Meet The Rwandan Tarzan, 21, Who Eats Grass And Lives In Jungle

Story ByMaja Mishevksa, Sub EditorMarija StojkoskaAgencyNewsflash

This is the 21-year-old real-life ‘Tarzan’ who has been raised in a Rwandan jungle and eats grass despite being non-verbal and apparently suffering with a mental disorder.

Zanziman Ellie lives in a jungle in Rwanda in East Africa with his mother, who recently spoke about her son in a recent YouTube video released by Afrimax TV.

Ellie was born in 1999 after his mother had lost her first five children.


For the boy’s mother, he was the answer to her prayers after giving up hope she would ever have children. She said she begged God for a child even if it meant they were disabled.

Ellie’s mother knew her son would be different immediately after birth because he had an abnormally small head and unusual facial features.

Due to his appearance, Ellie has been the target of bullying in the village his entire life, with his peers often calling him a monkey or an ape.


The so-called ‘jungle boy’ has never been to school due to having learning difficulties and is not able to speak or properly communicate with other humans.

The boy’s mother says in the interview that she has to chase after him every evening to bring him home as he spends all day running through the jungle for hours on end, sometimes covering up to 230 kilometres (143 miles) in a week.

Baring all the misfortunes that life has given her, Ellie’s mother has lovingly cared for her son all these years, but her circumstances have worsened and she now finds it hard to feed the family.


For this reason, a GoFundMe fundraiser has been started by Afrimax TV to help the mother and her disabled son put food on their table.

So far, 53 donors have contributed to raising USD 1,180 (GBP 885) of the USD 2,000 (GBP 1,500) goal set by the organisation.

Ellie’s story has reached millions of people online, who were mostly touched by the Rwandan Tarzan’s situation and praised the mother for the strength she shows while trying to survive in extreme poverty.

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