Not just another film about Jane Goodall

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IN 1960 Jane Goodall moved to Tanzania to study chimpanzees. She was only 26 years old; her credentials consisted of a love of animals and a secretarial qualification. The first of “Leakey’s angels” (also known as “the trimates”)—Ms Goodall was one of three women encouraged by Louis Leakey, a renowned paleoanthropologist, to observe apes in their natural habitats to see what insights it might yield about early man. Scepticism abounded, but Ms Goodall was determined. She astonished everyone when, towards the end of her six-month trial, she wrote to Leakey having observed a chimp adapting a twig to capture termites. Leakey sent back a telegram: “Now we must redefine tool. Redefine man. Or accept chimpanzees as human.”

Overturning the assumption that only humans used tools was the start of Ms Goodall’s illustrious career in research, activism and education. She is now an iconic figure. At 83, she rarely spends more than a few months in one place, instead travelling the world to raise awareness for her causes. She…Continue reading

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