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Jane Goodall

 
 

Jane Goodall and her research, observations and discoveries opened avenues for the scientific understanding regarding the evolution of man. A world-renowned authority on chimpanzees, she found parallel traits that humans and chimps share in terms of intelligence, group behavior, in anger and grief and in cavorting with other animal colonies. All these scientific observations have been carefully documented, having lived with chimps for over 30 years in the jungles of the Gombe Game Reserve in Africa.

Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
 

Dr. Jane Goodall in her first year at Gombe befriended the chimp community by using techniques alien to many but an effective tool in her ongoing research. She observed that chimps fashion tools to coax termites out of their habitat, disproving the belief that only humans are capable of such activity. Further she found out that chimps hunt for food such as bushpigs, small rodents and other animals, revising the theories that chimps are basically vegetarians and fruit eaters. Upon hearing these observations, her mentor Louis Leakey blurted out saying "now we must redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans".

In 1985, Jane Goodall published her anthropological and conservation research covering over 25 years of conscientious hard work. The report helped us better understand the true relationship between creatures and the effects of habitat on a chimp's individuality and group behavior. It also had a terrific effect on humans because it gave us insights on the importance of wildlife conservation for all life forms in this planet.

It is hard to define the contribution that Dr. Jane Goodall made to the science on primatology. Her research defied scientific norms by assigning names instead of just numbers to the Gombe chimps and espoused the idea that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions. Also her discovery that chimpanzees engage in a primitive form of "brutal warfare" astounded unbelieving colleagues. Only to be proven right, when in early 1974, a "four-year war" started in Gombe, a first documented record of long-term conflict among non-human primates.

Dame Dr. Jane Goodall (elevated by Queen Elizabeth II, the equivalent to knighthood), DBE, is a UN Messenger of Peace and is also an English primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist. She was born in London, England on April 3, 1934. Jane Goodall at age 12 moved with her mother to Bournemouth, England after her parents divorced. Her interest in animals led to her association with Louis Leakey, first as his assistant/secretary that eventually led to her becoming the Scientific Director of the Gombe Stream National Park in Africa.

Dr. Jane Goodall received her PhD in Ethology from Cambridge University in 1965. Among the honors bestowed upon Jane Goodall are the Medal of Tanzania; National Geographic Society's Hubbard Medal; Japan's prestigious Kyoto Awards; the Prince of Asturias Award for technical and scientific research 2003; the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the Gandhi/King Award for non-violence. She also had a string of honorary doctorate degrees from numerous universities worldwide.

Aside from the various journals that she authored and published, she also founded the Jane Goodall Institute that is dedicated to Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation to provide continuing support for field research on wild chimpanzees.

Rumor Has It

Jane Goodall had a torrid affair with one of the warring apes named Bongo. One day in the jungle, Bongo became insanely jealous when he spotted Jane sneaking out of a treetop home from some unknown male.

When confronted by the chimp as to the identity of this male, Jane Goodall was at first denying the existence of an alternative relationship. But, Bongo finally cracked her and she spilled the beans. Jane Goodall finally confessed to the ape, "I don't know his full name. All I know is that he calls himself 'Me Tarzan'".

Written by Kevin Lepton


 

 

 

 

 

 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

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