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Real Life Mowgli: Girl Who Grew Up in the African Wildlife

Riding a five-ton elephant, whom she called ‘my brother’, chilling with a cheetah or hugging a giant bullfrog as if it were a Teddy bear. The childhood of a French girl Tippi Degre sounds more like a newer version of Mowgli, rather than something real. A white child, she was born in Namibia to French wildlife photographer parents, and grew up in Africa. Tippi spent her whole childhood playing with wild animals including lion cubs, a mongoose, a snake, a cheetah, baby zebra, giraffes and crocodiles.

The little girl saw nothing unusual about her company: “I don’t have friends here. Because I never see children. So the animals are my friends,” she once said.

Tippi is now 23 years old, and the only child to wildlife photographer parents Sylvie Robert and Alain Degre, who published her photos in a book called Tippi of Africa. “It was magical to be able to be free in this nature with this child. She was a very lucky little girl – she was born and raised until the age of 10 totally in the wild.” said Sylvie.

Website:, Book: Tippi of Africa

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  • Victoria Jade

    It is so funny how everyone is so stuck on the race factor when they aren’t even that worried about it. This girl got the chance to come into an environment SHE WASN’T USED TO, and live with animals. But instead of everyone seeing the beauty in such a thing, they are more worried about what doesn’t even pertain to them. Until you’re an African child doing the same things they’re doing, shut your mouth about it! These pictures show African people welcoming her into their traditions, and teaching her things. No matter how ‘staged’ they were. Everyone is so worried about a race issue. Well let me tell you something, as long as there are different people on this Earth there is going to be racism. I don’t care what you say, how you say it, when you say it, or what reference you make to it. That is the basic human nature. SO, until everyone can be peaceful right up to the fact of not even thinking about there being a racial issue I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.

  • Nad Ia

    She was soooo cute

  • ellano

    thats so cool