character of this type to have a Name From Another Species as a result of being raised by animals.

In their original setting expect to see Loin Cloths, pelts, Fur Bikinis and Wild Hair. The character sometimes Prefers Going Barefoot. A quick route to Fanservice is having no nudity taboo.

Even if things are not that bad, expect a tougher, rougher, childhood. But the Upbringing Makes the Hero, so these early trials pay off later. At a minimum, someone who was Raised by Wolves will be a bit wild; impulsive, aggressive or just more in touch with base human drives.

Can be a case of Nurture over Nature, if the character chooses the nurturing of the wild over the nature of humanity - or Nature Versus Nurture, choosing the nature of humanity over the nurture of civilized society, depending on the writer's viewpoint.

For the most realistic take where lack of human contact makes kids feral and mute, see Wild Child. For a more intelligent Always Chaotic Evil variation, see Raised by Orcs. Frequently overlaps with Nature Lover and Nature Hero.

A Sub-Trope of Interspecies Adoption, which doesn't require that the parents be "uncivilized beasts". Contrast to Raised by Humans. Not to be confused with the 2020 HBO Max series Raised by Wolves, which actually deals with an example of Raised by Robots.


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  • In one of the "Behold the Power of Cheese" ads, three guys at a party eye the last piece of cheese on a platter. The first guy starts to take it and his mother appears on his shoulder telling him to let someone else have it. The second guy starts to take it when his mother appears saying "Don't be greedy, you weren't raised by wolves!". The third guy looks at the cheese and a howling wolf appears. After the third guy takes the cheese, the two Mothers shout "Animal!" at him. Then as a tag the third guy sticks his face in a punchbowl to lap up a drink.
  • An infamous Quizno's ad featured two men sitting on a bench with subway sandwiches. The man with the Quizno's sub says "Untoasted? What, were you raised by wolves?" Cue the second guy note  having a flashback of himself, still adult and in a three-piece suit, nursing from a mother wolf with her pups. He then responds back in the present "Why yes. Yes, I was." Enough people were put off by this ad that it was taken off the air, then put back on with the nursing scene cut out.
  • A GEICO commercial about a newly wed couple having dinner with family. Turns out, Chad the groom really was raised by wolves. He even invited them to the wedding!

  • In a literal take on the trope, Byrne of Dreamkix is the adopted son of a wolf couple who seem to switch between being civilized and being feral. It definitely explains parts of his personality.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ran Komatsuzaki from Akai Kiba Blue Sonnet was raised by wolves until she was five, yet she has a normal personality and skills. She was simply a normal school girl in her primary personality with a secondary personality who had a more aggressive personality and phenomenal cosmic power for reasons that had nothing to do with her wolf parents.
  • In Animal Land, Tarouza and other human children were each raised by different animals.
  • Yamato from Battle B-Daman was raised by cats. Not tigers or anything, normal stray cats. Later he is adopted by a relative — possibly his birth mother.
  • The Boy and the Beast: Well, a humanoid bear with some help from a pig and a monkey, but still. It turns out that Ichirouhiko is actually a human that Iouzen found abandoned as a baby and raised as his own.
  • Sarutobi Sasuke from Brave10 was abandoned in the forest as a boy. Therefore, he became more antisocial with humans but gets along better with animals.
  • Spider Riders: Aqune was raised by Insectors. Insectors act like human beings, so she does.
  • Mana from Mermaid Saga, having been raised by cannibalistic mermaids, suffers quite a bit of this.
  • Umi and Sora from Children of the Sea were raised by dugongs after being lost at sea as toddlers.
  • In the One Piece film Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals, Mobambi was raised by a giant lion-quill hybrid.
  • Wang Hu from Crush Gear Turbo was raised by a white tiger.
  • Inosuke Hashibira from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba was raised by a wild sow, hence his boar motif. It's later revealed that this happened after his mother threw him off a cliff in an attempt to save him before she was killed by the demon Doma.
  • Ikuto/Keenan from Digimon Data Squad was raised by a Frigimon for most of his life after being taken away from his parents via a Digital Gate. He eventually came to terms that he was human after spending some time in the real world, but continued to have the brave heart of a Digimon (at one time getting Ninjamon recruits for his new friends in the Kurata arc, cementing his Heel–Face Turn). For some reason he uses Hulk Speak despite the fact that nearly every Digimon can speak fluent English/Japanese (his Digimon partner/brother even had a British accent).
  • Dragon Ball: Son Goku accidentally killed his adoptive grandpa while under the influence of the moon as a small child. For an uncertain number of years, he lived on his own in the wilderness, his only interactions being 'killing animals' and occasionally 'not killing animals'. Then he killed Bulma's car, and the rest is history.
    • His major Raised By Wolves thing is not being able to tell the difference between boys and girls, and considering 'pat-pat'-ing the groin area to be a sane method of differentiation. This is how he wound up engaged to Chi-Chi.
    • He also mistook Bulma's breasts for an extra butt, along with thinking that her, um, mystical orbs were "gone". Not because he was perverted, far from it, but rather because of a combination of this trope.
  • Natsu of Fairy Tail was raised by the Fire Dragon Igneel. While Igneel taught him things like Fire Dragon Slayer magic and speech, he clearly wasn't able to teach Natsu typical human social customs. Then Igneel vanished when Natsu was still little. Natsu was then taken in and raised by the mages of Fairy Tail, and all of them are to some degree crazy.
    • This is actually a rather common occurrence among Dragonslayers: Gajeel, Wendy, Sting, and Rogue were all raised from a young age by dragons before events forced them apart. The former two by a similar manner to Natsu, and the latter because they killed them, though they had reasons. Except not really.
  • Rebecca from Haré+Guu was raised by pokute — small, weird, sort-of-rabbit-like animals.
  • One character in Hikkatsu not only was raised by pigeons, but learned martial arts from them as well.
  • A futuristic, and more intentional, approach to the trope was the development of the Trinity siblings from Mobile Suit Gundam 00, although this was never explained in the actual anime itself. The side materials explained that they were created by Dr. Clay Lihichyte, who used Ribbons Almark's blood samples. All three spent most of their life either in stasis or under the close supervision of lab technicians who were teaching them how to be Gundam Meisters. Because their role was to be part of Ribbons's master plan, however, they were not taught morality, not given full training, and were given antiquated, impostor Gundam. That way, once their task (unbeknownst to themselves) was completed, they were to be terminated. This is a valid explanation in pointing out why Michael is Ax-Crazy and Nena is a Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Persia, the Magic Fairy: Persia grew up in the Serengeti plains of Africa alongside many of the wild animals, and as a result she's more inclined to beasts than humans.
  • Primitive Boy Ryu: Ryu was subject to abandonment by the tribe he was born in because of his white skin, but luckily he was rescued by an ape named Kitty. This prompts some other cavesmen to look down on him for being "an ape's child".
  • Pokémon:
    • In the Pokémon: The Original Series episode "The Kangaskhan Kid", set in the Kanto Safari Zone, we meet Tommy, a little boy who was raised by kangaroo-oid Kangaskhan. He's been in the park since he was accidentally dropped from a helicopter by his birth parents into the park while an infant.
    • Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!: The main character was raised by wild Pokémon. The kid was being looked after by Professor Rowan when the good professor decided that the boy should go live with the wild Pokémon because he had the beginnings of communication with them! Hareta's dad is actually alive. He's just on the run right now... although he really DID leave Hareta with Professor Rowan for no good reason the first time. Parental Abandonment...
    • In Pokémon: Secrets of the Jungle, Ash and Pikachu meet the Wild Child named Koko, who was raised by the mythical Pokémon Zarude, which is nicknamed Dada. Koko had to be taught on what is like to be human by Ash. However, it is revealed that Koko's real name is Al, who is sent down the nearby river away from the car by his parents, Dr. Chrom and Dr. Phossa Molybdenum, who were indirectly killed in the car explosion by Dr. Zed, who wanted to destroy the Forest of Okoya in order to gain access to the secrets of the healing springs from the great tree to boost his ego. Dada Zerude found Al and raised him as his own for years after discovering the ruins of the car and a photo near the labratory.
  • San from Princess Mononoke was literally raised by wolves after her birth parents encountered a huge wolf in the forest when she was very young and abandoned her in an attempt to get away safely. Indeed, it's implied that her parents literally threw her at the wolves to get away. The wolves were offended enough by this behavior to take care of her, instead. Of course, it helps somewhat that these wolves are gods who are perfectly capable of speech.
  • The dark side of life in Toriko is that a lot of people easily die in a world where even some of the weakest animals can only subdued by professional hunters. And that's in the Human world, let alone the Gourmet World. As such, there're almost no named characters with living parents. But some people are exceptional as beasts actually raised them:
    • Played with Midora's backstory, who in his infancy was given to carnivorous pigs as food. He tamed them and suckled at a female beast to survive.
    • Played straight by Knocking Master Jirou. He was raised by a battle wolf, and not your average battle wolf, but THE Wolf King Guinness, one of the 8 Kings. Well, that explains his Animal Motif.

    Audio Play 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who audio "Cycle of Destruction" reveals an interesting variation on this theme mixed in with Amnesia Loop. The ALARC research facility keeps its android prototypes contained by a security system that will wipe the android's minds if they leave the base and an automated recall signal that will eventually draw the androids back to the base if they do get out. Unfortunately, since these androids are programmed to learn from whatever they meet, at least one such android was essentially "adopted" by the Caru, a bear-like species that lives on the planet. As a result, when the Caru-android's recall signal was triggered, once in the base the feral android lashed out and caused serious damage while trying to escape, eventually leaving the base, suffering another mind-wipe and starting the titular cycle of destruction all over again.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman — Pre-Flashpoint the backstory of Aquaman himself is that he was raised by dolphins until he was twelve years old, and the entire time earnestly believed he was one of them.
  • Arawn: Downplayed. Arawn was initially left out in the freezing cold to die by his mother Siahm, but he was nursed back to health by a she-wolf who becomes a surrogate mother to him. However, he spends his youth living with both his human and wolf relatives.
  • Black Condor — Golden Age superhero Black Condor, who first appeared in Crack Comics #1, was raised by Condors who taught him to fly.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: Pilou was raised by a female dragon who took him to her cave for food, but decided to save him for her offspring when he happened to burst from his egg at that exact moment. The young dragon and the young elf then bonded and the three became a family.
  • In the Green Lantern books, Sinestro Corpsman Karu-Sil was raised by native predators of her homeworld after her parents were murdered by her neighbors for their food. Karu-Sil grew to love and care for them deeply — to the point that she mutilated her own face so she would look more like them. They were eventually killed by a Green Lantern who thought she needed to be "rescued" from them. Once she was recruited into the Sinestro Corps and obtained a power ring, she used it to create energy construct duplicates of her pack and treats them as if they really were her lost family.
  • In "The Hoax" in Weird Western Tales #18, Jonah Hex gets mixed up with a pair of conmen who are attempting to pass off one of them as the lost heir to a fortune who has been raised by coyotes.
  • Ka-Zar: Kevin Plunder was found and raised by the sabertooth tiger Zabu, who possesses near-human intelligence thanks to a mutation caused by radioactive mists
  • Pyrénée: The titular character is raised by a bear and an old blind eagle.
  • Catman of the Secret Six.
    • The Golden Age Cat-Man (who is unrelated to DC's Catman but wears an oddly similar costume) was raised by tigers. Like the Black Condor above, his upbringing somehow gave him superpowers — he could see in the dark, leap like a cat, scale any wall, and had nine lives.
  • Spider-Woman. The original version of the Marvel Comics Jessica Drew had her raised among the High Evolutionary's menagerie of Beast Men. In fact, she was one of them herself, being a hyper-evolved spider, although that was retconned away very quickly. Meaning that she had no idea how to interact with humans when she finally entered the outside world, and tended to creep out everyone she met, although that was at least as much due to her pheromone powers. The recent Retcon version of her origin eliminates this, though.

    Comic Strips 
  • The parody strip Captain Biceps's version of Tarzan was raised by just about every animal there is: apes (hence his strength), eagles (hence his piercing sight), lions (hence his Mighty Roar), parrots (hence his dress sense).
  • has a number of single-panel cartoons on the subject, including one about the guy who was raised by a pack of wolves, and the cleaning lady who came in twice a month. That's right, in an apartment.
  • Garfield:
    • In 1990, Jon briefly ended up dating a woman named Kimmy, who revealed she was raised by wolves. Although she appeared to be a normal woman most of the time, her upbringing by wild animals still showed in that she loved to howl at the moon, could be extremely loud and obnoxious, trying to bite off her foot when her shoe was too tight, and ate with her bare hands. She was one of the very few woman who actually liked Jon.
      Jon: So, when were you brought back to civilization?
      Kimmy: (after scarfing down her plate's contents) Last Friday.
    • Garfield once met a cat named Ed who was raised by squirrels. Before they met, Ed didn't know the meaning of "ground" — neither did his adopted mother, for that matter. Ed has the habit of storing birds for winter. When the tree branch where Ed and Garfield were sitting on fell, Ed had the first chance to walk sideways. Odie was the first dog Ed ever met and Garfield explained to him cats were supposed to fear dogs albeit Garfield doesn't remember why.
    • A later strip discussed Jon's cousin Earl who was adopted by wolves after being left at a rest stop.
      Jon: We got a postcard.
      Garfield: (reading the postcard) "I have acquired a taste for small game."

    Fan Works 
  • There's a deviation about a girl raised by kangaroos, who went on to marry the Sniper from Team Fortress 2 (this is a joke based on one of the Soldier's domination lines)
  • This trope as a whole is a popular genre for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics. It comes in many varieties from humans raised by ponies, ponies raised by non Equestrian species, etc.
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs:
    • In "What if they played Dungeons and Dragons?", Ax plays a tiefling who was raised by cows. He explains that he chose those instead of wolves because:
      Ax: Wolves are beautiful animals, but they pale in comparison to cows. Among other things, wolves' meat is not so succulent and does not pair nearly as well with french fries.
    • In "What if they were in Tortall?", Cassie was taken in by wolves after her family died.
  • Growing Up Kneazle: Harry discovers his innate Animagus ability when he's two years old and spends the rest of his pre-Hogwarts childhood as part of Arabella Figg's resident family of Kneazles. His more notable quirks before becoming at least partly civilized are running around naked and peeing to mark his territory.
  • Anthropology: The reason why Lyra is so obsessed with humans is because Lyra herself is a human: Princess Celestia turned her into a pony when she was very young. Lyra was then raised by the foal-less unicorn couple who found her.
  • Parodied in Calm and Chaos. When Logan gets too annoying during the road trip, his father Lincoln will jokingly threaten to "leave him behind to be raised by the squirrels".
    Logan: What about wolves?, I'd be a good wolf.
    Lincoln: No, they would eat you. In fact, they would eat you as salad.
  • Crimson and Noire: Trixx the Kwami happily boasts that he was the one to raise his wielder Wang Fu after the fall of the Order of the Guardians.
  • Symbiosis: Ash is raised by a retired battling Pokémon, a Weedle living in the Viridian Forest named Poison Lance, who took him in to follow Mareep's Last Request. Mareep's Last Request was for Poison Lance to protect Ash from the people who killed his family. Poison Lance kept Ash from becoming feral by having him interact with humans in secret.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Iris was raised by a family of dragon-types after her biological parents abandoned her in the woods to die. While her adopted family taught her how to interact with humans so she could buy things that might be needed (keeping her from becoming feral), her mentality is nevertheless closer to a Pokémon than a human.
  • Soviet Pokemon: A pelipper adopts two human children. By the epilogue, he has them both enrolled in a school for humans. He finds out he didn't need to pretend he was just a Ride Pokémon sent by their real parents since many other "Poké-Parents" are sending their children there. Also, the teacher is secretly a Zoroark
  • Tarzan's Discworld analogue, Tarquin of the Apes, appears in A.A. Pessimal's tale Gap Year Adventures, where it has amused Lord Vetinari to make him Ankh-Morpork's Consul to a small kingdom in Central Howondaland. Apparently he shows the right sort of face of Ankh-Morpork to the world. In practice, his Jane does all the thinking and talking. As a contemporary of Sybil Ramkin at the Quirm Academy, she is capable of anything.
  • The Great Alicorn Hunt: Bowser of the Nobody's Fools is an Earth Pony colt who was raised by Diamond Dogs. They had adoption papers and everything.
  • Wild Child AU is an alternate take on the MonsterVerse where Godzilla found Madison Russell after the battle with the MUTOs in San Fracisco and took her with him in the belief that her parents had died. Over the next few years, living with Godzilla on his island home, Madison learns his language and experiences various subtle mutations from exposure to his radiation. By the time she's ten, Madison at least considers Godzilla a father even if she only calls him 'G.' as she reflects that she would find it weird to actually call him 'Dad'. In turn, Godzilla often refers to Madison as his 'pup', and when Mothra awakens she assumes a maternal role for Madison. Even when Madison learns that her family are still alive, she accepts the choice to be legally classified as a Titan so that she won't have to abandon Godzilla and Mothra even if she's glad to be back with her biological father and brother.
  • In The Lion King (1994) Tarzan fanfic, Tarzan: Two Worlds, One Family, Tarzan is raised by the lion pridelanders Mufasa and Sarabi instead of Kala the ape.
  • Compass of Thy Soul has the Cat Summons, who tend to help their summoners to raise children and outright assume the primary care in case of the parent dying. There's mention of a Uchiha child flying under the rader until his teammates discovered he had a very strange worldview and mannerisms, but the most prominent example is Senju Tobirama, who felt so adrift following his mother's demise he heavily leaned upon her snow leopards — it quite impacted his behaviour.
  • Pokémon: Equestrian Champions: Sombra reveals that both of his parents died in a helicopter crash when he was just a baby while they were on a business trip. He survived the crash and was found and taken in by a group of Absol, who sensed the crash but failed to prevent it. They raised him like one of their own, until he was twelve, and a group of humans found him and the Absol. His adoptive family urged him to go with them, so he could be with his own kind again.
  • A Student Out of Time: Kinu Hiroshima, the future Ultimate Dog Trainer of Class 78-B, developed her talent thanks to this. When she was a little girl, she ran away from home and ended up in the Outback, where she was taken in by a pack of dingoes. They kept her safe for years, helping her find food while she protected them from poisonous plants and animals, before she was rediscovered by her parents. She developed a deep connection with dogs and began working with them, from saving dogs who would've been put down to helping train them to serve as therapy pets.

    Film — Animation 
  • Anne-Marie from All Dogs Go to Heaven is a Downplayed example. She's an orphaned girl who lives in horrible conditions. By the end of the film, it's implied she's Happily Adopted by the "wallet family" who are shown to live in a luxurious house.
  • An Angel for Christmas: Angela lived in the forest with a pack of wolves before coming to Ironsville.
  • According to the Disney direct-to-video film Atlantis: Milo's Return (sequel to Atlantis: The Lost Empire), the team's geologist Moliere actually got his mole-like characteristics as a result of him being raised by naked mole rats. You Do Not Want To Know indeed.
  • Barbie as the Island Princess has Ro, who spent the decade prior to the film raised on an island by a peacock and red panda.
  • Eggs from The Boxtrolls, is a Cheesebridge orphan raised since infancy by the eponymous Boxtrolls, to the point he considers himself one of them... up until he meets Winnie, that is.
  • Epic (1984) deals with two human children being adopted and raised by dingoes, at the end they chose to become dingoes themselves and become their King and Queen.
  • Kristoff in Frozen was raised by rock trolls, and yet, he still has a better grasp of human society than sheltered Anna.
  • Hoodwinked! quotes this trope with a Visual Pun at the end of the Wolf's story:
    Red Puckett: For a reporter, you sure have a strange way of doing your job.
    The Wolf: What can I say? I was raised by wolves. [cuts to the Wolf's family portrait]
  • Melody Time recounts how cowboy folk hero Pecos Bill was raised by coyotes.
  • Storks: Attempted when Junior and Tulip run into a pack of wolves that want to raise the baby as one of their own. Technically, Tulip counts too, as she was raised by the storks.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Adventures Of Shark Boy And Lava Girl, Shark Boy was raised by sharks, causing him to not only be very aggressive, but evolve shark-like superpowers! He has no problem speaking English or interacting with humans, except for his heightened aggression.
  • In Aquaman: The Cast of the Angler, young Arthur was raised by dolphins and learned their language, then learned how to apply it to all marine life.
  • In Batman Returns, contrary to popular belief, according to Word of God the supervillain the Penguin, after been left abandoned by his birth parents due to his deformity, was not literally raised by penguins. He was found and rescued by penguins but raised in a circus by circus folks. Though according to this behind the scenes video, he was raised by penguins.
    • Something that is pretty obvious as the movie itself has Bruce Wayne reading about a penguin-like kid shown in a circus as a freak (it's a blink and you miss it kind of thing tho) and the fact that most of Penguin's minions are circus performers.
  • The Dark Crystal: Kira was raised by the Podlings and partly grew up in the wilderness, learning how to talk to animals.
  • Enchanted‘’s sequel, Disenchanted (2022), reveals in its opening narration that Giselle was raised by the woodland animals of Andalasia.
  • In Holmes & Watson, Millie was raised by feral cats, explaining her No Social Skills.
  • Jungle Boy: The main character was raised by an elephant and a monkey. Latter, another character gains the ability by a giant badly animated cobra statue.
  • The protagonist of the film Lion Man is raised by lions. Well, duh!
  • Serbian movie Nicije Dete (No One's Child) is Based on a True Story and it plays this trope straight. The story begins in Yugoslavia a few years prior to the conflict. Near Travnik (Bosnia, in central Yugoslavia), hunters find a child raised by wolves. Lacking the means to treat him, local authorities send the child to an orphanage in Belgrade (Yugoslavian and, at the same time, Serbian capital city) where, under a careful tutorage, he slowly learns how to socialize. But the war is looming and everything abruptly changes.
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1998): In 1877 Paris, a pack of rats save an abandoned baby from a basket that was flowing along a river. They raise him in the underground of the Opéra de Paris. This child becomes the Phantom of the Opera, a misanthrope who kills anyone who ventures into his underground chambers, just as rats are killed whenever they venture above ground.
  • In Up the Chastity Belt, Lurkalot was raised by pigs.
  • Walk Like A Man, in which Howie Mandel played the heir to a fortune who was raised by dogs.

  • Age of Fire: Wolves occasionally take in hominid infants, usually elves and occasionally humans, and raise them as their own. This is eased by the setting's wolves being intelligent enough to have their own language and culture, and these children often return to their parent species after reaching adulthood. In Dragon Champion, the young dragon Auron spends a period of time running with a pack of wolves and learning their way of life.
  • Arnold Of The Ducks is a picture book by Mordecai Gerstein (which got adapted into an episode of CBS Storybreak) about a boy who was scooped up by a near-sighted pelican as a baby and dropped off in a swamp where he was raised by ducks. He manages to learn to walk, swim, and even fly (with the help of a suit made from shed duck feathers). When he's accidentally reunited with his human family, he struggles with living life among humans.
  • Ash: A Secret History: Parental Abandonment is so complete in the mercenary camp the titular Ash grows up in that children don't even know who their mothers are, and have to suckle off lactating dogs to survive infancy.
  • The Book of Dragons: In "We Continue", Jacq was found by one of his world's dragon-like aliens after being left orphaned during his colony's collapse, and was afterwards largely raised in the dragon colony by his finder, which he termed "Auntie". This was complicated by the fact that the dragons, while very intelligent, are ultimately little more than animals.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness: Torak is a partial example, as he was left to suckle from a she-wolf as a baby after his mother died, giving him the ability to understand wolf speech, but his father came back for him after a while.
  • The Deep (2019): The first generation of wajinru, merfolk descended from pregnant women thrown overboard from slave ships, were nursed by whales.
  • Discworld: In a comic variation, Stanley from Terry Pratchett's Going Postal was raised by peas. This left him with a fanatically neat disposition ("Very meticulous, peas are") and a tendency to bend slightly towards the sun when standing up straight.
  • John from the Dolphin Trilogy is born with the mutant ability to hold his breath for longer than other people. Then his parents are killed in an explosion, which throws him into the water near a pod of dolphins, one of which is a recently-bereaved and lactating mother. John goes roughly twenty years without human contact, during which he learns Dolphinese and learns to swim faster than any human. Even after John is discovered and starts to be reintegrated into society, he still understands dolphins better than people and feels safer in the water than on land. In Daughters of the Dolphin, twin girls Vinca and Syn are born with the same adaptations, and after John becomes their legal guardians, he gives them to dolphins to raise.
  • Dick King-Smith's novel Dragon Boy features an eight-year-old boy named John (full name later revealed to be John Little, with hints in the novel suggesting that he will become the Little John of Robin Hood myth) who is taken in by the dragons Montague and Albertine Bunsen-Burner after the death of his father, with John teaching his new dragon parents (who are able to talk and be understood by John, and vice-versa) how to season their food, quickly reaching a point where the Bunsen-Burners' new daughter, Lucky, comes to consider John her brother. When John returns to a human village to get new clothes for himself, facing other humans for the first time since he starts living with the dragons, he finds that he is far more muscular than most boys of his age due to the exceptional feeding he receives thanks to the dragons, and when Lucky is getting married, John muses that it will be strange living among humans again when he decides that he wants to get married.
  • In The Echorium Sequence, Shaiala was raised by centaurs.
  • Shana, the half-elf protagonist of The Elvenbane, was raised by dragons.
  • Kingsley Ward from The Extraordinaires. In-universe he is the child raised by wolves on whom Rudyard Kipling based Mowgli in The Jungle Book.
  • In Jane Lindskold's Firekeeper Saga novels, the protagonist was raised by wolves, albeit intelligent ones. A rather unusual example in that she isn't naïve at all in many matters; her adjustment problems are mostly shown by the facts that she never manages to fully master elementary grammar, writing, or table manners. Or hierarchies based on blood.
    • Firekeeper actually can speak properly — in the first book she does so more than once. She just omits all the words she sees as unnecessary, because the wolf language doesn't have words like "the", "a", "and", etc.
  • The appropriately named Hunter in the Gone series. After accidentally killing a friend with his mutant powers he is brutally hit in the head by Zil, leaving him partially brain damaged. Because of this he slurs his words a lot and doesn't understand some things. He is trained by the nearby mutant coyotes who can speak somewhat. They teach him how to hunt: he becomes the primary food bringer for Perdido Beach along with Quinn and his fishermen.
  • At least two examples occur in the novels of H. Rider Haggard:
    • Galazi the Wolf in Nada The Lily claims to have been raised by jackals , and everything we see in the novel bears out this claim. Rudyard Kipling acknowledged Galazi as one his inspirations for creating Mowgli in The Jungle Book
    • Hendrika the Baboon Woman from Allan's Wife is, as might be guessed from her name, a woman who was raised by baboons. She is a servant to Stella's family, but the feral is never far from the surface in her, and is some respects she can be regarded as a Wild Child.
  • Hayy from Ibn Tufail's 12th-century Arabic novel Hayy ibn Yaqzan (also known as Philosophus Autodidactus), where he is raised by a gazelle on a Deserted Island.
  • Camp Jupiter of Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus, specifically by the wolf-goddess Lupa who raised Romulus and Remus.
  • Parodied in How to Be a Superhero, where the section on being a "Jungle Lord" includes a list of orphans who didn't make it due to a poor choice of adoptive animal: Tomar of the Molluscs (starved to death), Mikki of the Dolphins (drowned), Sven of the Lemmings (jumped off a cliff), and Eric of the Man-Eating Bengal Tigers (guess).
  • Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia Incorrigible from Maryrose Wood's series The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place were found in the woods next to the mansion belonging to the wealthy Ashton couple, who quickly saw that they had been raised by wolves. Miss Penelope Lumley is hired as their nanny by the Ashtons in an effort to civilize them, but she goes above and beyond and slowly teaches them not only how to eat cooked food and stay indoors, but also names them and teaches them how to speak and understand school subjects such a history and math.
  • Mowgli from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books. After trying out human civilization for a while, Mowgli returned to the pack that raised him (only to go back to humanity eventually).
  • Knowledge Of Angels: Amara was raised by a wolf along with her sister after both were abandoned at birth. She's discovered by the people of the island where from years later, then put in a convent. She grows up slowly from being a wild child but is never fully at home in human society, choosing a semi-solitary job later.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen has Setoc, a war orphan who was adopted by wolves. Born as Stayandi, she was taken in and raised by a pack of wolves when her parents died during a raid. In Reaper's Gale, she is found by the Barghast White Faces, who take her in, but their shamans proclaim her spirit-touched and the "holder of a thousand hearts" and forbid the hunting of wolves, so that her 'first' family can stay close to her. She becomes known as Setoc of the Wolves and never shakes free from the imprint the wild has left on her. She eventually becomes the Destriantnote  and the voice of the Wolves of Winter, the recently risen Beast Gods of War, who war against humanity in revenge for the pollution humans have brought upon nature. Over time, her eyes turn to a wolf's eyes, one silver and one amber, and she becomes perpetually surrounded by thousands of wolf spirits who are willing to fight for her. Setoc dies when the Wolves of Winter use her to manifest themselves in the mortal plane.
  • In Morality For Beautiful Girls, by Alexander McCall Smith, a boy is found in the desert who Never Learned to Talk. He is sent to the orphan farm run by a friend of the protagonist, who asks her to investigate. Based on the fact that the boy acts more like an animal and hasn't grasped the concept of language, plus the fact that he smelt of lion when he was found, they conclude that he was raised by lions, but they decide to keep him at the farm because he has shown progress in learning how to talk.
  • The narrator of Karen Hesse's The Music of Dolphins was the only survivor of an airplane crash in the Caribbean as a very young child, and was taken in by a pod of dolphins. She's reasonably healthy when she's found by (aside from minor considerations, such as having barnacles all over her) and, unlike other Wild Children in the center that's taking care of her, she can connect with people and understand language, because dolphins are that awesome. However, the betrayals and confused feelings from the scientists studying her turn her away from them, and eventually she is allowed to return to the sea and her dolphin family.
  • Most medieval versions of Parzifal/Percival characterized him merely as a bumpkin initially, whose inborn talents eventually get training, and then the excess of politeness and the Fisher King thing. But occasionally he gets scaled all the way to Raised By Wolves.
    • The Gerald Morris version has him appear as part of the finale of an early book, as a naked super-innocent who trained by wrestling lions and who loses to Gawain and decides he wants to be a knight. Later on he gets his own novel, which seems to owe its content mostly to Wolfram von Eschenbach's but omits the whole Herzeloyde bereavement back story and Feirfiz, along with...the Christianity focus, pretty much. Which is pretty impressive in an adaption of a Grail quest story.
  • In Book 3 of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, there is the story of "The Wolf Girl", a supposed true account of a girl raised by wolves at the Devil's River near the Rio Grande. The last anyone saw her, she was a young woman feeding two wolf cubs.
  • In William Makepeace Thackeray's novel The Rose And The Ring, Princess Rosalba is raised (for a time) by lions.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, the title referred to one of the protagonists, Michael Valentine Smith. Mike was born during the first mission to Mars, and was the only survivor. He was raised *by Martians*. This might have been a case of Raised by Natives, save for the fact that the Martians were very non-human. He might have been more normal if he *had* been raised by wolves.
  • Tarzan famously was raised by apes. He goes on to be quite successfully socialized and a member of human society. It helps that the "apes" in question were a fictional note  missing-link species that had a spoken language, and that he found his human parents' house at the age of ten and taught himself to read over a few years. Tarzan's time in civilization rarely makes it out of the original Edgar Rice Burroughs novels: it is typically omitted by the numerous works inspired by the novels.
  • In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, Alianora was found and raised by dwarves. While generally socially ept, she avoids human habitations; she doesn't like living among them.
  • Tortall Universe
    • Daine of The Immortals was literally raised by wolves, at least for a little while. Her family was killed by bandits, and her dormant magical powers of being able to speak to animals came through. She joined a renegade pack, tracked down the bandits on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and nearly lost her human self permanently.
    • Nawat in the Trickster's Duet is an unusual case. He is a crow (they can change into human form if they want) and all of the relevant fallout occurs — he suggests placating an upset girl with a random bit of shiny stone, eats bugs (and offers to feed Aly bugs too), and suggests he and Aly have children to increase their ranks.
  • In Wen Spencer's Ukiah Oregon books, the titular protagonist was found running wild with a pack of wolves near the town of Ukiah, Oregon, hence his name.
  • Big Alice from Staanley Kiesel's young adult novel The War Between The Pitiful Teachers And The Splendid Kids was raised by hyenas. Her parents were psychologists, and when they found her again, they abandoned her to the hyenas again after an aborted attempt at rehabilitating her.
  • The main character in Pat Murphy's Wild Angel was raised by wolves.
  • In the Robert Rankin novel The Witches Of Chiswick, a minor character in the novel is 'local celebrity' Master Makepiece Scribbens, who lost his parents in a freak electric dibber accident on the Brentford allotments when he was a baby and was subsequently raised by snails. He is allegedly renowned for his honesty as snails cannot lie, but is wheeled into rooms- his wheelchair actually leaving snail-like trails- covered in blankets, under which he is described as lumplen and shapeless, eyes barely visible beneath folds of skin and his head completely hairless with a musty odour about him. When called upon to appear in court, he can only swear on a box of salt as he has no concept of religion and the Bible. It initially appears that he can only communicate through whispering sounds, but he is actually capable of speaking full sentences in English.
  • John Hodgman's More Information Than You Require claims that Jonathan Coulton was raised by wolves, and that the author had to teach him how to speak and wear clothes. There's also a list of other famous people who were allegedly raised by wolves, including Rudy Giuliani and Werner Herzog.
  • Referenced in Guards! Guards! concerning Carrot Ironfounderson. He was actually raised by dwarves, but when a human suggests that he should be raised "further up" as a human, prompts his adoptive father to compare the situation to being raised by wolves. "Look, son, you may be wondering why you're not as hairy as the rest of the family...."
  • Sherryl Jordan's young adult novel Wolf Woman features Tanith, a girl raised by wolves until the age of three. She was then taken in by a human tribe, but eventually goes back to living with wolves.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Parodied in Clarissa Explains It All. As part of his Student President campaign, Ferguson makes a video with some made-up stories about his family to make them more impressive. For Clarissa, he chooses this trope, and she's not amused.
  • There was an Inverted Trope in Dinosaurs that had a dinosaur that was abandoned by her parents and raised by the cavemen. She acts as a translator between dinosaurs and cavemen.
  • In Earth2, Mary, who was the child of exiled human biologists. Her parents were killed by Terrian renegades, and she was raised as a Terrian, with the abilities they have to Dream and move about the rock. When she sides with the humans over the Terrians in a dispute, she is exiled by them, and as she doesn't fit in with either the humans or Terrians, resolves to live on her own.
  • Shady Ganly from Hardy Bucks is said by the townsfolk to have been raised by crows
  • Lucan of the TV series of the same name, was literally raised by wolves. His name is a double entendre referring to his wolf family and to the difficulty he had learning English despite being a fast learner. "Lucan" is a mispronunciation of the words "You can."
  • Jan Kandou from Juken Sentai Gekiranger, raised by pandas and tigers. He calls himself a "tiger boy" and demonstrates incredible strength, such as having a tree fall on him with no effect. It takes him a few episodes to master the concept of things like doors. His defining trait, though, is that, while he can speak proper Japanese, he colours it with made-up babytalk words such as "nikiniki (happy) and "zowazowa" (danger).
  • Liv and Maddie: To improve her chances of getting a role in "Space Werewolves", Liv enlists help from a girl who was literally raised by wolves.
  • In one episode of Made in Canada, the actor who plays Damacles (the main character of an in-universe equivalent of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and/or Xena: Warrior Princess) comes up with a backstory for his character which includes being born of a wolf and raised by bears.
  • A 1983 episode of Manimal titled "Female of the Species" focused on a girl who was found in the woods of India, raised by wolves. Its eventually discovered that her father, the co-owner of an aviation company, was murdered along with the rest of her family by the other co-owner, who wanted the company all to himself. The situation gets more dangerous once he realizes she's still alive...
    • The writers of this episode, Michael Berk and Douglas Schwartz, were apparently very fond of the wolf kid idea...because they reused the script almost word-for-word in 1986, for an episode of The Wizard titled "Endangered Species". Then they reused it AGAIN in 1994, for a Thunder in Paradise episode also titled "Endangered Species".
  • Parodied in The Mighty Boosh. Vince was raised in the forests by Bryan Ferry, and leopards and snakes used to babysit him.
  • In Odd Squad, Agent Otis was raised by a flock of ducks. Evil ducks.
  • The Huntsman from Once Upon a Time was a creature of the forest, taken in by wolves as a small child. As a result, he believed Humans Are Bastards and wanted very little to do with them.
  • Tiger from Sinbad was raised by, well, tigers.
  • In one 2008 Saturday Night Live skit with James Franco, O. J. Simpson is put on trial for robbery and his lawyer tries to find a jury that has no knowledge of his previous murder charge, including a man who was in a coma for 20 years, a man who was living in a bunker, and an alien. Among them is a woman who was raised by wolves in the Arctic and had no knowledge of human language or culture. However, a professor then said she was able to "smell a murderer."

  • In "16 Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford the coal miner claims "I was raised in the canebrake by an old mama lion".
  • The Falling in Reverse song "Raised By Wolves".
  • Mentioned as one of the reasons why the singer is a badass in W.A.S.P.'s "Mean Man".
  • Big Sean's "Wolves".
  • "Raised by Bats" by Voltaire is a comedic variant, as the narrator, a goth kid who was tired of getting picked on and rejected by his fellow humans, ran away to live in a cave, and found a happy family with the bats who were living there. Metaphorically, it's a Be Yourself song; the singer encourages the listener to stop trying to conform and please people who don't care about them, and instead "get raised by bats", i.e., find the people who accept them as they are and make a life with them.
    I've chosen bats over people
    'Cause I never did like the way humans made me feel

    Myths & Religion 
  • There are hints that The Epic of Gilgamesh was based on an earlier story that just had Enkidu moving from living with animals to being seduced by a woman into becoming a city dwelling taxpayer.
  • There is an American legend about Pecos Bill, a cowboy who was raised by coyotes after he fell off a covered wagon as a baby.
  • Twin brothers Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, were left to die in the wilds as infants. They were suckled by a wolf before being found and raised by a shepherd, making this minor version of this trope at least Older Than Feudalism. Mind you "she-wolf" and "prostitute" are the same word in Latin — the closest English counterpart would be "bitch", so the story probably had a double meaning that was Lost in Translation.
  • Atalanta was supposedly raised by a she-bear, even considering the other bears her brothers. This led to lots of confusion when she entered the "real world".
  • In some stories, the legendary German hero Siegfried was raised by a blacksmith hermit with only wolves for playmates.
  • In Tibetan folklore both King Gesar (mythical founder of Tibet) and Milarepa (an important Buddhist teacher) were raised by Snow Lions.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the Muppets Tonight skit The Real World Muppets, Bobo the Bear claims that Darci was raised by wolves. "Stupid, illiterate, permissive wolves".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • There's an enchantment card with this exact name. Not only does it grant benefits for being around wolves, it also puts two of them in play — presumably the ones that raised the enchanted creature. The artwork depicts a leonin — a humanoid panther — running on all fours alongside a pack of wolves.
    • Craven Hulk depicts a giant who was raised by a flock of goats, inheriting their skittishness despite his immense size and strength.
  • Paranoia: In one adventure, the characters have to stand in as actors for a reality show, but since most Alpha Complex citizens have as much of an interesting personality as a dry toast, they get additional backgrounds they have to roleplay. One of the available ones is the wolfboy, who was raised by a vicious radioactive wolf until he was rescued by Alpha Complex forces. This role is somewhat difficult because with everyone living underground, no one has any idea what a wolf might be.
  • Pathfinder:
    • A social trait called Beastkin has you pick an animal species (including bears, gorillas and of course wolves) for your character to be raised by, and allows said character to talk to the animals that raised you.
    • An archetype (variation) of the Druid class available for humans called Feral Child, in addition to letting you talk to the animals that raised you, trades literacy and the ability to shapeshift for some ranger and barbarian abilities.
  • Ravenloft: One of the NPCs from one supplement is a caliban (a curse-mutated human) born with the head of a tiger. He was abandoned in the forest of a Japanese-style domain, and found and raised by kami animal-spirits.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Unsurprisingly, this is far from unheard of among the Space Wolves chapter of the Space Marines.
    • The chapter's Primarch, Leman Russ, was raised by tank-sized wolves and eventually became the leader of their pack.
    • In modern times (that is, the last years of the fourtieth millenium), Canis Wulfborn, the champion of Wolf Lord Harald Deathwolf, was also raised by wolves... and, like Russ, managed to make himself the alpha wolf by the time he was in his teens. And remember, this is before he had had any of the genetic and surgical augmentation used to turn normal humans into Space Marines.
  • Warhammer Fantasy:
    • The Tilean city of Luccini was founded in ages past when a pair of abandoned human twins were raised by a mutant two-headed leopard.
    • Skweel Gnawtooth, a legendary Beastmaster of the Skaven of Clan Moulder, was raised by a colony of wild rats, allowing him to develop a strong rapport with common vermin.

    Video Games 
  • Invoked and spoofed in Dragon Age: Origins, when Alistair jokes that his terrible table manners and numerous bad habits are the result of having been raised by "a pack of dogs, who were devout Andrastians and hated cheese!" He admits that the truth is actually boring in comparison, that he was brought up in Redcliffe by Arl Eamon, before being sent to a Chantry to begin Templar training. On the other hand, the Warden can learn he was forced to sleep with the Hounds as a child, so there's some truth to this.
  • Gau from Final Fantasy VI was thrown out of his house by his father at birth; the man went insane when his wife succumbed to Death by Childbirth. He was raised by monsters on the Veldt, where all monsters come at one time or another. Despite this, he's actually a pleasant and friendly young man; when the party tries to reunite him with his father and the man rejects him, Gau's response is happiness that his father's still alive.
  • Genshin Impact: Most of Razor's origins are unknown apart from the fact that he was raised by wolves when he was young.
  • Chauncey, the protagonist of the obscure sim game The Horde, was raised by a kind herd of wild cows.
  • Mirania of The Last Story was raised by a Forest Guardian, a sub-deity-like manifestation of nature's power. It left her a little off.
  • In Legend of Legaia, Noa is a girl who was raised by a wolf — albeit an intelligent, talking one. This leads to some occasional embarrassments, such as her inviting a man to take a bath with her, and knocking out whoever appears to be a "bad guy", with no regard for legality.
  • In Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, Vayne was raised by his talking cat named Sulphur. It turns out later in the game that Vayne himself is a manufactured Mana, while Sulphur is just a mere black cat.
  • In My Time at Portia, Oaks was raised by a bear—specifically, Papa Bear. However, it's stated that Papa Bear actually moved them closer to the game's titular city when Oaks was still young, because he knew his human son needed human influences. Oaks has some difficulty understanding some aspects of civilization, but is generally cheerful, polite and well-adjusted.
  • Pokémon Black and White
    • N, the leader of Team Plasma, was raised by Pokémon because his father, Ghetsis, deliberately neglected him to condition N into a man who would hate humans.
    • Word of God says that Iris was raised in a forest by dragons. It is unknown how much human interaction she had, but if her anime counterpart is anything to go by, she's definitely wild and quite adapted to moving about the forest.
  • In Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters we learn that Captain Qwark was given up for adoption and raised by monkeys.
  • There is a challenge for The Sims 2: Pets to have a toddler or child "raised" by pet animals (and one token elder grandparent or teenage sibling, since tots and kids can't pay bills or live alone without social services stepping in).
  • Skate or Die: Bad 'N Rad's manual says the boss of Stage 3, Mister Wart Monger, was raised by a pack of wild sewer frogs.
  • In Sunless Sea, the Monkey Foundling is a young girl living on an island with semi-intelligent monkeys. Depending how the player reacts to her stealing their clothes, she can later be discovered as a stowaway on your ship, at which point you have the option to either let her stay aboard as a mascot, or send her to an orphanage in Fallen London.
  • A Stardew Valley update that added Ginger Island includes Leo, who was raised by the island's birds. He lost both his parents when a storm wrecked the ship carrying them. Eventually, once your relationship with him gets to a certain point, he moves to the mainland near the resident wild man Linus. He'll still visit the island occasionally.
  • The Mario Bros. were raised by Yoshis for at least some period of their lifetime, if the gap between Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's New Island, where we see the baby Bros. get delivered to their actual parents is any indication.
  • In Tales of Legendia, Jay was raised by a ninja, and then hundreds of talking otters. He's an antisocial "information dealer".
  • In Tales of the Abyss, the God General Arietta, a.k.a. "Arietta the Wild" was raised by ligers note . Her grudge against Luke and party begins after they kill her mother, the Liger Queen, in the Cheagle Woods.
  • Grey Mann of Team Fortress 2 was kidnapped at birth by eagles, and then he was raised by those eagles. Then he ate the eagles.
    Saxton Hale: That is some preposterous horse@#$% if you ask me. But barely credible backstory aside, he means business.
  • In Trials of Mana Kevin explains that being raised by wolves is normal for beast men.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: In his introduction, Gonta Gokuhara claims that he got lost in the woods as a child while looking for bugs, and was adopted by a family of wolves. They taught him how to speak to bugs and animals in the ten years he spent with them before being found, and his gratitude is what motivates him to become a true gentleman. During his Free Time Events, he admits the wolf part was a lie. He was actually raised by Reptites.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend sequel Holiday Star, the human girl claims she was adopted by a pack of jackals in the wilderness. In the "Bad Boys Love" route of the original game, however, her parents are clearly mentioned, so she presumably wasn't raised solely by the jackals.

    Web Animation 
  • Brackenwood: Bitey was briefly raised by a pair of Morrugs, a type of Bigfoot-like creatures, until they had a biological child and abandoned him.

    Web Comics 
  • Amazing Super Powers: Parodied in this strip, where one such character receives a care package from his wolf mother — a bloody rabbit carcass — after moving to the city.
    Character 1: Raised by wolves?
    Character 2: Psh. More like smothered by wolves.
  • Awkward Zombie: To Marth's annoyance, Samus and Falco share a morning ritual of crowing at the sun. Samus was raised by Bird People.
    Marth: What, you too?
    Samus: I was... I was raised by birds.
  • In The Bird Feeder #162, "Even more adoption," it's revealed that Tina, a hummingbird, was apparently raised by rabbits.
  • In Digger, there are many wombat stories involving baby wombats being raised by moles.
    Digger: Do you humans have stories about babies being abandoned and raised by moles?
    Murai: Wolves are more traditional for us.
  • In The Handbook of Heroes, Ranger's connection with nature and lack of speech are revealed to come from the fact that she was abandoned as an infant and raised by a pack of wolves.
  • Homestuck
    • The trolls of the planet Alternia, once they emerge from the breeding caverns, must find a native monster to become their Lusus, or guardian, as they grow up. Consequently, the troll characters were raised by creatures such as giant lobsters, immense spiders, panthers, eldritch horrors and the like.
    • Jade Harley was raised by her reality warping dog Bec after her grandfather was shot in a freak accident involving Jade nearly getting herself killed... via one of the trolls redirecting the bullet after mistaking Bec for her Lusus, and her grandfather for an intruder.
    • Grandpa Harley and Nanna Egbert were nominally raised by Betty Crocker, but the end of Act 4 recap names Halley the family dog (whose name Grandpa mispronounced as Harley due to a speech impediment) as their primary guardian, "with presumably some parental influence from the wicked Crocker". Grandpa ran away from home at the age of thirteen with the dog (who the narration refers to as his "guardian", a term also used to refer to the kids' parents and the trolls' lusii naturae), and eventually took Harley as his surname.
  • Hover Head: One story features a man raised by gorillas who had been raised by wolves.
  • Polandball: "The Hidden History of Hungary" depicts Hungary as having been raised by wolves, which apparently explains why his language sounds so different from the Indo-European languages of his neighbors. He also made friends with two other "raised by wolves" countries: Wales, which was raised in the sea by whales, and the Basque Country, taken in by aliens.
  • In Siren's Lament, Ian the merman doesn't fully understand human customs when he first stays at Lyra's house, sleeping half-naked on her floor and sitting on her counter.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Parodied when Torg suffers a nervous breakdown, disappears inside his own house and is "raised" by (rather sarcastic) centipedes for a few days.
  • Spacetrawler: Emily Watson was raised by coyotes. She can function in human society just fine, but she prefers to live as a nomad in the desert. She also says that coyotes are the only creature she feels any kinship towards... which doesn't prevent her from killing and eating them.
  • Vera Brosgol's wordless comic What Were You Raised By Wolves?.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, one of the recurring villains is the Griffin, who was at one point or another in his childhood raised by virtually every animal known to man.
  • Adventure Time:
  • Boo Boom! The Long Way Home: Boo-Boom, a young boy separated from his parents during World War II, is looked after by five animals. Although they don't intend to raise him (in fact, they are actively looking for the boys' parents), they do protect him as if he were one of their own.
  • Dexter's Laboratory parodied this trope in the Justice Friends segment "Ratman", where the titular character's origin involved being taken in by the rats that scared away his parents when he was old enough to live on his own.
  • On Fangbone!, it is revealed that the series Big Bad Venomous Drool was raised by giant slugs that adopted him as an infant after his birth tribe abandoned him for his green skin. Fangbone even refers to Drool as a "slug-wizard", although he initially believed Drool was created by the slugs rather than adopted by them.
  • Discussed on Gravity Falls: Mabel is surprised to meet Robbie's parents, as she assumed that he was "raised by sad wolves or something."
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy plays with this trope.
    • Pud'n:
      Billy: Hey Pud'n, what're you doing outside?
      Pud'n: Oh, we live outside. I was raised by wolves. *gestures towards a pair of wolves sitting in front of a randomly placed TV*
      Father Wolf: Hey. *waves to Billy*
    • According to Mandy's father, when Mandy was born, a pack of wolves came by to try and raise her as their own. He sometimes regrets turning them down.
  • Creepila Creecher herself from Growing Up Creepie was raised by insects.
  • In Hero: 108, Wu Song, a dentist, found out that his long lost twin brother was raised by dogs and became the Dog King. The Dog King usually runs around on all fours and wears a dog pelt.
  • The Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Baby-Sitting" has Mr. Cat tell Kaeloo and the audience a fake backstory in which he was raised by a salmon (an ordinary one, not a Funny Animal like him) who saved him after his horribly abusive family tried to drown him.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Wolf turns out to have been raised by a pack of Mutant wolves, until she discovered they were just going to use her to train their pups how to hunt and planned to eat her. The wolfskin cloak she wears would indicate how that went for them.
  • The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus applies this trope to freakin' Santa Claus — he's found as an abandoned baby and nursed and raised by a lioness, at least until a young wood nymph decides to adopt him.
  • Moville Mysteries features a vampire who was a human raised by mosquitoes, and serves a giant vampire mosquito queen as his mother figure.
  • In an episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey, the school welcomes a human girl who was raised by possums, and she acts as such. Subverted when she turns out she was faking it so she can get into the school and get closer to Adam (since she doesn't have a silly last name that can result in a clerical error and be transferred to an all-animal school).
  • Doctor Doofenshmirtz, the Mad Scientist from Phineas and Ferb, has had a Hilariously Abusive Childhood. According to him, at one point, his parents disowned him, so there was a phase in his life where he was raised by ocelots.
  • Police Academy: the Animated Series had one episode featuring a young man literally raised by wolves. The heroes, being cops, had the duty of finding his parents. Mission accomplished.
  • Wild Smurf in The Smurfs (1981), who the Delivery Stork lost in the forest as an infant and was raised by squirrels.
  • Squidbillies has Rusty raised by wolves while Early is in prison. We're treated to a montage of wolves doing things like teaching him to ride a bike or reading him a bedtime story... and then mauling him.
  • Not only are Tarzan and his animated counterparts examples of this trope, but one of those counterparts once met an Amazon Princess who was also raised by animals.
  • Why does Ezekiel from Total Drama turn feral during World Tour? While he was in the hold, he was homeschooled by the rats. It's possible to assume if he were to be homeschooled by his parents again, he might start speaking again.
  • The Unstoppable Yellow Yeti: It's revealed late into the series that Rita's mother/Osmo's aunt Lydia was raised by the monsters of Monster Mountain. More specifically, it turns out her adoptive parents are the grandparents of one of Rita's monster friends, Emmer!
  • The Monarch from The Venture Bros. was (very briefly) raised by a flock of monarch butterflies after his parents died in a plane crash, hence his supervillain sobriquet.
  • Wat was raised by a pig in Wat's Pig. He turned out surprisingly competent.
  • Donnie from The Wild Thornberrys was briefly taken in by a mother orangutan after his primatologist parents were killed by poachers. The orangutan later gave him up so the Thornberrys would take him in.
    • In one South American-centered episode, Donnie and Debbie encounter a young girl being raised by jaguars.

    Real Life 
  • This may possibly actually happen in theory, but if it does, is very, very incredibly rare as it requires both a child to be abandoned/lost from their parents, and an animal to be willing and able to raise young of a entirely different species. Most alleged cases are very dubious and questionable, and at the time of writing, Wikipedia is not a reliable source on this matter.
  • The idea of a human being raised by literal wolves is an impossible, heavily romanticized idea because even if these wild predators, which fear and avoid humans, were willing to raise a human child, they have no way of feeding the child. A wolf's milk would dry up well before a human could be safely weaned. The child would also be in danger from other wild animals, and suffer exposure from the cold and heat.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Raised By Animals


Kala adopts Tarzan

With no one left to take care of him and having lost her son, Kala the gorilla adopts the orphan human boy Tarzan, despite her mate Kerchack's wishes having grown to love the young boy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / InterspeciesAdoption

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