The Modern Mowgli: The Little Girl Who Befriended Wild Animals in Africa


Everyone who loved the Jungle Book  and the character Mowgli will enjoy this story. Today Tippi is a regular young lady, studying in Paris, at Sorbonne University. Her childhood, though, was far from ordinary: Tippi spent her first years in Namibia, Africa, and her best friends were the wild animals. Both her parents, Alain Degre and Sylvie Robert, worked in the field, being wildlife photographers. They named the little girl after an actress who was an animal rights activist, Tippi Hedren. And it is her parents’ activity in Africa that made her special and unique, as she is right now.

Tippi Degre was born in Africa and spent her childhood with several unusual friends: a 5-tone elephant named Abu, a leopard called J&B, a lion cub, giraffes, an ostrich, crocodiles, a mongoose, a baby zebra, a cheetah, bullfrogs and a snake. There is a supposition that wild animals, even fierce ones, don’t harm youngsters, no matter what species. It is not a scientific fact, but still the story of this little girl, Tippi, comes to prove it once again.
After years spent among wild animals, Tippi and her family moved back to France where the parents of the little girl written books and made movies about the incredible experience their daughter had in Africa and about the friendship connections made with the wild animals.

Regarding the relations of her daughter with the animals in Africa, her mother said “She was in the mindset of these animals. She believed the animals were her size and her friends. She was using her imagination to live in these different conditions.” And indeed, from an early age, Tippi proved an unusual ability to bond with animals, especially wild ones.

At some point, Tippi returned to Africa and made nature documentaries for the Discovery Channel. She is also known for “supervising the tigers in Fort Boyard, off the coast of France, which is the stage for a popular international game show.” There are beautiful and engaging books describing her unusual experience in Namibia: “Tippi of Africa” and “My Book in Africa “, both being bestsellers.


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