Tippi Degré spent the first ten years of her life living in Africa among wild animals
We don’t care how idyllic your childhood was, chances are it was nothing compared to Tippi Degré’s formative years.
Namibian-born French Tippi spent the first 10 years of her life growing up in the wilds of Africa with her parents Sylvie Robert and Alain Degré, both wildlife photographers, who captured dozens of beautiful moments shared by their daughter and the native African animals.
Little Tippi, who was basically a mix of The Jungle Book’s Mowgli and Mean Girls’ Cady Heron, called Abu the African elephant her brother and took naps with Mufasa the lion cub.
Born in 1990, Tippi released a book in 2008 detailing her African adventures complete with stunning images taken by her parents, which have resurfaced online.
Riding an elephant, hugging a giant toad and having her hand licked by a cheetah were all in a day’s work for the young intrepid explorer.
Is it just us, or is this a meme waiting to happen?
“It was magical to be ale to be free in this nature with this child,” Tippi’s mother Sylvie told The Telegraph. “She was a very lucky little girl – she was born and raised until the age of ten totally in the wild. It was just the three of us living in the wild with the animals and not too many humans.”
“Tippi always said that everybody was gifted and this was her gift. 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.”
While the images are utterly magical, Tippi’s mum was always mindful of her young daughter’s safety around the animals.
“You can’t just meet any of these animals and act like this with them,” said Sylvie.
“But in the arid or semi desert regions of Southern Africa people have farms of 10,000 to 20,000 hectares. The farmers often keep orphan animals and raise them in their house. Sometimes they are tame or used to humans and so this is how Tippi was able to be so close with them.”
Since her incredible upbringing, Tippi moved to Paris where she studied at the Sorbonne before hosting a series of wildlife and environmental TV documentaries.