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Tippi Degré, The Real-Life Mowgli

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

We share a lot of captivating animal encounters, but the life of Tippi Degré, the real-life Mowgli, certainly stands out! Raised between wild African animals for the first 10 years of her life, her way of interacting with animals is untouched. 

Meet Tippi

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Tippi was born in 1990 in Namibia, to French wildlife photographers Sylvie Robert and Alain Degré. Where most kids’ playgrounds are limited to city parks and backyards, Tippi’s was the untamed wilderness of Africa with her parents and animals as her only companions. 

Extraordinary Childhood

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Being surrounded by wild animals from birth, she formed beautiful bonds with creatures most people would deem dangerous. Her playmates were wild animals and her best friend was Abu, a massive, beautiful African Elephant and also had a close bond with a leopard cub called J&B. 

Close Bonds 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

The wild animals accepted her as one of their own and treated her as a member of their family. While she did the exact same! It is incredible to see how comfortable she was with these wild animals, and them with her. 

Harsh Environment

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Living in the wild, she adapted and thrived in one of the world’s toughest environments – the Kalahari Desert. She wore the same clothes as the local tribes, namely the Bushmen and Himba, while they treated and loved her as one of their own. 

The Bushmen

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

The San Bushmen are members of the Indigenous hunter-gatherers culture in southern Africa and are also one of the oldest surviving cultures of the world. Although they have adapted to the changes in the world, they remain close to nature. 

Tribal Influence 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Growing up close to the tribes of the Kalahari Desert greatly enriched her life. They taught her how to live on roots and berries, to speak their language, and to live in harmony with nature and the wild. 

Fearless 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Tippi handled massive pythons with ease, gave J&B the leopard cub belly rubs and Abu the elephant hugs. And treated all animals fearlessly and respectfully – respect is an important factor in loving wild animals. 

Friends 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Tippi believed these animals were her friends, and size and used her imagination to handle the unique situation. She once said: “I speak to them with my mind, or with my heart and soul. And I see that they answer me.”

Photo Evidence

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Her parents being wildlife photographers, captured breathtaking images of Tippi’s childhood. From trotting with ostriches to holding massive frogs, to Tippi looking like a tiny dot next to her massive elephant best friend. 

Rich Childhood 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Of course, Tippi’s parents stressed and worried about their child’s carefree existence among the wild animals in Africa. But despite that, she experienced a rich and exciting childhood, where any animal she came across was her friend! Not many can relate, well except Mowgli. 

Her Normal 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Many might wonder if this is a normal way to raise a child, and no it’s not! But that doesn’t mean that Tippi’s life was lacking anything, instead, I would say she had a much richer childhood than many! And most importantly, Tippi saw nothing unusual about her life, even as a child! 

Her Mom’s Thoughts 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Tippi’s mother, Sylvie once said: “It was magical to be able to be free in this nature with this child. She was a fortunate little girl – she was born and raised until the age of 10 totally in the wild.” 

Unconventional 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Yes, she did have an unconventional childhood. But having the opportunity to grow up so close to nature is rare for those from the Western world. An opportunity that gives insight and respect to the depth of untamed nature. And Tippi was certainly left richer for it! 

Her Book 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

In her book, “Tippi My Book of Africa”, she takes readers on a journey to Africa. She shares her thoughts and wisdom about Africa, its people, and the animals she has come to love. Offering wisdom beyond her years, while fascinating readers with her innocent and charming rapport with animals. 

Tippi Today

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Today Tippi, a grown woman, is an active advocate for conservation and in the documentary film industry. She was named the Godmother of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and has presented various wildlife and environmental documentaries. 

The Video 

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Watch the video of Tippi, the real-life Mowgli, here

Last Thoughts

Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

Tippi Degré had an exceptional childhood among the wild animals and tribes of Africa that allowed her to form beautiful bonds with nature. These bonds allow her to share her valuable experiences with the world, opening all of our eyes to nature’s beauty. 

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Screenshot from Tippi Degré. Source: Youtube, Uploaded: Maura Judge

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