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Man Raised By Wolves Says That He Is Disappointed With Humans

Mike Wood

| Last updated 

Man Raised By Wolves Says That He Is Disappointed With Humans

A man who was raised by wolves has declared himself to be 'disappointed' with humans.


Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja - who was given the nickname of 'the Mowgli of Spain' when he was found as a 19-year-old - claims that he lived alongside wolves in the mountains of the Sierra Montana from the age of seven, communicating via grunts and sleeping in a cave with other animals such as bats, snakes and deer.

Now 72 and living in the northern Spanish town of Rante, close to the northern Portuguese border, he told El País that he was disappointed in humans, who he felt have exploited his naivety since he was discovered by police in 1965.

Marcos' mother died when he was a child and his father was abusive. He was sent to live with a goatherd at the age of six or seven and when his only human companion died, he had little desire to rejoin his family, instead preferring the company of the wolves.

"The animals guided me as to what to eat. Whatever they ate, I ate," said Marcos to the BBC.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

"The wild boars ate tubers buried under the soil. They found them because they smelled them. When they were digging the soil looking for them, I threw a stone at them - they would run away and then I would steal the tubers."

"One day I went into a cave and started to play with wolf cubs that lived there and I fell asleep. Later, the mother brought food for them and I woke up.

"She saw me and looked fiercely at me. The wolf started to rip the meat apart. A cub got close to me and I tried to steal his food, because I was hungry as well. The mother pawed at me. I backed off."

"After feeding her pups she threw me a piece of meat. I didn't want to touch it because I thought she was going to attack me, but she was pushing the meat with her nose. I took it, ate it, and thought she was going to bite me, but she put her tongue out, and started to lick me. After that, I was one of the family."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Marcos was discovered years later and identified by his father.

"I felt nothing when I saw him," he said. "He only asked me one thing: 'Where is your jacket?' As if I would still be wearing the jacket I had when I left!"

Back in human society, Marcos struggled to adapt. He told the BBC: "I could not cope with so much noise... the cars... and people going back and forwards like ants. But at least ants all go in the same direction! People went everywhere! I was scared of crossing the road!"

He went on to live with nuns in Madrid, where he finally began to change his habits.

"They taught me to eat properly and they put a piece of wood in my back to help me walk straight because I was all crooked from walking in the mountains," he said.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

"When I got out of there, the first thing they should have done is send me to a school, teach me to talk and how to behave in the world. What was the point of making me first do communion and military service? So I could learn to shoot and kill people?"

He eventually settled in Rante, where he lives on a pension and works in a bar. "I thought about it many times," he says of returning to the bush.

"But I'm used to this life now and there are so many things that I didn't have there, like music for instance, or women. Women are one good reason to stay here."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Interesting, Community

Mike Wood
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