A British housewife claims to have been raised by monkeys in Colombia.

Marina Chapman believes she was kidnapped when she was younger and then dumped in the South American country's jungle before being saved by the primates and brought up to catch rabbits and birds with her bare hands.

''I got bedtime stories about the jungle, as did my sister. We didn't think it odd - it was just Mum telling her life. So in a way it was nothing special having a mother like that.''

Hunters eventually captured her and brought her to the city of Cucuta where she went to work as a maid for a Colombian family before travelling with them on a business trip to England, where she met bacteriologist John Chapman, who she went on to marry.

Vanessa James, one of Marina's two daughters, is quoted by the Sunday Telegraph newspaper as saying: ''It's assumed that the kidnap went wrong.

''All she can remember is being chloroformed with a hand over her mouth. And all she can recall of her life before that is having a black doll as a toddler.

''She obviously learnt to fend for herself and only once got very ill when she ate some poisonous berries.

''I got bedtime stories about the jungle, as did my sister. We didn't think it odd - it was just Mum telling her life. So in a way it was nothing special having a mother like that.''

Marina isn't sure exactly when she was born but believes it was sometime in 1950, and she is now bringing out a book, 'The Girl with No Name', about her experiences.