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The "caveman" is vaccinated and called to imitate him

The “caveman” is vaccinated and called to imitate him

Tired of life in society, Panta Petrovic opted for social distancing nearly twenty years before the coronavirus pandemic by going into exile in a mountain cave in southeastern Serbia.

On his way to the city last year, the long-bearded septuagenarian discovers that an epidemic is spreading.

Despite his rare contact with people, he was recently vaccinated and called on his countrymen to do the same to protect himself.

The old man with dreadlocks spends most of his time enjoying the tranquility of the forests of Mount Stara Planina.


France Press agency

The cave he had turned into his “home”, accessible only by a steep road, was equipped with a fireplace and a rusty old bathtub that had been converted into a toilet.

Petrovich, originally from the local town of Pirot, lived Qamar’s life there, and was married several times, a life he describes today as “frantic.”

France Press agency

The virus “does not choose, it will reach my cave,” he told AFP.

He added that he “does not understand the controversy” around vaccines and said he was confident in the procedure that “made it possible to eliminate many diseases in the past”.


France Press agency

I want to receive all 3 doses of the vaccine, including the extra dose. I call on all citizens to do the same,” he says.

Panta Petrovic has always appreciated nature and gradually discovered that solitude gave him a hitherto unknown freedom.

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“I was not free in the city. There was always someone on my way. Either you argue with your wife, or with the neighbours, the police,” says Petrovich while preparing his meal.

“No one here bothers me,” he adds.

It feeds mainly on mushrooms and fish from local rivers, but sometimes goes to the city, on foot, in search of food thrown by city dwellers.


France Press agency

He recently went there, wolves killed many animals that he kept near the cave. He then decided to house the “survivors” in a hut built on the outskirts of the city.

Thus, many goats and chickens, about thirty dogs and cats, and his favorite, the female wild boar baptized by Mara, found refuge there.

Petrovich discovered the wild boar eight years ago. It was very small, tangled up in a bush. He was feeding her from a bottle.

Today, this amazing 200-kilogram animal rolls in the streams and eats apples from Petrovich’s hands.


France Press agency

“She is everything to me, I love her and she listens to me. No money can buy such a thing,” he said.

Despite choosing to live alone, Petrovich is anything but obnoxious. It is even considered a local legend.

Before isolating himself, he donated his money to the municipality, allowing three small bridges to be built in the town, all bearing his name.

“Money is cursed, it corrupts people. Nothing can corrupt a person like money,” he told AFP.

On top of one of his bridges, Petrovich erected a dove. Despite his advanced age, he pulls himself to feed the birds leftover bread collected from trash cans.