Tippi Degré

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Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degré (born 4 June 1990) is a French woman who spent her childhood in Namibia among wild animals and tribespeople.[1] In 2002-03, she was the presenter of Around the World with Tippi, six wildlife and environmental TV documentaries.

Life and career[edit]

Born in Namibia in 1990, Degré grew up in Southern Africa for the first ten years of her life. She was raised in the bush where her parents worked as wildlife photographers and filmmakers. She is known for the photos published internationally in the press and in books about her childhood in the wild, where she was living close to the tribespeople of her country, the San Bushmen and the Himbas, and the animals.[2][3] She was named after the actress Tippi Hedren.[4] During her stay in Namibia, Degré 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.[5]

Degré would go to school in Paris and travel often between Southern Africa and France. Her parents' photographs about their life in Africa became world famous.[6] A book of her adventures, Tippi of Africa was published and translated in several languages.[7][8] It reached the annual bestseller list of the German news magazine Der Spiegel in 2001.[9] Tippi My Book of Africa is a bestselling novel based on Degré's adventurous life in Namibia and in Madagascar. In 2002-03, Degré presented six wildlife and environmental TV documentaries for the Discovery Channel.[5]

Former Godmother of the 20th anniversary of FICMA (International Environmental Film Festival), Degré wishes to work in wildlife preservation and to become a film director. A documentary on her experiences, Le Monde Selon Tippi was released in 1997.[10] Around the World with Tippi, was released in 2004. It was directed by Jeanne Mascolo de Filippis.[11]

Degré studied cinema and audiovisuals in France and currently lives in Paris, where she is the director of 'El Petit FICMA', the children's section of the FICMA festival.[12]



  1. ^ Haine, Alice (December 22, 2002). "Pets and their People: The bush baby; Little Tippi walks and talks with the animals". Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  2. ^ Burrow, Lisa (May 19, 1996). "Tippi: The Animal Girl of Africa". Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  3. ^ "Young girl who’s best friends with African wildlife". Wildography & Safaris. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  4. ^ Smith, Pip (January 24, 1998). "Unattractive experience of the not-so-dark continent". Daily Dispatch. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  5. ^ a b 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Degré, 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. 
  8. ^ Degré, Tippi (2002). 我的野生動物朋友 (in Chinese). Huang Tien-yuan (translator). ISBN 957-607-823-7. 
  9. ^ "Sachbücher" Der Spiegel (December 22, 2001)
  10. ^ "The World According to Tippi-Documentary clip". Daily Mail (London). 
  11. ^ "Around the World with Tippi (2004–2005)". IMDB. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Savill, Richard (November 13, 2008). "The extraordinary childhood of the girl who grew up with African animals". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 

Further reading

  • Ody, Joelle; Robert, Sylvie; Degré, Alain (1998). Tippi of Africa. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 978-1-86872-083-5. 
  • Degré, Tippi; Robert, Sylvie; Degré, Alain (2005). My Book of Africa. Struik. ISBN 978-1-77007-029-5. 

External links[edit]