Jane Goodall is a renowned animal lover and her area of expertise is chimpanzees. Goodall studied the characteristics and life patterns of chimpanzees for 45 years in Gombe Stream National Park which is located in Tanzania. This remarkable animal lover came in this world on April 3, 1934. She has been honored as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Another of her achievements is that in 2002 she was made a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Goodall has been bestowed with a number of international awards, top of the list being the Kyoto Prize, French Legion of Honor and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Goodall can easily be attributed as an all rounder, for she not only excelled in her professional life, but she is also living a fun-filled, adventurous life.
1) Goodall’s First Interaction with Chimpanzees:
Jane had her first interaction with chimpanzees when she was only a baby. Her father gifted her a toy chimpanzee which she named Jubilee. She received this gift when she was only a year old. Old and shredded, Goodall still has this toy and it can be found on her dresser.
2) Goodall – The Animal Lover:
Goodall had been a huge fan of the four-legged creatures since childhood. She spent her childhood reading stories which involved animals like The Story of Dr. Dolittle and Tarzan Series by Rice Burrough. Goodall, however, did not approve of Tarzan’s love interest, Jane Porter. She was of the view point that Tarzan was better off without her.
3) Goodall’s Obsession with Animals:
She started observing animals from a tender age. Once, when she was a child, she sat inside a chicken coop for five hours to observe the phenomenon of egg laying. Her family was pretty convinced that she had been either abducted or has lost her way to home.
4) Goodall’s Very First Jobs:
After graduating from high school, Goodall had to work as an assistant to a filmmaker, a secretary and a waitress to raise her tuition fee.
5) Goodall’s Breakthrough:
At the age of 23, Goodall met the renowned anthropologist Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey, who hired her as his assistant. He sent her to Tanzania to understand the characteristics of chimpanzees.
6) Goodall’s Travel Partner:
Goodall made her first trip to Tanzania in 1960. At that time, it was considered inappropriate for a woman to travel alone, so on British government’s orders, Goodall’s mother accompanied her throughout the journey.
7) Goodall’s Initial Observations About Chimpanzees:
Goodall observed that chimpanzees knew how to use tools, an attribute credited to humans only. She also observed that chimpanzees were not purely vegetarians. Her observations were sponsored by National Geographics and photgrapher Hugo van Lawick, who incidentally turned out to be her future spouse, was sent to cover her observations.
8) Goodall’s Ph.D.
She graduated from Cambridge University in 1966 after getting a Ph.D. in Ethology. She was the first candidate who was enrolled in Ph.D. without having a college degree.
9) Criticism Goodall Had to Face:
Despite her credibility, Goodall had to face criticism from different scientists and researchers throughout her career. Some scientists argued that she gave names to chimpanzees instead of giving numbers, which was the standard procedure.
10) Goodall’s Books:
Goodall is the author of a number of books. Some of her books; Through a Window and In the Shadow of Man earned tremendous fame globally. The chimpanzees from her books became so popular that when one of them died, The London Times actually published an obituary. All the chimpanzees became internationally renowned.