Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja, a 72-year-old Spanish man who was raised by wolves in a cave for 12 years, is having trouble adapting to the human life.
Marcos, also known as the Spanish ‘Mowgli’, was abandoned in the Sierra Morena mountain range of Spain when he was only 7 years old.
Marcos Rodriquez was born in 1946 in the city of Añora, Córdoba province. His mother died when he was only 3 years old, while giving birth to one of his siblings. Shortly after that, his father moved on to start a new family and sold him to a farmer. But the farmer too soon died and Marcos was left all alone.
He was then adopted by a pack of wolves who fed him berries and roots. They also taught him how to forage for food and how to identify what is good to eat and what is not.
After 12 long years, a 19-year-old Marcos was found running around half-naked and barefoot and only communicating by grunting.
While talking to El Pais, Marcos said he was brought back to civilization and that he now lives in a house located in the village of Rante, in the Galician province of Ourense.
He said, “I only wrapped my feet up when they hurt because of the snow. I had such big calluses on my feet that kicking a rock was like kicking a ball.”
Rodriques has now said he wishes that he could go live among the wolves again, since the human civilization is such a big failure and disappointment.
Marcos was accepted by the wolves as their brother and was nurtured by a motherly she-wolf. He used to sleep in caves alongside snakes, bats and deer, and also learned how they used to communicate with each other through squawks and howls.
Ever since the Civil Guard authorities rescued him, Marcos says that he has been used, cheated on and exploited. He has been pushed around by his employers in the hospitality and construction industries.
But amidst all of that, he believed Rante, his neighbor, is one of those who accept him and know what he is going through. He added that with his pension, he cannot afford a boiler or heater, so an organization, [email protected] das Arbores, is funding him for the cause.
He added that even though he wants to go back and live with the wolves, everything has changed and the wolves don’t see him like they used to. He said, “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 has been a part of many studies and documentaries due to his experiences. When asked about them, he said, “I think they laugh at me because I don’t know about politics or soccer.”
He added that his doctor told him, “Laugh back at them. Everyone knows less than you.”
Unfortunately, the caves where he grew up with the wolves are no longer there; cottages and big electric gates have taken their place.