COLUMBIA - On Wednesday night, after Dr. Jane Goodall addressed a sold-out crowd in Mizzou Arena, she sat down to open up about her concerns and thoughts about the well-being of the animal kingdom, especially chimpanzees.
"I would have studied any animal but from the point of view of science, it was fantastic to be chimpanzees. Because biologically they're so like us that it enabled me to help persuade science and religion for that matter," said Goodall.
Her work began in 1957 when she worked exclusively with chimpanzees. Without a degree at the time, she occasionally had doubts about her ability to get close to chimps and observe their behavior in a way that was expected of her.
Goodall's mother went along with her at the beginning of her career, and she said it is because of her mom she became a determined individual. Goodall said chimps can teach mothers a thing or two about parenting.
"The tremendous value of a good mother who is protective, yet not overprotective, who is affectionate, playful and above all supportive. The offsprings of those mothers do much better," said Goodall.
Goodall said she is extremely concerned about the massacre of rhinos and elephants. She said she has spent hours observing elephant's behavior, and family structure is very important to them.
"You kill an elephant mother, she probably isn't even completely dead when you rip out her tusks," said Goodall. "The baby is left as an orphan to die in misery. We have to stop it somehow."
She said the U.S. is the second largest importer of illegal ivory. As a result, for the past three years, an elephant dies every 15 minutes.
"There's a huge amount of ivory used for the religions, for their carving of Christs and saints, which is a blood bathed icon. When the buying stops, the killing will stop," said Goodall.
Goodall said there will be a worldwide march for the rhinos and elephants on October 4.
She encourages youth to participate in events like the march, as well extend a helping hand throughout the year.
Goodall started the "Roots & Shoots" program in 1991 with 12 high school aged students from different countries, all coming together to help the environment and animals. Since then, the program has stretched to 130 countries.