Real Life Mowgli: Girl Spends First 10 Years Living in African Wild

| by
article imagearticle image

Pictures have been released of a real-life Mowgli, who was raised in the African wild for the first ten years of her life. 

Though she is 23 years old now, Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degre's heartwarming photos of her making friends with wild animals, appear in the relaunched book 'Tippi: My Book of Africa.'

Born to freelance wildlife photographers from France, Tippi lived a life of adventure and traveling.

What most suburban American kids have to imagine up in their backyards, Tippi lived in real life. Calling a 28-year-old elephant her 'brother' and an adult leopard her 'best friend,' her life was straight out of a Disney movie.

Born in Namibia, Tippi traveled through Bostwana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

"Her everyday life was making sure monkeys did not steal her bottle," Sylvie Robert, her mother, said. 

"Or she would call me over and point to an elephant eating from a palm tree and say 'mummy, be quiet, we're going to frighten him.' She had so much freedom."

"It was like having the biggest playground. We lived in a tent, completely in the wild, but she always woke up with the sun shining and her parents around her. She was very lucky."

Photos of Tippi include her sitting on the back of an ostrich, lying on the ground with a young caracal, and playing with an elephant. 

"She was so at ease with animals. She would talk to them with her eyes and her heart," Sylvie said. 

Despite being bitten in the nose once by a meerkat and having her hair pulled by a baboon, Tippi did not have any other violent experiences with the animals.

When the family returned to France, Tippi had trouble adjusting to city life.

"She missed the animals so much," Sylvie said. "We didn't have room for a dog in our flat, so we got a budgie instead. It would go everywhere with her, even on the train, flying right by her side, sitting on her head or falling asleep on her shoulder."

Tippi is now 23 years old and is studying cinema.

Sources: Daily Mail, My Modern Met