Jane Goodall

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 April, 2011, 12:00am



Jane Morris Goodall was born in 1935 in London. When she was one, her father gave her a toy chimpanzee. She still has it. This toy started her love of the animals.


Goodall visited a friend on a farm in Kenya in 1957. She was captivated by life in Africa and the study of animals there. Soon she began working for Louis Leakey, a famous scientist who studied prehistoric apes and humans. Leakey realised Goodall was very serious about her work and sent her to study in London. In 1960, she returned to Africa to study chimps in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.


In 1962, Leakey sent Goodall to study for a doctorate in ethology - the study of animal behaviour. She was only the eighth person to be allowed to study for a doctorate without first having another degree.


In 1964, Goodall married Hugo van Lawick. They had one son but soon divorced. She then married Derek Bryceson, the head of national parks in Tanzania. He helped ensure that Goodall could carry on with her projects in the Gombe park. Her husband died of cancer in 1980.


The first chimp Goodall befriended was called David Greybeard. She gave all the wild chimps names rather than just numbers as had been the practice. She saw the chimps use simple tools like blades of grass to fish for ants and leaves to collect rainwater. She found that the chimps had a lot more in common with us than anyone had realised.

Wildlife Awareness Weeks

Goodall started Wildlife Awareness Weeks around the world to enhance people's understanding about the welfare of wild animals. She also supports animal rights. She is a vegetarian and urges others not to eat meat.

Roots and Shoots

Goodall also launched the worldwide Roots and Shoots groups. Her aim was to teach children to respect all living things. Visit the Hong Kong Roots and Shoots website at www.rootsandshoots.org.hk.


Read about the adult chimp Travis who had been raised in a home. He went wild and attacked a friend of his owner's. The story is at www.janegoodall.org/media/news/loving-chimps-death.

Now do this:

1 How did Jane Goodall's love for chimpanzees begin?

a. She watched a film about chimps.

b. She received a toy chimpanzee from her father.

c. She had a friend who had a tame chimpanzee.

2 Why did Goodall first visit Africa?

a. to see a friend

b. to work for Mr Leakey

c. to look for chimpanzees

3 What was the name of the first chimpanzee Goodall became friends with?

a. David Greybeard

b. Goliath

c. Tarzan

Answers: 1. b, 2. a, 3. a