To this day the number one thing on my bucket list is to be up close and personal with wild animals. Whether its cuddle with a tiger, hug a bear, ride and elephant, play with penguins, I want to do it. I know it seems crazy, but it is one of my dreams. I think that my love of The Jungle Book as a little girl is what makes me so drawn to wild nature. That's why this story is so interesting me. This little girl was born into a world I could only dream of. She is a real life 'Mowgli'.

Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degre spent the first ten years of her life living among the wild of Africa. Her parents were documenting the wild and nature of Namibia when she was born, and they continued to raise her there. She traveled through countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa as her parents continued to document her life in the wild. She grew up with animals and tribes people of Africa.

The photos include snapshots of the young girl from sitting on the back of an ostrich, lying peacefully with a young leopard, or catching a ride from an elephant. Her parents, Sylvie and Alain, said that at no point was she in danger. She was never attacked or harmed by animals. They seemed to love her and grow a bond. A meerkat playfully snipped at her nose and a baboon named Cindy pulled her hair in fascination, but they never put her in danger.

The young girl struggled as she and her family moved back to France. She went from peaceful wild to a concrete jungle. None of her animal family were there, she was alone. She was home schooled because she felt as though she didn't fit in. She grew accustomed to her new life and continued visiting her wild friends in all of their walks of life.

Tippie is now 23 years old and studying cinematography at la Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. Her novel My Book of Africa was translated into six different languages and was on the best sellers list in all languages. She has returned to her native Africa numerous times on behalf of the Discovery Channel.


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