Twenty miles off the coast of Africa on a humid, stormy night a British Lord and his family is captured by a group of mutineers. The Lord, his wife, and his daughter are held captive for days before the parents are forced to watch their baby daughter be marooned from the ship. The baby washes ashore on an island just off the Atlantic Coast of Africa, only to be first discovered by a leopard on the hunt. Fortunately for the infant, a nearby ape comes to the infants rescue, and they retreat into the jungle. The female ape, Kala, lost her baby ape to a leopard in the past and was extraordinarily compassionate towards the young child who she would call Tyree and raise as one of her own.
Tyree’s jungle upbringing gives her abilities far beyond those of ordinary humans. Including: climbing, clinging, and leaping as well as any great ape, or better. She learned to use branches and hanging vines to swing at great speeds, a skill acquired among the anthropoid apes. Her strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, senses, flexibility, durability, endurance, and swimming are extraordinary in comparison to normal humans. Growing up in the jungle she wrestled full grown apes, lions, crocodiles and leopards. She also learned at a young age to communicate with many species of animals. Despite her ape like characteristics and caring mother ape Kala, Tyree, the lost child of the jungle, desperately seeks acceptance from the other apes in her tribe.
Years later, when Tyree is older, a team of archeologists visit the island to study the ape species. A chance encounter between Tyree and Jane Porter, a member of the expedition sent to the island, reveals to Tyree that she is not alone and is in fact the same species as Jane. Intrigued by each other, Tyree and Jane become friends. Jane is grateful towards Tyree for saving her. Jane introduces the Girl of the Apes to her father, Clayton Porter, and the rest of their team. Tyree discovers Mr. Porter has hidden motives for coming to the island and is forced to question her loyalty to her family of apes.