We are not doing enough to save the apes, Jane Goodall says

British primatologist Jane Goodall, photo: Reuters/ Christian Hartmann
Jane Goodall, photo: Reuters/ Christian Hartmann

“We are not doing nearly enough not only to save the apes. We’re not doing enough to save all life on planet Earth, including humans,” famous conservationist Jane Goodall said on Friday at the revealing of her wax double at the Grevin Museum in Paris.

Goodall is known for her research on chimpanzees and her environmental activism. She said her wax statute reminded her of the “best days” of her life. The wax statue shows Goodall in camouflage clothing, similar to what she wore when she lived among chimpanzees in Africa.

“This reminds me of the time when I used to be able to live in the forest with the chimpanzees. This is how I was dressed, and I always had my binoculars with me and so it reminds me of the best days of my life,” Goodall said.

When Goodall was 26, she decided to go and live alone among the chimpanzees at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. She studied their behavior and the place of humans in the animal kingdom.

Goodall found that chimpanzees, like humans, have personalities and are capable of rational thoughts and emotions like happiness and sadness. She also observed “human” behavior among chimps, such as kisses, hugs, pats on the back, and even tickling.

Goodall was the first scientist to see a chimpanzee making and using tools to feed himself. She also discovered that members of the same family maintained strong, lasting bonds throughout their lives.

Protecting animals

In 1977, Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute in California, focusing on research, education and conservation, and protecting wild chimpanzees in Africa. In the 1980s, Goodall was shocked to discover that chimpanzee populations were declining.

Now, at 89 years old, Goodall continues to fight for conservation, warning the public of the dangers of industrial farming and loss of biodiversity.

“We are not doing nearly enough not only to save the apes. We’re not doing enough to save all life on planet Earth, including humans,”
Goodall said.

“We are not exempt from extinction, and if we don’t get together now and start taking action to slow down climate change, slow down loss of (bio)diversity, get rid of industrial farming, and things like that, then, we’re doomed,” she added.

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