Monday, January 30, 2012

She is the real life Beauty and her Beasts and was known as a Geographic Cover Girl. She is Miss Goodall who has devoted her life to observing her wild Chimpanzees and as a result is responsible for the most comprehensive studies on Chimps that all scientists with their fancy college degrees can’t produce. Jane is most known for producing proof to society that chimps are like early man in that they can also forage for food using primitive tools. She is the first to discover that skill and therefore challenging the scientific community who thought that tool making was one of the things that made humans unique.
Miss Goodall is a beautiful 76 year old now and as stunningly beautiful as she was in her twenties alone in the jungles of Africa where she spent most of her life. It should be noticed that human share more than 98% of the same DNA with Chimpanzees. This is why there has always been a fascination with them. What we know of them is from the work of Jane Goodall. She has produced the largest data base in the world for this species.
Jane would probably be still alone in the Jungles with her Chimps if it wasn’t for National Geographic Magazine who wrote the stories of a young girl observing the lives of chimps in the jungles of Africa that made her an iconic figure. Now 50 years later she is on tour 300 days a year lecturing and making appearances to try to save the habitat the animals need to live.
There is only one way to get to the Gombe forest and that is by boat. That is the way, in 1960 Jane got there but then the hills were filled with forest foliage; now the hills are bare from people cutting down the forests for fuel. She traveled down Lake Tamaki, the longest lake in the world. It is in the forests of Gombe in Tanzania that Jane at 26 years old, a young girl from England with no scientific training settled there with just a notebook and binoculars was able to create a new definition for Chimpanzees.
Now she can identify three generations of families there since she has kept records on chimp families for 50 years. The difference now is that she is not so touchy feely with the beasts because now it is well know that chimps can be carriers of infectious diseases.
Throughout the years she was able to build a trust with the animals. She has observed similar behavior patterns as human have including laughter and sadness.
With the discovery of the tools like sticks using to pry termites out of logs for food, funding from The National Geographic Society and fame followed her and changed everything. From being a reclusive observer she became a famous noted expert. She loved Africa long before she arrived there and went there just for the adventure. She was at time undermined because she did not possess a scientific degree.
Jane learned early on that the chimps can possess hate and can be very brutal and then realized yet again that they are just like humans. Yes chimps kill each other just like humans. They will beat brutally another chimp that has wandered off into a families territory and watch them die from their wounds. Yeah, sounds like turf wars.!!
Now she has The Jane Goodall Institute where others come under the foundation to observe for her. Some have been there for 15 years compiling data and footage. The Institute carry’s on Jane’s work through a team of researchers and scientists that come from all over the world. She has noticed that the number of chimps have been declining over the years from over a million then to less than 300,000 now.
Poaching and lack of habitat have made them an endangered species. She can be seen now from the halls of Congress to the stage of packed rock concerts to schools constantly raising money and awareness. Protecting chimps is still at the core of her life. She is trying to create sanctuaries for the animals to live in and has inspired 16 more wide jungles to be saved for the animals to flourish in.
Now she and others still get close to the chimps but are vaccinated. It is known that if the sanctuaries weren’t there the chimps would not be alive. It is a glimpse into Jane’s world, the Beauty and her Beasts and how she bridges the gap between humans and animals and changed the world in the way we think about them. Jane says, “We are part of the animal kingdom not separated from them. We could share blood transfusions from chimps if needed.” Thanks Jane for teaching the teachers a thing or two.

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