This week we had to do the science expo, my class had to do the Wax Museum. I was Jane Goodall, and here is the speech that I wrote and had to memorize.
Hello I am Jane Goodall
It was 1957 when Dr Louis Leakey applied for a grant to start a 6 month study of chimpanzees in the wild. He believed that the study might lead to new observations about the behavior of early man. Leakey wanted an amature, someone who could think with a new mind. Impressed by my lifelong passion for animals, Leakey selected me, his 26 year old secretary, for the quest. I had not gone to university because my family was not wealthy, so I had no training, and I didn’t have a scientific degree before I went on the expedition. My mission was to get close to chimps, to get to know them and be accepted, I wanted to be as close to talking to them as possible. This began an over 55 year study of social and family interactions of chimpanzees.
I was born April 3, 1934 in London, England. I had grown up wanting to live in the jungle some day.
The reason I was not afraid of the jungle was because people weren’t talking about that sort of thing at that time, I didn’t really know what the chimps could do to me, and I always thought that if I didn’t bother the animal, the animal wouldn’t hurt me.
Once I got to Gombe, Africa I would go out every day to see if I could get close and learn about the chimps and study them. Back then, there was no research on chimpanzees because no one had done what I was doing before, and so I didn’t know much about the chimps. I would write in my journal about my days in Gombe, I would make graphs like a scientist would, I would draw pictures of the chimps. I would go out every single day in any weather from dawn until dusk. Most of the time I would find the chimps in groups, or a single chimp, and sometimes I wouldn’t find them at all. First, before they got used to me, whenever they saw me coming close, they would run away as fast as possible. But I never thought of quitting, “I would have forever lost all self respect if I had given up.”
In those days it was thought not safe for a young girl like me to go out into the wild alone, so my mother volunteered to go with me. My mother had been the one that had believed in me my whole life. At first the chimps seemed they were never going to get used to me being there and I was always worried that time was going to run out. But, after months of waiting and not being able to get close to the chimps, they had finally accepted me!
Once that I could recognize them by their looks, I started naming them, names like David Greybeard, and Fifi. Scientists would have never done this because they thought that people shouldn’t get attached to them if something were to happen, but I hadn’t gone to college, and didn’t know this. The chimps were a community, they are like us in so many ways. I found that the chimps all had different personalities. I observed them patting each other on the back, giving each other hugs and kisses, and sometimes tickling. They would even spend hours grooming one another.
We have always thought that man was the tool maker, but here was one of the chimps I was studying, using a tool that he had made out of grass, to get his food from a termite mound. I sent this research to Leakey, and it was published. This was one of my biggest discoveries. Some people did not like my research because they thought that I was an untrained young girl. However, Leakey believed in my research and was able to get a grant from the National Geographic Society to keep my study going, but they would also be sending a photographer out to document the chimpanzees. His name was Hugo van Lawick. At first I did not like the company in my little paradise, but I grew to enjoy being around him, and eventually, I grew to love him. Later, we had a baby, Hugo Eric Louis, nicknamed: Grub. I knew that being a mother was helping me better understand the chimps.
Little did I know the chimps had an aggressive side to them, I observed them fighting and killing each other, just as if they were in a war. At first I thought that they were just like humans, but kinder and more civilized. But exactly like us they fought, too.
This study has led to so many discoveries, including other species using tools, social and family interactions, and that chimpanzees are very similar to humans. I am now 85 years old and now my purpose is to preserve the wild habitat and help animals from going extinct.
Was Jane Goodall ever put in any life threatening situations?
Was her child, Grub, ever put in any life threatening situations?
What did she usually have to eat in Gombe?