National Geographic: Among the Wild Chimpanzees (1984)

For centuries there were
fearsome tales of a half
human monster roaming
the African forests
Even in modern times,
knowledge of the elusive creature
the wild chimpanzee-
was largely based on speculation
Then, in 1960 a daring
young Englishwoman
set out to sort fiction from truth
She had been warned
"You'll never get
near the chimpanzees,"
but she was determined to try
Her name, Jane Goodall
She was 26 years old and
destined to make scientific history
Against odds many
thought insurmountable
she gradually earned
the chimpanzees' trust
The picture that has
emerged is an awesome
portrait of the animals
most like man
The similarities to humans are
the obvious physical resemblance;
the discovery that they hunt and eat meat;
the even more profound revelation
that they are intelligent enough
to make and use tools
and in their nonverbal communication
perhaps the most uncanny
resemblance of all
Meticulously documented on
motion-picture film
Jane Goodall's classic study stretches
from 1960 to the present day
A compelling chronicle that spans
three generations of chimps
it is the longest study of any wild
animal group in the world
Unexpectedly one of its recent
chapters took a forbidding turn
The usually gentle
amiable chimps revealed a dark
and sinister side
- puzzling, savage behavior
as yet unexplained
And so the saga goes on -
the remarkable adventure of the wild
chimpanzees and the dedicated
woman who works among them still
Growing up in Bournemouth,
England, Jane Goodall
was drawn to the world of animals
almost from the start
When her mother gave
the infant a chimp doll
outraged friends predicted nightmares
They could not have been more wrong
"Even when I was very tiny I was
absolutely fascinated by animals
I think I first began to dream of
going to Africa after reading
Dr. Doolittle and Tarzan
when I was about eight
I was absolutely fascinated with
the idea of being out in the jungle
out with the animals
feeling a part of it all."
Famed anthropologist Louis Leakey
had long searched for someone
to study wild chimpanzees for
clues to the behavior of early man
"I want someone unbiased
by academic learning," he said
"Someone with uncommon patience
and dedication."
His faith in Jane Goodall would
lead to one of the most important
scientific studies of our time
Her journey would take Goodall to
the East African country of Tanzania
then known as Tanganyika
The remote Gombe Stream Game
Reserve stretches for about
ten miles of rugged
mountainous country along the
shore of Lake Tanganyika
And so on the 14th of July 1960
Jane Goodall was 4,000 miles from home
a tiny boat her only link
to the civilized world
"When I arrived at the
Gombe Stream Reserve
I felt that at long last my childhood
ambition was being realized
But when I looked at the wild and
rugged mountains where
the chimpanzees lived
I knew that my task was not going to be easy."
Day-to-day life in this remote
wilderness would be difficult at best
The local authorities
horrified at the thought of a young
white woman alone in the wild
at first refused Jane
permission to come
agreeing only when she said she would
bring a companion
Aside from her mother
Vanne Goodall, and an African cook
Jane would spend the next
several months virtually alone
It was already late afternoon
when the tents were pitched and
provisions stored
But after 20 years of dreaming
of this day
Jane was eager to begin
Unarmed and untrained she
ventured into a strange, new world
For most, this would be a lonely
forbidding realm
But for Jane Goodall
it was where she most wanted to be
"During my first days at Gombe I
could hardly believe it was true
At last I was out in the wild
I didn't see many animals
but I had the feeling they were there
all around, watching me
There were rustles in the undergrowth
strange calls
smells I could not identify."
For months
the objects of her search invariably
fled at the mere sight of her
Often she couldn't find them at all
It was a steep
rigorous climb to the open ridges above
but perhaps, she hoped
a way to pinpoint the nomadic apes below
"I discovered not far from camp
that there was a peak overlooking
two valleys
And from this vantage point
I was able to gradually piece together
the daily behavior of the chimps
The major advantage of the Peak was
that the chimps could see me
sitting up there and gradually
get used to my presence."
Sitting quietly in the same spot
day after day
always dressed in the same
neutral colors
never attempting to
follow the shy apes
the figure on the Peak gradually
became less of a threat
It would be some time, however
before Jane was accepted at closer range
Though the chimps now
recognized the intruder
her intent was far from clear
Jane had to accept the
realization that
for the being being at least
much of her knowledge would
be based on indirect evidence
like an abandoned sleeping
nest high in the trees
Jane found the nest was not
simply a pile of wadded leaves
but a carefully interwoven
platform created by dexterous hands
and a reasoning brain
But the intelligent creature
who made it had long since moved on
Impatient with her slow progress
with the chimps
Jane stretched each day to the
final rays of the setting sun
This would be her first meal
in 12 hours
It had been another long
and frustrating day
"As I am not a defeatist
it only made my determination
to succeed stronger
I never had any
thought of quitting
I should forever have
lost all self-
respect if I had given up."
And so
days that began before dawn
reached well past midnight
And, for as long
as it would take
tomorrow would be the same
Even when there were no
chimps to be found
there was always much to be done
Samples of plants the chimps eat
would be preserved for
later identification
There was a new language to learn
tribal customs to absorb
A makeshift clinic helped cement
good relations
with the local villagers
With camp life settling into
a comfortable routine
Gombe increasingly became
Jane Goodall's private world
Though her staff was growing
outsiders till now
had not been welcome
lest they frighten the chimps
But at Louis Leakey's urging
she agreed that a permanent film
record of the chimps be made
To shield herself
and the cameraman
she built a blind
- a screen of leaves
Hugo van Lawick
is a specialist in wildlife
Primarily funded by the
National Geographic Society
over the coming years he
and Goodall would capture
details of chimp behavior
never before dreamed possible
They found that chimpanzees
are nomadic
traveling in ever changing groups
in the daily search for food
wanderings that can take them
two to six miles in a single day
They are animals of
dramatic extremes
noisy and excitable one minute
calm and gentle the next
To satisfy their hunger on a
diet that is largely vegetarian
chimps eat up to
seven hours a day
Much of their diet is fruit
but they also feed on leaves
blossoms, seeds, and stems
After congregating at a food source
several individuals may rest
and groom together
then separate once again
The only stable group within the
community is a mother and her young
Males take no part
in child rearing
Contrary to common belief
chimps do not have fleas
Mutual grooming does remove flakes
of dried skin and grass seeds
but physical contact for its own
sake seems to be the primary goal
Not much interested
in quiet pursuits
youngsters have better things to do
"The chimps very gradually
came to realize that
I was not dangerous after all
I shall never forget the day
after about 18 months when
for the first time
a small group allowed me
to approach and be near them
Finally I had been accepted
I think it was one
of the proudest
and most exciting moments
of my whole life
Chimpanzees are as distinct from
one another as are human beings
and Jane gave them names
as she came to recognize them
Old Flo, with her bulbous
nose and ragged ears
is matriarch of the family
Jane would come to know best
At seven weeks, infant Flint is
still completely dependent on Flo
Flo's adolescent son Figan plays
with his younger sister Fifi
Even fully mature Faben often
stays with the family
Ever since Flint's birth
his sister Fifi has been
fascinated by the baby
Repeatedly she tries to
touch and groom him
The older chimps
less interested in babies
tend to ignore Flint
But Fifi is persistent
actually trying to take
the infant from Flo
Though protective of her newborn
Flo is never rough with Fifi
When she's had enough
she simply walks off
leaving Fifi looking
rather frustrated
Another group's arrival is signaled
by a chorus of hooting calls
Adult males dominate chimp society
and are much preoccupied with
their position in the hierarchy
In an effort to better his rank the
male puts on an awesome charging display
With hair bristling
and vegetation flying
the male makes himself appear larger
and more dangerous than he actually is
Intended to intimidate rivals
it is usually nothing
more than superb bluff
After displays of aggression
the dominant chimp often reassures those
who have been frightened or hurt
and thus tension is defused
harmony restored
One male rose to the
top of the hierarchy
by intelligence rather than strength
Mike discovered that rolling
empty kerosene cans from Jane's camp
made a horrifying noise
Originally one of the
lowest ranking males
Mike was now number one
Close to where they are feeding
when dusk falls the chimpanzees will build
sleeping nests for the night 30
to 40 feet up in the trees
After choosing a suitable
foundation such as a horizontal fork
the chimp takes only three to
five minutes to bend down branches
then twigs, to create
a comfortable, padded bed
With creature comforts
long since forsaken
Jane found increasing pleasures
in her wilderness world
But, as she soon discovered
human creature comforts
were not without appeal to some
A chimp had wandered into camp
and found the supply tent
where bananas were stored
Because he had been to camp
before when Jane was in the forest
she had a prearranged signal
to call her back
"It was thrilling after all this time
to find a chimp actually in my camp
It was David Greybeard
a male I had already come to
know out in the forest."
David's boldness marked
a turning point for Jane
After the endless months
she had searched for them
the chimps
following David's lead
mow came to her
their inherent fear gave way
and an offer of friendship
was accepted with trust
If she could lure the chimps
into camp regularly
Jane realized
her observations would be
far more consistent than
chance encounters in the forest
Bananas were the answer
The scheme was not without its flaws
as the local baboons quickly proved
David Greybeard repeatedly
ran to his friend
the more powerful Goliath
for protection
Goliath came to David's defense
but the baboon knew
which chimp was afraid
and it was David
he went for every time
Because of the trust
established in camp
tracking the chimps in the forest
was now much easier for Jane
She was able to follow and document
in detail the development of
Flo's infant son, Flint
At six months
Flint is learning to ride
on his mother's back
But sometimes he doesn't
get it quite right
At around the same age
he takes his first tottering steps
When he stumbles and whimpers
Flo quickly rescues him
Flo is a particularly affectionate
tolerant and playful mother
and because much maternal
behavior is learned
she is the role model
for her daughter Fifi
As Flint grows older
Flo permits Fifi to take him
for brief periods of time
Such experiences provide important
training for the future when young
females mature and
have offspring of their own
About the time Flo
begins to carry Flint on her back
Fifi tries to imitate Flo
Though unsuccessful
the attempt marks an important
milestone in her learning experience
Mandy is a young female who has
just had her first baby
Fifi has never seen the baby
before and is intrigued
For the moment at least
this is something more
interesting than Flint
As Mandy settles down
Fifi comes for a closer look at
this newest member of the community
All youngsters at Gombe
are interested in new babies
but Jane had never seen one
who showed more fascination than Fifi
A study in concentration
Mandy is not worried
by Fifi's presence
but when adolescent male Figan
approaches she nervously moves off
Both Fifi and Figan are fascinated
by the smell of the new baby
Fifi has followed Mandy up a tree
and now attempts to touch the baby
Mandy gently fends her off
Meanwhile, even Flint is curious
about another infant younger than he
But Flo is ready to move on
in search of food
and she lets Flint know
it is time to go
Fifi, still engrossed
with Mandy's baby
does not notice that they leave
When she finally
looks for her mother
Flo is out of sight
At six, Fifi is still quite dependent
on her mother and cries in distress
She has no idea in
what direction Flo has gone
Normally Flo would come
at Fifi's cries
but apparently can't hear her
above the growing storm
Although chimps seem miserable
in the rain
surprisingly they make little effort
to find shelter
Even in a torrential downpour
they just sit and wait it out
Long committed to observing
the chimps seven days a week
Jane ignored the rain
Searching for the lost Fifi
she saw something remarkable instead
the male Goliath performing
a spectacular display
Enthralled by the magnificent
"rain dance,"
Jane would later write:
"With a display of strength and vigor
such as this primitive man himself
might have challenged the elements."
Twenty minutes later the rain dance
was over as suddenly as it had begun
Among Goliath's audience Jane
spotted Flo and Flint
From her tall lookout
Fifi saw them too
Strong family ties
temporarily broken by the storm
were once again intact
The rainy season brings
the flight of fertile
winged termites as they leave
their nests to establish new colonies
For chimp and baboon alike
they are a tasty delicacy
But baboons can only capture
the termites outside the nest
as the swarms emerge and fly
When they have gone and worker termites
have resealed the nest
the baboons will move on
But the chimps not only know
termites are there
hidden below the surface,
they have learned how to get at them
In defense of their nest
the termites grip onto the grass
and with utmost care
the chimp gently draws them out
As a stem becomes bent
the chimp breaks off the end
to make it work more efficiently
Sometimes a leafy twig is selected
but first it must
be stripped of its leaves
In these actions
modifying natural objects
for a specific purpose -
the chimp is not only using
but actually making tools
It seems certain that
this is a learned behavior passed
from generation to generation
by watching and imitation
Flint does not yet know
how to fish for termites
but already he imitates
part of Flo's technique
Jane's proof that chimps
make and use tools would rock
the scientific world
"Tool using always used to be
considered a hallmark
of the human species
When Louis Leakey first heard
about tool using at Gombe
he got extremely excited and said
"Now we have to redefine man
redefine tool or
include chimpanzees with humans."
A chimpanzee brain will never
design a computer
nor even imagine a durable
tool chipped from stone
But his brain is more similar
to our own than is that of
any other living creature
And surely it was thus that
our distant human ancestors began
learning to master
the natural world
in the constant struggle
to survive
To a thirsty chimp
rainwater trapped in the hollow
of a tree is inviting
but not easily reached
Once again the chimps have learned to
solve a problem by fashioning a tool
Wadded leaves act as a sponge
Chewing makes them more absorbent
Using the sponge
the chimp can get as much as
eight times more water
than with fingers alone
Inherently curious, youngsters like
Fifi learn from older chimps
and thus the technique
is passed on
Baboons at Gombe outnumber
the chimps by about four to one
For the most part
the two species coexist peacefully
But the baboon is a competitor for
food and friction can arise
Because he has the intelligence
to use a weapon
yet another type of tool even a youngster
can intimidate a fully grown male
The bluff works but
as Jane would find out
sometimes the aggression
is very real
A young baboon has been captured
and killed by a group of chimps
and they will feast on its remains
Jane's discovery astounded the
scientific world
the chimp is not the gentle
vegetarian we had thought
but, like humans,
a formidable predator
Sometimes cooperating to
hunt and stalk their prey
they also kill young antelope
bushpigs, and monkeys
For the most part chimps eat meat
only they themselves have killed
Indeed, a dead animal is
often a puzzling sight
With Gombe's growing fame
visiting students and scientists
became a regular part of the scene
One day, as part of a project
to record chimpanzee calls
Jane put out bananas in great quantities
The result -
an eruption of frenzied excitement
desperate begging,
and violent aggression
Because of the excessive
hostilities aroused
Jane disapproved of such
human intervention
But the episode was not
without value
revealing the intricate patterns of
chimpanzee dominance and submission
and the chimps' intense need for
reassurance by touch
The sounds of the encounter were
carefully analyzed by students
specializing in chimp vocalization
With the passing years
Gombe drew students from around
the world with interests ranging from
biology to communication
to psychology
They came because of Jane
and the unique opportunities
of the living laboratory
she created here
To avoid future aggression
over bananas
Jane devised a system of rationing
by remote control
Now the chimps were fed only if they
arrived alone or in small groups
and then just once in ten days
Apparently not happy with
this new state of affairs
the ever-creative chimps
made their wishes known
The chimps' presence in camp provided
an opportunity for experiments
not possible in the forest
How would they react to
something new?
All chimpanzees are intensely curious
but often afraid of the unfamiliar
For the first time, Flint attempts
the typical male intimidation display
pulling vegetation and stamping
Later Jane put out a mirror
It was clearly a fascinating mystery
In retrospect,
Jane will say that had she known
her study would continue indefinitely
she would not have encouraged
contact between herself and the chimps
For one thing,
they are stronger than humans and
if they lose their fear, dangerous
Indeed, in the future
Jane would minimize
all interaction with the chimps
But for the moment
after the long struggle
for acceptance
David's silent consent to be
groomed was a prize beyond measure
In 1966 tragedy strikes
An epidemic spreads from
a nearby village
and Gombe awakes to
the devastation of polio
"Nothing that has happened at Gombe
before or since has been
as horrible nothing
They were among the darkest days
of my life; a living nightmare
The worst tragedy was
old Mr. McGregor
He lost the use of both his legs
and he could only move by pulling
himself along the ground by his arms
The other chimps were frightened
by this strangeness and
shunned old Gregor
Only his close relative
Humphrey, stayed nearby
The mother, Olly
has lost her month-old infant
to the disease
Though she knows he is not alive
she carries his dead body
for three days
Polio vaccine is flown in
and fed to the chimps in bananas
but for many it is too late
Flo's son, Faben,
paralyzed in one arm
protects it by walking
long distances upright
To get food Mr. McGregor had learned
to pull himself into trees
with the strength
of his arms alone
But he dislocated a shoulder
while trying to climb
and now can no longer move at all
Jane knew she had but one choice
Her longtime friend must be shot
But 1967 would bring joy
Married three years
Hugo and Jane now had a son
Little Hugo, nicknamed Grub
would grown up in a world
most children never even see
Spending less time at work
to be with Grub
Jane modeled her behavior
after the patient
affectionate chimp mothers
she had long observed
"Gombe was the ideal place
to raise a child," she said
"You could focus on the
important things in life: family
unity with all living creatures
being part of the natural world."
As she watched her own son grow
Jane continued to track
the development of Flo's son
Flint, who was now four and a half
Pregnant with her fifth child
Flo was increasing her attempts
to wean Flint
Typical of youngsters his age
he resisted - still trying
to suckle and demanding
to ride on Flo despite
his large size
When denied his way
Flint threw violent temper tantrums
even hitting and biting his mother
"Perhaps because she was
too old to cope
Flo often gave in
and let Flint have his way
Later, this would have
grave consequences."
Later that year, the baby was born
and Jane named her Flame
Still attached to the placenta
Flame was just a few hours old
Because females give birth only once
every five to six years
a newborn always stirs much curiosity
among the youngsters
Jane wondered what the birth
would mean to Flint
Flint's behavior would be expected
to change with the new arrival
but instead he was getting worse
"Even after the birth of his sibling
when most youngsters become
more independent
Flint continued to pester
his mother for attention
And, more often than not
Flo gave in to his demands."
Even with Flame at Flo's breast
Flint sometimes tried to suckle
Six months later while Flo was ill
Flame disappeared
never to be seen again
With no baby to care for now
Flo stopped even trying to
encourage Flint's independence
Jane wondered if he would remain
an infant forever
Life expectancy of a wild chimpanzee
is guessed at forty to fifty years
Flo, now well past 40,
was feeble and worn
spending most of her time
resting quietly near Flint
"Although I knew that Flo
had become very old indeed
it was still a sad day when I found
her dead body lying in the stream
For me it was like losing
an old friend
For Flint it was like losing
his whole world
Flint stayed by himself close
to the place where Flo had died
He ate very little
He became increasingly lethargic
and depressed
And, finally,
in this state of grieving
he grew sick
Three and a half weeks
after losing his mother
Flint died too."
Today the name Jane Goodall is
almost synonymous with animal research
Accomplished author
speaker, and now a Ph.D
she is sought all over the world
A rarity among scientists
she has become a celebrity
in her own right
"... he wasn't having it at all
He wanted to follow
his adolescent brother."
Wherever she goes on
her annual lecture tours
eager crowds gather to hear
the latest chapter
in the lives of the chimps
"Any new, particular new developments
new behavior of the chimps?"
"Two quite interesting new developments
One is concerned with
Though she welcomes the opportunity
to share her world
Jane keeps her visits short
Gombe is where she most wants to be
With her on this trip are her mother
returning for a nostalgic visit
and Grub, now 15
Though not even Jane
could have predicted
her study would last this long
it is 22 years since she first
set foot on Gombe's shores
In that time the country has gone
from British rule to independence;
Gombe once a game reserve
is now a national park
But friendships that span more
than two decades remain unchanged
Today permanent structures have
replaced Jane's lakeshore tent
and a staff of ten
Tanzanian field assistants
has been trained to help
observe the chimps
The men work in teams of two and
follow the animals seven days a week
In recent years they,
along with Jane
witnessed a startling turn of events
Like Gombe itself, the chimps,
it seemed had changed too
"If I'd left,
as Louis Leakey predicted
after ten years, we would have
had a very different picture
of the chimpanzees to that
which we have today
People's idea of the gentle
noble savage would have been
exemplified by the way of
life of the chimps
I started off studying one
community and in 1972 that community
divided into two and one part of
it moved down into the south of
the range that
the whole community had shared
Two years later a series of events
began which were amongst the most
horrifying we have seen at Gombe
The males of the larger
Kasakela community
the one's that we are studying today
systematically began to hunt down
individuals of the smaller
southern community to attack them
when they found them on their own
or in small groups and within
a full year period every one
of the seven males
and at least one of the three females
who had moved to the south
had disappeared."
"The sequence of events that occurred
during this warfare
were really shocking because these attacks
were not over in one minute
They lasted 20 minutes
They were gang attacks
where between three and six adult males
together attacked one victim
The victim was rendered senseless
virtually crouching on the ground
not even trying to fight back
And yet they would pound him
they would drag him
they would bite him
they would smash him
One of them had a broken leg
One of them had a great piece of
skin ripped from his thigh
And these were very
very brutal attacks
and I think it's a bit horrifying
to consider that just
because we now know how aggressive
the chimpanzee can be
this makes them even more like humans
than I thought they were before."
Only because Jane stayed on at Gombe
was the warfare discovered
Only because she remains there
still may it one day be explained
While the male gang violence
was a profoundly dramatic event
much of Jane's work continues to
revolve around the subtle intricacies
of day-to-day family life
Her observations of Flo and Flint
taught her just how powerful
a mother's influence can be
In the ten years since Flo died
Jane has followed her family
into its third generation
Flo's daughter, Fifi
is now a mother herself
Like Flo, Fifi is an extremely
playful and tolerant mother
Her son, Frodo, bears a striking
resemblance to his dead uncle Flint
Young Fanni evokes images of
Fifi herself as a child
And in adolescent Freud a visible
reminder of Figan as he matured
"Gremlin now watches Frodo
Getty much more active
than he used to be."
As she watches Getty
the youngest member of the Gomber
community secure in his mother's arms
Jane reflects on
ten other infants who
over the course of four years
met a gruesome fate
"There was one extremely horrifying day
I was in Dares Salaam
and we were contacting Gombe by
radio as we used to do every morning
And this strange message came over
that the adult female Passion
and her adolescent daughter
Pom, had seized a newborn
infant from Gilka
Gilka, one of the polio victims
a chimp I'd known since
she was one year old
And that this mother Passion
had killed the baby
and she and her daughter and her son
had shared the body between them
And I found this almost
impossible to believe
But when I got to Gombe a week later
it was indeed true
And over the next four years Passion
and her daughter Pom were known
to kill and eat three newborn babies
They were watched as they
tried but failed to catch two more
And we suspect that
in that four years
in fact, they were
responsible for the deaths
of ten newborn babies."
Jane had always described Passion
as "a somewhat unnatural mother"
cold and indifferent,
indeed often callous to her youngsters
Yet Jane could not possibly
have predicted that Passion
would become a killer
attacking with aggression so violent
that she paid no attention to human
observers even when
they tried to intervene
"Why did they do it?
I really have no idea
I suspect that it was an
aberrant behavior shown first
by the mother imitated
by the daughter
It was, perhaps, the hardest thing to
understand and to accept
that's ever happened at Gombe
And the descriptions of the attacks
on these mothers are some of
the most moving and horrifying
descriptions that have taken place
in all the 22 years
For instance, when passion,
together with Pom
two strong females, attacked
Melissa with her three-week-old baby
Melissa's daughter Gremlin
much younger than Pom,
ran over to the two field
assistants who were watching
this horrifying struggle
stood upright,
looked into their eyes
looked back at the scene, and
really seemed to be begging for help
But Passion and Pom
were strong
stronger than Melissa,
and they managed to seize the baby
leaving Melissa terribly
badly wounded
The moment they had the baby
and had killed it
when Melissa went up to watch
as they ate it
Passion reached out
embraced and kissed her as though
I have no quarrel with you."
I wanted your baby
Now I'm content
And as I say we just do not
understand this behavior
Hopefully now
the behavior is finished
Passion is dead
Pom has shown no signs of
doing this and, indeed
on her own isn't capable
of attacking another female
and stealing her baby."
For now the warfare is over
the cannibalism has ceased
Gombe is quiet again but for the
eternal sounds of the African night
Then on a summer evening in 1982
a joyous chorus of human
voices pervades the dark
an anniversary party celebrating
To share this night, some have come
by boat
others have walked for miles
With traditional feasting
and speeches
they join together to toast the
future and celebrate the past
"Well, after 22 years I have many
many fond memories of Gombe
Perhaps the one that I like to
think back on most
was after having struggled
crawled through the undergrowth
climbed up to the Peak and down again
and searched, and being rewarded
yes by seeing chimps, but chimps
that ran away every time I went
up to them -
to have a chimpanzee just sit there
and watch me and know that I was
there and not mind
That was a very, very wonderful moment
It was a tremendous feeling of
and exhilaration and pride in the
fact that I'd been accepted
And then a rather different kind of
memory was the first time
that a wild chimpanzee mother
came up to me
and allowed her infant to reach
out with
that wondering expression in his eyes
to touch me
And that, of course, was Flo with
her infant Flint
And that's another moment I'll
never forget."
And though it often seems a lifetime ago
she remembers them all three
generations of chimps
who allowed her the privilege of
entering their private world
Wild animals roaming free
who permitted a human to live among
them as a friend
Today, the direction of the study
lies uncharted
ahead to be written by
the chimps themselves
It is a future Jane Goodall embraces
with anticipation and a personal dream
"I hope to stay at Gombe for as long
as I can struggle around the mountains
and even after that I would hope
that I can train somebody to follow
in my footsteps
so that when I'm an old and
doddering lady
I can still hear about Melissa's
and Fifi's successors and be happy
in my old age."
When Louis Leakey told Jane her
study might last ten years
it sounded like a lifetime
and privately she thought
"three years at mos."
Already into her third decade at Gombe
the pioneer who dared to be accepted
by wild animals
and won has no intention of
leaving now