Marcos Rodrguez Pantoja spent much of his boyhood in rural Spain’s highlands, surrounded by wolves, wild boars, and snakes, with no human interaction. He’s maybe one of the rare people who have been “raised by wolves.”
At the age of 72, he has spoken to the Spanish daily El Pas about his life and experiences reintegrating into human society. Essentially, he believes that the human world is horrible and that he would be happier living with the wolves.
His violent family sold him to an older goat farmer in the Sierra Morena highlands in the early 1950s, when he was approximately six years old. The old goat herder died not long after. Reluctant to return to his violent home, he began to fend for himself in the woods, employing basic survival tactics taught by the farmer and studying animals in the wild. Over the following 15 years, he claimed to have lived in caverns, where he “befriended” and mingled with wolves and other mountain range creatures.
According to Gabriel Janer Manila, an anthropologist who completed his thesis on Marcos, he has validated substantial sections of the personal narrative, but other elements of his evidence must be carefully evaluated.
In 2013, Manila told BBC News, “Marcos does not tell us what happened, but what he believes happened.” “But that’s what we all do — give our point of view on the facts.”
“When Marcos encounters a snake and offers her milk, and the snake returns, he claims she is his buddy.” The snake is not his ‘friend.’ She is pursuing him because he provides her with milk. He says’she protects me,’ because it is what he feels has occurred.”
The Spanish Civil Guard rescued him from the forest when he was 19 years old. His reintegration into society has been difficult ever since. He claims he has been exploited by bosses in the hotel and construction industries, as well as abused in his personal life. El Pas stated that he is troubled by the emotional coldness of the human world.
“They laugh at me because I don’t know anything about politics or soccer,” he told the newspaper lately.
Later in life, he sought to return to the wild, but remarked “it is not what it used to be” since the wolves no longer tolerate him. Fortunately, his narrative is not entirely depressing. He still appreciates human interaction and is well-liked by many of his neighbors. Amigos das Arbores, an environmental organization, is assisting him in purchasing insulation for his home.
Marcos is one of a small number of “feral children” who spent periods of their childhood apart from human interaction. Despite the fact that their experiences are frequently traumatic, they do give some insight into childhood, psychology, and what it is to be human.