Jane Goodall speaks at Mizzou Arena

4 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, September 17 2014 Sep 17, 2014 Wednesday, September 17, 2014 5:29:00 PM CDT September 17, 2014 in News
By: Sara Maslar-Donar and Taylor Pecko-Reid, KOMU 8 Reporters
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COLUMBIA - World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall spoke Wednesday night to a sold out crowd of thousands about her new book and her life's work. 

Goodall's tour focuses on her new book "Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the Plants", as well as her experiences in the jungle.

When Goodall was a young girl living in London, she said she had a fascination with animals. She said as soon as she read the book Tarzan, she knew two things: that she believed Tarzan had chosen the wrong Jane and that she knew her dreams were going to become a reality.

"Well, that did it. I knew there wasn't a Tarzan, I was jealous of that Jane, but that was when my dream began," she said. "I would grow up, go to Africa, live with animals, and write books about them." 

Goodall said she began her career as a secretary in Africa, making her way up to achieving her dream of working with animals.

Goodall's website said she traveled to Tanzania to observe chimpanzees in their natural habitats. She took her binoculars and notebook on multiple trips to remote areas hoping to gain the trust and knowledge of local primates.

Goodall developed a close personal contact with primates, especially chimpanzees, according to Biography.com. She said in her speech Wednesdday that she even remembers the names of her first two primate friends.

She is credited with breaking barriers and dispelling preconceived notions of how the primates lived in the wild by studying their behaviors, in innovative ways.

One of her famous techniques for gaining acceptance from the primates was something she termed "banana club," according to DoSomething.org. Following along with the "don't bite the hand that feeds you" method, she provided the primates with bananas as a way to win their trust. Goodall was accepted by the primates and was able to provide information on the private lives of the animals.

She has been praised for changing the relationship between humans and primates, and her work led to a considerable number of awards.

Goodall said she owes much of her success to her mother, who told her that if she really wanted something, she needed to work hard to get it, take advantage of opportunity, and never give up.

"How fortunate that they way I grew up has enabled me to stand in front of children living in rural Africa, or in a city in the United States, and say to them what my mother said to me," she said. "Instead of saying it's all right for her she had everything, they know my story and so they become inspired and they tell me so. They write and say you taught me that because you did it, I can do it too."

Her website said some of her achievements include creating conservation habitats for wildlife in Africa and a youth program called Roots and Shoots, which encourages young people to practice conservation.

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