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Jane Goodall

What Influenced Jane Goodall’s Fondness for Primates?

Jane Goodall is a British ethologist who is popularly known for her long-term research on chimpanzees. But did you ever wonder what got her interested in these primates?

Jane Goodall’s father gave her a plush chimpanzee named Jubilee instead of a teddy bear when she was a child. Goodall has stated that her admiration for this character stems from her early interest in animals. Jubilee is still on Goodall’s dresser in her London home today.

Jane Goodall’s Childhood

Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall was born in London in 1934 to businessman Mortimer Herbert Morris-Goodall and his wife Margaret Myfanwe Joseph. After the family relocated to Bournemouth, Goodall attended Uplands School, an independent school near Poole.

Goodall’s father gave her a stuffed chimp named Jubilee instead of a child’s teddy bear. Goodall has stated that her affection for this figure sparked her early interest in animals, commenting,

My mother’s friends were horrified by this toy, thinking it would frighten me and give me nightmares.

Jane Goodall

(Source: Biography)

The Jane Goodall Institute

Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in 1977 to support Gombe research, and she is a global leader in the effort to protect chimps and their habitats. The JGI, has nineteen offices worldwide. It is well-known for its community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa. Roots & Shoots, the organization’s global youth program, began in 1991 when a group of 16 local teenagers met Goodall on her back porch in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They were eager to talk about various issues that they had firsthand knowledge of and were deeply concerned about. The organization now has over 10,000 groups spread across more than 100 countries. (Source: Biography)

In 1992, Goodall established the Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Centre in the Republic of Congo to care for orphaned chimps due to the bushmeat trade. Over three islands, the rehabilitation center houses over a hundred chimps. (Source: The Globe and Mail)

Goodall established the Lake Tanganyika Catchment Reforestation and Education (TACARE or Take Care) pilot project in 1994 to protect chimp habitat from deforestation by reforesting hills around Gombe while educating neighboring communities on sustainability and agriculture training. The TACARE project also helps young girls by providing reproductive health education and scholarships to help them pay for college. (Source: GPS World)

In the mid-1990s, the Jane Goodall Institute’s Center for Primate Studies was established at the University of Minnesota to house and organize an influx of handwritten notes, photographs, and data that had accumulated at Jane’s home in Dar es Salaam. All of the original Jane Goodall archives are currently housed there and have been digitized, analyzed, and placed in an online database. (Source: Biography)

Duke University spokesman Karl Bates announced on March 17, 2011, that the archives would be relocated to Duke, with Anne E. Pusey, Duke’s chairman of evolutionary anthropology, overseeing the collection. After managing the archives in Minnesota and working with Goodall in Tanzania, Pusey had been at Duke for a year. (Source: Journal Now)

Goodall collaborated with friend and CEO Michael Cammarata on two natural product lines from Schmidt’s Naturals and Neptune Wellness Solutions in 2018 and 2020. The Jane Goodall Institute received 5% of every sale. (Source: OK Magazine)

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