Seven Years in the Wilderness: Who Lives with the Deer: Geoffroy Delorme | Cultivation stage BR

For seven years, Geoffroy Delorme lived in the Bord-Louviers forest, an hour and a half drive west of Paris. They fed on roots, tubers, leaves and berries. The deer tolerated his presence. Deer, he writes, “adopted” him. Shamelessly, Geoffroy Delorme talks to the press about his lonely life and his decision to leave his family almost 20 years ago. “I have a distance education since elementary school. At 16 I never had a boyfriend or girlfriend, no pet, nothing was normal in my life,” says Delorme. “I always felt insecure in human company. When I was painting the forest, I wanted to let the elements penetrate me, I just wanted to live, very simply, without thinking, without possessing anything.”

At home in the wild instead of among humans

The story of Geoffroy Delorme is amazing. It sounds like a fairy tale, it touches us and at the same time causes a trace of disbelief. When has anyone heard of a young man who felt safer among deer than ever before in his life? Delorme is enchanted. You follow your path surprised.

For the first few weeks and months in the thicket, all he had to do was not starve and die of thirst. The infamous lack of sleep caused hallucinations and put him in danger. “The worst enemy of sleep is the cold. I have hypothermia many times. And every time it’s the same: I fall asleep, I start dreaming and suddenly I wake up completely frozen and I want to vomit. My nerves are raw, my shoulders are sagging and my head seems to weigh at least a ton. ”

Each deer gets a name

Geoffroy Delorme’s greatest talents are his patience and his ability to observe the behavior of forest animals. He learned to protect himself by imitating the deer. They only sleep during the day and never rest at the base of a tree because it is very cold there. Delorme won the animals’ trust with great restraint. He gave each of the 50 deer, whose peculiarities he describes tenderly and humorously, their own name. “I lie on the plain with my belly full of fruit. Daguet unites me and to my surprise he comes very close (…) I feel his warm body on my leg. (…) A moment later he raises his head slightly, my “He yawns and places it on my thigh, where my hand rests. I take the opportunity to caress his cheek with my thumb. He seems to like it,” he writes.

Rent with

Rencontre avec “l’homme chevreuil”, Geoffroy Delorme

It took years to allow the deer to be touched. Geoffroy Delorme witnessed the birth of a deer and was left with a wounded deer when it died. “I realize that hunters will look for her,” he writes. “I take my girlfriend deer in my arms to bury her in a place away from hunting. (…) I can not break the layers of limestone and flint enough to get an I lay Étoile in the half-dug pit and to hide her body I knit two green fence walls with a little linen cord and pine branches, which I lift the to each other to form something like a small roof, an indistinguishable Dig. ”

Mild advertising for forests rich in species

There are about one million hunters in France. To them – you can read about it in local newspaper articles – the deer fan is at best a wonderful weirdo. Delorm is not an intellectual who worries whether or not he is allowed to humanize forest animals in language. The confidential tone of the descriptions has nothing superfluous, but experience well states that Delorm bypasses the history of hunting privileges in France and real arguments are being made for the conservation of large forest areas without forest management.

book cover

When a wide road was built in the middle of the Bord-Louviers state forest in 2012, the deer, with which the author had lived for seven years, shared the crack. The search for food led the animals close to residential areas. A phase in life has come to an end for Geoffroy Delorme. Today he lives from animal photography and lectures. With his book he promotes the preservation of species-rich forests in a convincing, gentle way.

An article from Diwan Book Magazine from May 8. You can watch the podcast of the show here subscribe to.

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