A Lifetime with Chimpanzees
Chimpanzees are the closest to humans in terms of intelligence. Though they can perform several tasks on their own, but without a trainer or keeper, they can make things go haywire and can disturb the natural peace. But, researchers have researched a lot about them in the past and have continued their exploration on this delicately powerful species.
Much of the information we have about chimpanzees comes from ground breaking, long- term research of the great conservationist, Jane Goodall. Jane Goodall was born in London, England, on April 3, 1934. On her second birthday her father gave her a toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. From an early age, Jane was fascinated by animals and animal stories. By the age of 10, she was talking about going to Africa to live among the animals there. At the time, in the early 1940s, this was a radical idea because women did not go to Africa by themselves. Once in Kenya, she met Dr. Louis Leakey, a famous paleontologist and anthropologist. He was impressed with her thorough knowledge of Africa and its wildlife and hired her to assist him and his wife on a fossil hunting expedition to Olduvai Gorge. Dr. Leakey soon realized that Jane was the perfect person to complete the study he had been planning for quite a long time. Dr. Leakey and Jane began planning a study of a group of chimpanzees who were living on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kenya. Jane faced many challenges as she began her work. The chimpanzees did not accept her right away, and it took months for them to get accustomed to her presence in their territory. But she was very patient and remained focused on her goal. Little by little, she was able to enter their world. At first, she was only able to watch the chimpanzees from a distance through binoculars. As time, passed, she was able to move her observation point closer to them while still using camouflage. Eventually she was able to sit with them, touching, patting, and even feeding them. It was an amazing accomplishment for Jane, and a breakthrough for the study of animals in the wild. Jane named all of them chimpanzees that she studied stating in her journals that she felt that each had a unique name. Her work had led to certain outstanding discoveries and made her recipient of many awards and honors. It’s a shame that media wants to outrun these things and never show them to the public. Jane Goodall will always be a source of inspiration to all those under-confident youngsters who want to achieve something in their life.
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