A 7-year-old Bulgarian boy was kept chained up by his parents in order to keep him away from “bad company.”

Social services and police released the child after a tip-off from neighbors who saw him tied to a long steel chain by his leg in the family home in the town of Goce Delchev, Bulgaria.

The chain only allowed him to move though a limited space in the house and caused chronic injuries.

Ilko Todorov was taken to a foster home after receiving medical treatment, while his parents Ilija, 40, a metal worker and Marija, 34, a cleaner, could be facing legal charges.

Speaking from the foster home, where he has been receiving intensive counseling, Ilko said: “I am happy here and I get to play with other children now. I miss my mum but I don’t want to see my dad.”

His mother Marija told authorities that she was forced to chain up her son by his domineering father.

“I tried to tell him not to do it, but I was afraid of him,” she said.

It is believed that Ilko was forced to sleep and live for long periods with the chain attached.

Authorities are said to be investigating whether the child missed school and why social services did not act earlier.

The father Ilija declined to comment and only said that he chained his son in a bid to keep him away from “bad company.”

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