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FAQs with Jane: What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

Dr. Jane’s mother Vanne gave her the best piece of advice when she was young. When she wanted to go to Africa and everyone laughed at her, Dr. Jane’s mother would say, “If you really want something, you have to work hard, take advantage of opportunities, and never give up.”

FAQs with Jane: What is your favorite animal?

Dr. Jane’s favorite animal is a dog, although chimpanzees hold a special place in her heart.

FAQs with Jane: What is your favorite book?

Dr. Jane’s favorite book is “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien because it takes her into an entirely different world.
 
Visit janegoodall.org/study-corner-reading-list for a list of Dr. Jane’s book recommendations.

FAQs with Jane: Do you hope your research continues at Gombe? Are there still things to learn?

Dr. Jane believes there is much more to learn about chimpanzees. She hopes the research at Gombe will continue for years to come and that with each passing year, it becomes more important because of all that we discover.
 
To learn more about the Gombe Stream Research Center, please visit janegoodall.org/programs/gombe-stream-research-center.

FAQs with Jane: Do the chimpanzees remember you when you come back to Gombe?

The older chimpanzees that Dr. Jane spent time observing remember her but the younger ones do not. Some studies of chimpanzees in captivity have shown that chimpanzees can remember people after 11 years.

FAQs with Jane: When did you first decide you wanted to go to Africa?

Dr. Jane first decided that she wanted to go to Africa to study animals and write books about them after reading “Dr. Dolittle” and “Tarzan of the Apes” as a child. To this day, Dr. Jane still believes that Tarzan married the wrong Jane!

FAQs with Jane: Did you know you wanted to study chimpanzees from the time you were young?

When Dr. Jane was young, she knew that she wanted to live with animals in Africa and write books about them. She never dreamed of studying an animal as exotic as a chimpanzee.

FAQs with Jane: Do you have a favorite chimpanzee at Gombe?

Dr. Jane’s favorite chimpanzee of all time is David Greybeard, the one who first trusted her and allowed her to come close enough to observe him. Her favorite chimpanzee at Gombe today is a female named Gremlin who Dr. Jane has known since she was a newborn baby.

FAQs with Jane: What is the most exciting thing that happened while you were in Gombe?

Dr. Jane had some many exciting experiences in Gombe. She was thrilled the first time a group of chimpanzees let her observe them instead of running away in fear. She was also amazed when she saw a chimpanzee she called David Greybeard make and use a tool. In those days, it was thought that only humans made and used tools. In this video, Dr. Jane talks about some of the other exciting experiences she had while conducting her research in the forests of Gombe.

FAQs with Jane: Were you scared when you first went into the forest alone?

In 1960, when Dr. Jane first began studying chimpanzees in the forests of what is now known as Gombe National Park, she felt like she was at home. Famous anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey was looking for someone to observe wild chimpanzees’ behavior in order to better understand how humans evolved. After meeting Dr. Jane, Dr. Leakey decided that she was just the person to take on this study.

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