A man who was raised by wolves has admitted how much he is disappointed with his life in the human world.
Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja, who claims he lived with wolves for 12 years, was born in Spain in 1946.
His mum died when he was three, and was sold to a goat herder who lived alone in the mountains of Sierra Morena, but the man died when Marcos was just seven years old.
At this point, he was adopted by a pack of wolves, who he says took him in as a brother, and the mother nurtured him.
He slept in a cave alongside bats, snakes and deer, and learned how to survive in the wilderness.
He was discovered by the Civil Guard at the age of 19 and was taken from his home, which he says he misses.
He says he struggles with the coldness of the human world, and that the low temperatures didn’t affect him when he was running around barefoot and half naked with the wolves.
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He told El Pais:
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.
When he was ‘rescued’, Marcos’ world fell apart, and he has never felt the same happiness as he did when he was feral.
He has reportedly been cheated, abused, and exploited by bosses, and has struggled since returning to human life to reintegrate.
He has experienced a great deal of human kindness, however, and there are charities who are trying to get his home insulated – which is something which he can’t afford from his pension.
Marcos admits he tried to return to the mountain, but he said it wasn’t what he wanted it to be any more.
He says the wolves don’t see him as a brother any more, and they don’t approach him when he tries to contact 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.
There have been numerous studies on his experiences, as well as feature films and documentaries.
Marcos insists that life is much harder since he was placed back into the modern, human world, and he says people around him laugh at him because he doesn’t know about politics or soccer.
Marcos has found a way to do some good in the world, however, alongside charity Amigos das Arbores, who organise sessions at schools where he can talk about his love of nature.
The forest officer Xosé Santos, an officer with the charity, says:
It’s amazing how he enthrals the children with his life experience.
This is no surprise, however, considering it is children who Marcos feels most comfortable with in his life.