Spanish ‘Mowgli’ man, 72, who was raised by wolves in a cave for 12 years wishes he could return to the mountains after a hard life filled with disappointment among humans

  • Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was abandoned aged 7 and survived in the mountains
  • A wolf pack adopted and fed him and he ate the berried and roots animals did
  • He was found 12 years later and forced back to society but struggled
  • Now aged 72 he lives in a small, cold house in Spain and wants to go back 

A man raised by wolves for 12 years says his life in human society was a failure and he wishes he could go live among the animals again.

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was adopted by a pack when he was stranded in Spain‘s Sierra Morena mountain range aged seven.

He was found as a 19-year-old running around half-naked and barefoot only able to communicate by grunting and brought back to civilisation.

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was raised by wolves for 12 years and says his life in human society was a failure and he wishes he could go live among the animals again

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was raised by wolves for 12 years and says his life in human society was a failure and he wishes he could go live among the animals again

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was adopted by a pack when he was stranded in Spain 's Sierra Morena mountain range aged seven

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja was adopted by a pack when he was stranded in Spain ‘s Sierra Morena mountain range aged seven

‘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,’ he told El Pais.

But now the 72-year-old lives in a small, cold house in Rante, Galicia, with only a meager pension after a tough life among humans.

Mr Pantoja said even since he was ripped from the cave he called home his life went downhill as he was never fully able to reintegrate.

He claimed to have been cheated and abused, exploited by bosses in the hospitality and construction industries, and left with nothing.

He was found as a 19-year-old running around half-naked and barefoot only able to communicate by grunting and brought back to civilisation

He was found as a 19-year-old running around half-naked and barefoot only able to communicate by grunting and brought back to civilisation

But now the 72-year-old lives in a small, cold house in Rante, Galicia, with only a meager pension after a tough life among humans

But now the 72-year-old lives in a small, cold house in Rante, Galicia, with only a meager pension after a tough life among humans

Mr Pantoja in the 1970s trying to adjust to life in human society by attending a bar in Spain

Mr Pantoja in the 1970s trying to adjust to life in human society by attending a bar in Spain

Known as the Mowgli of Spain, he said the happiest days were living in a cave with bats, snakes and deer, whose calls he can still mimic.

Mr Pantoja was sent there as a goatherd after his mother died in childbirth when he was three and his abusive father ran off with another woman.

The old man he was training to replace taught him how to use fire and make utensils but either died or suddenly left, leaving the small boy all alone.

He survived by observing which berries and root vegetables animals ate and was eventually fed by a mother wolf who later adopted him.

She fed her cubs some meat which he tried to steal from one of the cubs but the mother pawed at him and growled until he 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,’ he told the BBC in 2013.

Mr Pantoja said even since he was ripped from the cave he called home his life went downhill as he was never fully able to reintegrate

Mr Pantoja said even since he was ripped from the cave he called home his life went downhill as he was never fully able to reintegrate

He claimed to have been cheated and abused, exploited by bosses in the hospitality and construction industries, and left with nothing

He claimed to have been cheated and abused, exploited by bosses in the hospitality and construction industries, and left with nothing

He survived in the wild by observing which berries and root vegetables animals ate and was eventually fed by a mother wolf who later adopted him

He survived in the wild by observing which berries and root vegetables animals ate and was eventually fed by a mother wolf who later adopted him

‘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.’

Mr Pantoja said he also had a snake for company who followed him around because he fed her goat’s milk.

Returning to civilisation was the scariest experience of his life, first to an orphanage where the nuns taught him to walk up straight and eat at a table.

He was confined to a wheelchair for a time after the thick callouses were cut off his feet and his first visit to a barber had him terrified the razor would cut his throat.

Returning to civilisation was the scariest experience of his life, first to an orphanage where the nuns taught him to walk up straight and eat at a table

Returning to civilisation was the scariest experience of his life, first to an orphanage where the nuns taught him to walk up straight and eat at a table

Mr Pantoja climbing a tree in 1977 just a decade after he was brought in from the wild

Mr Pantoja climbing a tree in 1977 just a decade after he was brought in from the wild

Mr Pantoja tried to return to the mountains but found it was a very different place to what he remembered

Mr Pantoja tried to return to the mountains but found it was a very different place to what he remembered

Environmental group Amigos das Arbores is raising money to buy his house a boiler and insulation

Environmental group Amigos das Arbores is raising money to buy his house a boiler and insulation

The noise was the worst part – cars, bustling crowds, and people walking by his window in all directions. He was afraid of crossing the road.

He fought with the nuns about sleeping in a bed and when he rented his own room he at first slept on the floor on a pile of magazines and blankets.

Mr Pantoja tried to return to the mountains but found it was a very different place to what he remembered and his cave was replaced with cottages and electric gates.

The wolves also didn’t accept him after he was away so long and kept their distance instead of embracing him as a brother.

Known as the Mowgli of Spain, he said the happiest days were living in a cave with bats, snakes and deer, whose calls he can still mimic (pictured)

Known as the Mowgli of Spain, he said the happiest days were living in a cave with bats, snakes and deer, whose calls he can still mimic (pictured)

The 72-year-old now lives in a small, cold house in Rante, Galicia, with only a meager pension after a tough life among humans

The 72-year-old now lives in a small, cold house in Rante, Galicia, with only a meager pension after a tough life among humans

‘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,’ he said.

‘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.’

Environmental group Amigos das Arbores is raising money to buy his house a boiler and insulation and his neighbours accept him, but others taunt his naivety.

‘I think they laugh at me because I don’t know about politics or soccer,’ he said. But his doctor told him:’ Laugh back at them. Everyone knows less than you.’

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5585777/Spanish-man-raised-wolves-12-years-wishes-return-there.html

On – 06 Apr, 2018 By Nic White

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