Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja
Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja
|Known for||Feral child who lived with wolves in the forest|
Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja (born 7 June 1946, in Añora, Spain) is a noted feral child. He was reportedly sold to a hermitic goatherder at seven and after the goatherder's death, he lived alone with the wolves in the Sierra Morena. At 19, he was returned to civilization, but had difficulty adjusting. Gabriel Janer Manila went on to write a PhD thesis concerning him, which was titled He jugado con lobos (English title I Have Played with Wolves).
In March 2018 he gave an interview in which he said he was disappointed in human nature and wished he could return to the mountains and leave society.
Marcos claimed he was born in Añora, Spain the province of Cordoba. He emigrated with his parents to Madrid, where his mother died giving birth to their fourth child, who later died shortly thereafter. Marcos was three years old at the time. His father then married another woman who already had a child from a previous marriage. His stepmother subjected him to cruel abuse while she was in charge. In the 1950s they settled in Fuencaliente, Ciudad Real, in the Sierra Morena, where they dedicated themselves to the manufacture of coal.
By 1954, Marcos had spent all of his young life being abused. That year, aged seven, he was sold or delivered to a local landowner who owned a goatherd. The child was to serve as a slave, but was abandoned to nature at some point after this change in guardianship. In 1965, the Civil Guard found him after eleven years living in complete isolation from human beings and with the sole company of the wolves. The Civil Guard moved him to Fuencaliente by force, bound and gagged, as he howled and bit like a wolf. The police never brought charges against the father, who was still alive at the time, and when he recognized his son, he only reproached him for having lost his jacket.
Nuns employed at a nearby hospital along with a priest taught him, again, the use of speech, how to dress, walk upright, and eat with cutlery. He was admitted to the Hospital de Convalecientes of the Vallejo Foundation in Madrid, until he was reintroduced as an adult to life in society. He was sent to Mallorca where he lived in a hostel paying with his work.
He did military service and dedicated himself to work as a pastor and in the hospitality industry. He suffered numerous scams and deceptions, having limited financial and cultural sense given his time spent in complete isolation. After unstable living arrangements in Fuengirola, Malaga, even living in a cave, he moved to a village in the interior of Orense, Rante. There he was welcomed by Manuel Barandela Losada, a retired police officer. Marcos called him the "boss" and considered him to be family until his death.
Currently, Marcos is sponsored by a Dutch family, being frequently invited by city councils, associations and diverse organizations to give talks and narrate his experience. In addition, he has been interviewed in numerous television programs.
The study of the case was carried out by the anthropologist and writer Gabriel Janer Manila, who between November 1975 and April 1976, interviewed with Marcos Rodríguez in order to study the educational measures necessary for their integration. The anthropologist stated that the causes of Marcos' abandonment were not fortuitous, but deliberate and the result of a socio-economic context of extreme poverty. The researcher also stressed that Marcos' survival was possible thanks to the basic skills acquired in the previous phase of his abandonment, as well as his extraordinary natural intelligence. During his isolation the child learned the noises of the animals with which he lived and used them to communicate with them, while little by little he abandoned human language.
Once he was again immersed in a social environment, after his rescue by the Civil Guard, he made a slow readaptation to human customs (food, clothing, language, etc.), still manifesting in adulthood preference for life in the field and animals (with which he has a special treatment) and developed some animosity for the noise and smell of cities, considering that life between humans is worse than life with animals. He considers that the hardships he suffered once he was reintroduced into society could have been alleviated in large part if the State had intervened in time.
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- Rodríguez Pontevedra, Silvia (29 March 2018). "Spaniard raised by wolves disappointed with human life". El País. Prisa. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- Rodríguez, Xosé Manoel (6 March 2015). "El niño-lobo de Rante llega a la programación de TVE". La Voz de Galicia (in Spanish). Ourense. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
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- "Marcos Pantoja: "Pensé que me iba a matar, pero la loba me dio de comer"". Cuatro (in Spanish). Mediaset España. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- Janer Manilla, Gabriel (1979). "La problemática educativa de los niños selváticos: El caso de "Marcos"" (PDF). Anuario de psicología. Universitat de Barcelona (20): 79–98. ISSN 0066-5126.
- Plitt, Laura. "El hombre que vivió 12 años entre lobos". BBC Mundo. BBC. Retrieved 28 September 2018.