Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degré (born 4 June 1990) is a French woman who spent her childhood in Namibia among wild animals and tribespeople. After moving to Paris, France, with her parents, she returned to Africa to make six nature documentaries for the Discovery Channel. She is known among other things for supervising the tigers in Fort Boyard, off the coast of France, which is the stage for a popular international game show.
Tippi was born in Namibia, where her parents, Alain Degré and Sylvie Robert, worked as freelance wildlife photographers. She was named after Tippi Hedren. During her stay in Namibia, she befriended wild animals, including a 28-year old elephant Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, crocodiles, lion cubs, giraffes, a Northern Greater Galago, a Banded Mongoose, an Ostrich, meerkats, a baby zebra, a cheetah, a Caracal, a snake, an African Grey Parrot, giant bullfrogs and chameleons. She also befriended the Bushmen and the Himba tribespeople of the Kalahari, who taught her how to survive on roots and berries, and to speak their language.
Tippi later moved with her parents to Madagascar and then to France, where she became a celebrity. A book of her adventures (Tippi of Africa, ISBN 978-1-86872-083-5) was published and translated in several languages. It reached the annual bestseller list in 2001 by the News Magazine Der Spiegel. My Book of Africa (ISBN 9781770070295) is a bestselling novel of Tippi's adventurous life in Namibia. She also set up a website, and returned to Africa to make six nature documentaries for the Discovery Channel.
In Paris (France), Tippi attended a local state school for the first two years, but was then homeschooled because she was found to have little in common with the other children in Paris. She is now studying cinema at la Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. A documentary on her experiences, Le Monde Selon Tippi was released in 1997.
- Haine, Alice (December 22, 2002). "Pets and their People: The bush baby; Little Tippi walks and talks with the animals". The People (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Burrow, Lisa (May 19, 1996). "Tippi The Animal Girl of Africa". The People (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- "Young girl who’s best friends with African wildlife". wildography.co.uk. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
- Pip Smith (January 24, 1998). "Unattractive experience of the not-so-dark continent". Daily Dispatch. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Willsher, Kim (December 27, 2002). "Forget being famous, says bush baby, I'd just like to be normal". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Willsher, Kim (June 23, 2001). "The Real Mowgli; Tippi Degre is the little girl who was best of friends with the jungle's fiercest animals". Daily Record. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- Degre, Tippi (2000). Tippi aus Afrika. Das Mädchen, das mit den Tieren spricht. (in German). Claudia Steinitz (translator). Ullstein Hc. ISBN 978-3-550-07164-5.
- Degre, Tippi (2002). 我的野生動物朋友 (in Chinese). Huang Tien-yuan (translator). ISBN 957-607-823-7.
- Savill, Richard (November 13, 2008). "The extraordinary childhood of the girl who grew up with African animals". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-12-04.
- "The World According to Tippi-Documentary clip". Daily Mail (London).
- Ody, Joelle; Sylvia Robert; Alain Degre (1998). Tippi of Africa. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 978-1-86872-083-5.
- Degré, Tippi; Sylvie Robert; Alain Degré (2005). My Book of Africa. Struik. ISBN 978-1-77007-029-5.
- Official website
- Tippi Degré at the Internet Movie Database
- Le Monde Selon Tippi at the Internet Movie Database