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Batch CCVI. Schwarzwald, Wednesday July 26, 2017 NO. 47
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Portrait Jane Goodall

A Life Devoted to Chimpanzees

© Michael Neugebauer/Jane Goodall Institut

At the age of just 23, Dr. Jane Goodall set off for Africa, where three years later, she lay the foundation for her impressive life’s work. Now aged 81, the prominent primatologist, environmentalist and UN Messenger of Peace has dedicated herself and her entire life to nature, animals and our environment. As early as 1960, she embarked on her ground-breaking field study observing chimpanzees in the wild, right at the beginning of which she made one of her most significant scientific discoveries: Apes manufacture their own tools, which they use to “fish” their food out of termite mounds. An observation that is still making history today.
Ultimately, she owes her unique life’s journey to her mentor, the anthropologist Louis Leaky, who sent her as a young woman to the Gombe National Park in what is now Tanzania to research the behaviour of wild chimpanzees. Over the years, Goodall’s research work provided her with numerous findings, including her discovery of strong, human-like social behaviour amongst chimpanzees, which can be demonstrated not least by the close bond between a mother and her offspring.

Even today, the native Londoner still fights to preserve the habitats of “her” chimpanzees and those of many other animals that would otherwise be condemned to extinction. Dr. Jane Goodall encourages young people in particular to play their part, guided by her inspirational belief that “everyone can make the world a better place”.

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