“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” – Jane Goodall
This pretty much sums up the purpose of Jane Goodall’s life.
But who is she and what is she most known for?
For starters, let us tell you she can talk to Chimpanzees using sign language.
Growing up in London, while most kids loved a teddy bear in their arms, Jane chose an uncommon companion in the form of a stuffed Chimpanzee named Jubilee.
In 1965, after the release of National Geographic’s film based on her, ‘Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees’, she became a household name. This was just the beginning of what was to become a stellar career in Primatology.
She now holds a Ph.D. in Ethology from Cambridge University, has authored several books and holds a keen interest in providing guidance to the newer generations in her field of expertise.
Let’s relook at some of the most memorable moments of Jane Goodall’s life.
- When she was little, Jane Goodall once sat in the same place for 5 hours in her family’s chicken coop to watch one of the hen’s lay an egg. Her curiousity and fascination towards the animal kingdom was so strong, she didn’t realise how long she was sitting there. After she returned home, she realised her family had filed a missing complaint with the authorities.
- Before discovering her love for Primatology, and right after high school, she couldn’t afford college tuition. To make ends meet, for years, she worked as a secretary, a waitress and a filmmaker’s assistant. We wonder about how many things would’ve gone undiscovered if she wouldn’t have realised her love for Primatology.
- Her first break came at 23 when she travelled to Kenya to visit a friend. There she met the well-known anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey who offered her a role of an assistant.
- When she first travelled to Tanzania for research she made 2 startling discoveries related to Chimpanzees.
- Her discoveries were so revolutionary that she was then sponsored by the National Geographic, who also sent Hugo van Lawick, a respected naturalist and photographer (and Jane’s future husband), to document all her work.
A career filled with umpteen number of discoveries and eye-openers related to Chimpanzees, Jane Goodall has played a huge role in helping the humans understand the primate species better.
During her illustrious career, Jane Goodall helped revive Wounda, a Chimpanzee, from an extremely critical state. Upon full recovery, the primate walked upto her and offered her a hug, an emotion most known only to humans. She describes this as one of the highlights of her eventful career.
Today, the Jane Goodall Institute is a global conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, they hope to improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.