Last week, I had an incredible opportunity. I was able to sit with Dr. Jane Goodall, who has spent a lifetime studying chimpanzees and paving the way for better treatment of animals. Dr. Goodall met with our group of 20 bloggers right after we saw the premiere of Disneynature’s Chimpanzee (she was at the premiere as well that morning) and I think all of us recognized the fact that we were in the presence of true greatness and compassion in it’s purest form.
Meet Dr. Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues.
Bio from Wikipedia
I loved learning a bit about Dr. Goodall, from the fact that she was “accidentally” put in a position to study chimpanzees, to the fact that she so proudly displayed her shorter finger from a chimpanzee injury she received many years ago. Here’s a glimpse into Jane Goodall, in her own words.
Where did your love for chimpanzees begin?
DR. GOODALL: Well, I wanted to go to Africa when I was ten because of “Tarzan.” And don’t think that Tarzan had a chimp called Cheetah. The book doesn’t have Tarzan having a chimp called Cheetah.
He doesn’t have a chimp at all. And he’s not raised by chimps either, which people have a misconception. Anyway. That was when I decided I wanted to go to Africa and live with animals and write books about them. And then I saved up money, got out to Kenya, met Louis Leakey, and he offered me chimps, so I had no dreams of going to study chimps.
When you watched the movie, were you surprised by Freddy adopting Oscar?
DR. GOODALL: Well, I wasn’t surprised when I watched the movie, because I’d known about it.
But when I first heard about it, I think everybody was surprised. The fact that they thought their whole effort of filming little Oscar was now wasted because without a mother, he would die. And then they find this dramatic story unfolding. I mean, it’s really amazing.
Becoming more environmentally aware
Do you think that we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to being more aware about our environment? Or is there still just so much work that?
DR. GOODALL: Well, first of all, I think many people are becoming a lot more aware, that’s for sure.
But the problem is, the awareness isn’t necessarily leading to behavior change. Most people admit that human activities have caused climate change. I know there’s a whole movement which is fueled by money in from a certain part of the private sector to say that’s not true, but it is true, and I’ve been to those places, and I know. And so there’s more awareness.
But the reason I am so passionate about our youth program, Roots and Shoots, is because we have to raise a new generation to understand that, yes, we need money to live, but we wouldn’t live for money.
And we need all of the adults to admit that we haven’t inherited this planet from our parents but borrowed it from our children. We have to admit that’s wrong. We’ve been stealing from our children. We’re still stealing. We have to get together, if we care about conservation of chimpanzees.
See Chimpanzee, Save Chimpanzees
Chimpanzee opens on Friday, April 20, 2012. See Chimpanzee during opening week (April 20-26) and a donation will be made in your honor to the Jane Goodall Institute to help protect chimpanzees. Here’s what Jane had to say about the donations:
“Everybody who goes to see this film in its first week, the Jane Goodall Institute gets a percentage to the ticket sales, and all of that money is going to actually help us look after our little Oscars. We put a sanctuary with over 150 orphan chimps whose mothers were killed in the bush meat trade. And it’s very expensive, looking after them, and right now we’re struggling to get the funds.”
Connect with Chimpanzee and Disneynature:
Disney and Global Resort Homes invited me to Florida to attend the red carpet premiere of Chimpanzee and other events this past week. My travel and most expenses were paid for, but as always opinions are my own.
© 2012, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.