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Hope meets Dr. Jane Goodall
Chimpanzee Researcher

Hope meets Dr. Jane Goodall | Kidspiration

When Jane Goodall was a young woman, she moved from England to Africa, to study the chimpanzees of Tanzania. She studied chimps by living with them and came to know them as individual creatures. Her methods changed the way scientists now observe other creatures’ behavior.

One of Dr. Goodall’s most important discoveries was that other animals make and use tools, just like humans do. She watched the chimps take pieces of grass and poke them in ant holes. When the ants climbed on the stalk, the chimps pulled the grass out and had a snack of ants!

In 1986, after years of research, Dr. Goodall left Tanzania to begin working to save chimpanzees, traveling about 300 days every year to visit schoolchildren and speak to groups around the world.

She is a passionate advocate for all animals and emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life, while working with many different charities and animal-welfare groups. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute which supports the continuing research in Tanzania and the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats.

And she started a global organization for young people called Roots & Shoots, encouraging young people to get involved in changing the world for the better.



Hope:
Hi my name’s Hope and today I’m interviewing Jane Goodall, one of the world’s most famous conservationists, who has studied chimpanzees for her whole life. And has also started a really cool organization called ‘Roots and Shoots’ for kids to help get involved with saving the planet.

Jane:
Tell me about you, first. What’s your name?

Hope:
Well, my name’s Hope snd I’m 12 years old. And I’m from London.

Jane:
Okay.

Hope:
And I love PE and I love drama.

Jane:
Oh, I see. Oh, you’re a budding star. That’s your future.

Hope:
Yes.

Jane:
I see. Okay.

Hope:
And I know that you went to… is it Gombe?

Jane:
Gombe. That’s right.

Hope:
Yeah. And you went there… was it 1960s you went there first?

Jane:
Well, it started a bit before that. So the thing was that when I was ten, which is two years younger than you…

Hope:
Yeah.

Jane:
I had a dream. You’re dreaming of showbiz.

Hope:
Yeah.

Jane:
I was dreaming of going to Africa and living with animals and writing books about them. And the reason I had that dream is when I was ten I found this little book called ‘Tarzan of the Apes’. And I read it from cover to cover up my favorite tree, which is still in the garden. And so that’s when I decided I would grow up, go to Africa, live with wild animals and write books about them. And everybody laughed at me. How would I do that? We didn’t have any money. Africa was still the Dark Continent. The war was raging. And I was just as girl. So everybody laughed at me and said, Jane, get real. Dream about something you can achieve.

Hope:
Mm hmm.

Jane:
Not my mother. She said, if you really want something, you’re going to have to work very hard, take advantage of opportunity and never give up. And so I got there. Saved up money being a waitress. Took me a long time to save the money up. I finally did. I went by boat because there were no planes going back and forth back then. And heard about Louis Leakey. He gave me a job because I knew so much about animals even though I’d never been to Africa. I used to spend hours in the natural history museum reading books about Africa. So when I went to see Leakey I was all ready for that opportunity. I could answer most of his questions.

Hope:
Wow.

Jane:
So that’s how it worked. It didn’t just fall into my lap out of the blue with no preparation.

Hope:
And so when you got there you didn’t go with very much, did you? You had very little.

Jane:
Very little money. Who was going to say, oh, we’ll give money, here’s this young girl. She’s never been to university. She doesn’t have a degree. But eventually he found a wealthy American businessman who said, okay, here’s money for six months. We’ll see how she does. And the next problem, the authorities in what was then Tanganyika. It’s now Tanzania. A girl on her own in the forest? We won’t take responsibility. But in the end they said, but she’s got to have a companion. So who came? Same amazing mother. She came for four of those six months. She supported me. She was there, you know I got depressed because the chimps ran away all the time. And she said, but Jane, up on that peak you’re learning more than you think.

Hope:
I remember reading on your website that you said there was a time when you hid behind a bush and you saw one of them with a friend and they were making tools to catch stuff.

Jane:
Yes.

Hope:
Isn’t that right?

Jane:
That was – it was just after my mother had left. So I’d been there four months. And one chimpanzee had begun to lose his fear before the others. And he was very distinctive. He had this white beard. And I called him David Greybeard. And so on this particular day I was walking along a trail and it’d been raining and I was pretty miserable. And I suddenly saw this dark shape crouched over a termite mound. And I saw him reach out and pick a stem of grass and push it down into the termite mound.

So when I sent a telegram to Louis Leakey I knew he’d be so excited. And he said, well, we shall have to redefine man. Redefine tool. Or accept chimpanzees as human.

So here’s the question:

Hope:
Yeah.

Jane:
For your generation to answer. How is it possible that the most intellectual creature that’s ever walked on planet earth is destroying it so quickly? It’s our only home.

Hope:
And the message that you’re sending across not to think about it in a bigger picture but to sometimes just shorten it down to little thing and zoom in on that. And just think what can I do –

Jane:
Here.

Hope:
What I can do right here, right now. And that’s why you’ve made Roots and Shoots.

Jane:
That’s right. And now there’s hundreds and hundreds of young people doing it here and then, wow, we’re doing it all over the world.

Hope:
Yeah.

Jane:
139 countries.

Hope:
Which is remarkable.

Jane:
Yes.

Hope:
So thank you so much.

Jane:
So, please, join us. Help us. Because you are one of these young leaders in the making.

Hope:
Thank you.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed it. It was so great meeting Jane and learning from all her experience about how we can make a difference in this world.