Meet real-life Mowgli, who still struggles to cope with annoying human world

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja
Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja YouTube grab

Mowgli is not a fictional character anymore, as a man who was raised by wolves for 12 years, just like the Jungle Book character, has admitted that he feels disjointed with human life and wishes that he could live rest of his life with the animals.

This real-life Mowgli is known as Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja and called the Spanish Mowgli. Now 72, the man was found living with the wolves in Spain's Sierra Morena mountain range at the age of seven.

In 1965, when he was 19-year-old, authorities found him running around half-naked and barefoot. The jungle boy had problems while talking, as he was used to communicate by grunting for communication.

He told the Spanish news outlet, 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."

But now the Spaniard feels that being a part of the human world is the worst thing that happened and he would like to move back to the animal world. He told BBC, "I didn't know where to go - I just wanted to escape to the mountains."

Upset Pantoja is now living in a small, cold house in Rante, Galicia. He said that his last happy memories are from the childhood days when he had no connections with the human world.

He lost his mother at the age of three and his father went to live with another woman. Later he was taken to the mountains to replace a goatherd who used to look after almost 300 animals.

One day when Pantoja tried to make a fire and how to use that, that goatherd somehow disappeared or died and the seven-year-old child became alone.

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja
Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja YouTube grab

It may sound like the Jungle Book story but in real life also the lone child found a new home with the animals. He used to sleep inside a cave along with snakes, bats and deer. Even a female wolf fed him and other wolf cubs and accepted Pantoja as their brother.

Pantoja told BBC that one day, he went inside a cave and started to play with those wolf cubs and fell asleep but when he woke up the mother of the cubs brought food for all of them.

"The wolf started to rip the meat apart. A cub got close to me and I tried to steal his food because I was hungry as well. The mother pawed at me. I backed off," he further added.

But when the cubs were done with their food, the mother threw a piece of meat to him as well.

Earlier he was frightened and thought that maybe the female wolf will attack him, so he did not touch the meat. But he observed that the mother-wolf was pushing the meat towards him by using her nose.

"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," Pantoja said.

But when the regional Civil Guard found him and brought him back to the human world, his life changed from good to worst, as he was cheated, exploited and abused by the humans in the working world.

Even though he tried to join the humans, it never happened. Pantoja also believes that people often laugh at him because he doesn't have the knowledge about politics or football or the modern world.

He tried to return to the mountains but he felt that everything has changed, including the wolves, as they do not recognize him anymore.

Pantoja told El Pais that if he calls out the wolves, they will respond but, they will not behave with him the same way they used to be.

He said that even though he had to get used to with human like eating and sleeping in bed, he still faces problem while coping with "noise, the cars, and people going back and forwards like ants. But at least ants all go in the same direction. People went everywhere. I was scared of crossing the road."

However, a feature drama movie called 'Among Wolves' was made on Pantoja's life in 2010 by the Spanish filmmaker Gerardo Olivares.

He lives in a small house with cave-like low ceilings, covers the walls with memorabilia, including drawings and has a roofless inner country yard with plants and flowers, which helps him to feel connected with the wildlife.