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This Seemed Like The Worst Parenting EVER. Then I Kept Looking And... Holy Cow.

LIFE   //  ANIMALS
DECEMBER 11, 2013

What you see below isn't child abuse. It's actually an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that two parents blessed their young daughter with. The girl in these pictures is Tippi Benjamine Okanti Degré. The French girl was born in 1990 and she spent her childhood in Namibia. Tippi grew up alongside wild animals like cheetahs and lions, and she spent her time hunting with tribespeople instead of playing tag with classmates. Her childhood was stunning:

Nowadays, most people would scream "child abuse" if they saw these pictures.

But this isn't abuse...

It's a blessing.

Little Tippi got to grow up forming a strong bond with nature, always under watchful eyes.

Who else can say they were at one with the creatures in the African wildlife by the time they were 10?

The animals and tribespeople accepted Tippi as one of their own.

Tippi was a real-life Mowgli from the Jungle Book.

It's hard to believe Disney hasn't made a movie about this spectacular childhood on the African plains.

Even now, Tippi feels that she and animals have a special bond.

And seeing the pictures of her childhood, it's not hard to believe that.

She wasn't your normal little girl, playing with Barbies and tea sets.

Instead, she spent her time gazing out over the grasslands like a wise lion and learning about the earth.

Because of how Tippi grew up, she has formed a strong bond to animals in the world around her. She speaks more of this connection in her book. All I know is that I will be eternally jealous that I didn't get to pal around with lions growing up.

You hear that, mom?

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