At the age of 26, Jane Goodall went to Tanzania to study chimpanzees. Her father had given her a stuffed toy chimpanzee, Jubilee, when she was a child instead of a teddy bear. From that little toy, grew an interest in and love for these primates that would guide her life’s work.
- Jane has studied chimpanzees for more than 55 years. During this time, she discovered many interesting things.
- Chimpanzees are highly social. They live in organized family structures. They use tools and make things, just like humans.
- Chimpanzees and other animals feel the same emotions as humans—sadness, joy, contentment, fear, and anger.
- For the first few years of her research, Jane believed chimpanzees were nicer than humans. Later she observed them acting with aggression and violence. She realized that chimpanzees have a dark side too.
- Jane was concerned about deforestation in the area. People cut down trees to build houses and for firewood.
- She could see that merely making laws to save the forests wasn’t enough. She had to learn about and consider the needs of the people living in the area.
Questions and Answers
Question: What can we learn about conservation from Jane Goodall?
Answer: Jane believes that it’s ineffective to focus on one portion of the environment, such as saving animal habitats, without considering the people who live there. We have to help people in their own communities to develop smart conservation strategies that will meet the needs of all. This includes thinking about how we live and interact in our own communities. What can we do to improve things where we live?
Watch a video about Jane Goodall.