Wednesday 25 April 2018

Man raised by wolves admits he is disappointed by human life

Stock photo
Stock photo

Greg Evans

Being raised by wolves sounds like something from The Jungle Book, but it is in fact a reality.

In 1965, Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja was found living in a cave with a pack of wolves, who he had been living with for the past 12 years.

Marcos had been living with the animals since he was a small boy following the death of his mother and being abandoned by his father, who had sold him to a farmer who lived in the Sierra Morena mountains, in Spain.

He estimates that he was about six or seven at the time, but the farmer died soon afterwards leaving him to retreat into the mountains with the wildlife.

He was 19 when he was eventually found by the Spanish Civil Guard, who brought him back to the human world - but that's where everything truly changed.

His life has since been documented in books, movies, anthropological studies and in a short documentary by BBC News.

Marcos is now 72-years-old and lives in the small village of Rante, in the Galician province of Ourense. But despite living among human's for decades, he admits that his last happy memories were with the wolves.

Speaking to El Pais, Marcos revealed that he feels like he has been cheated and abused by humans and exploited by employers in the construction and hospitality industries.

He told El Pais: "I think they laugh at me because I don’t know about politics or soccer."

Although he feels like he has never been able to fully acclimatise to human life, his neighbours have accepted him as "one of them".

The environmental group Amig@s das Arbores are reportedly trying to raise money to help improve his current living conditions.

As he has grown disillusioned with the human way of life, he admits that he has tried to return to the mountains but wolves no longer recognise him as one of their own.

You can tell that they are right there, you hear them panting, it gives you goosebumps … but it’s not that easy to see them.

There are wolves and if I call out to them they are going to respond, but they are not going to approach me. I smell like people, I wear cologne.

Marcos added that he even returned to the location of the cave he used to live but was saddened to find that there were now cottages and electric gates at the site.

Not everything about his life has been dominated by disappointment. He is regularly invited to schools by Amig@s das Arbores to talk about his experiences and the importance of caring for the world around us.

Xose Santos from Amig@s das Arbores said: "It’s amazing how he enthrals the children with his life experience."

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