Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Jungle girl’ returns to family in Vietnam

‘Jungle girl’ returns to family in Vietnam

Rocham P’nhieng (second right), now known as Tak, stands with her Vietnamese family on Saturday in Ratanakkiri province before departing for Vietnam. Adhoc
Rocham P’nhieng (second right), now known as Tak, stands with her Vietnamese family on Saturday in Ratanakkiri province before departing for Vietnam. Adhoc

‘Jungle girl’ returns to family in Vietnam

The “jungle girl” discovered in a Ratanakkiri forest almost a decade ago has farewelled her Cambodian home and returned to her long-lost family in Vietnam.

Tak, formerly known as P’hnieng, made headlines when she was found in 2007 with no intelligible language and was claimed by a Cambodian family, who believed she was their child who went missing in 1989.

But five Vietnamese family members, including her father Pel, 70, came forward and claimed her as their own after they saw stories about her on social media.

The paperwork completed, her two families held a small dinner in O’Yadav district to celebrate the reunion and she was taken to Vietnam on Saturday by minibus.

“We used to take care of her, so we felt nostalgia and sympathy when she was leaving us,” said Rochom Kamphy, her adoptive brother for the past nine years.

As she spent many of her days confined to a cage-like hut, Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation executive director Dr Sotheara Chhim said he hoped Tak would receive the treatment she needed in her new home.

He said chaining a mentally ill person could worsen their condition, and locking them up was driven by a number of factors – the risk to themselves and others, lack of understanding about mental health, social stigma, financial struggles and a perception the person was inhabited by “bad spirits”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,