THIS MONTH IN HISTORY: APRIL 1934
‘Long hours spent with chimpanzees in the forest have
enriched my life beyond measure. What I have learned
from them has shaped my understanding of human
behaviour, of our place in nature.’
Born on 3 April 1934, Jane Goodall was just 26 when she
entered the Tanzanian jungle. Her earliest and most well
documented observation was of a chimpanzee making
tools by stripping the leaves off a twig, then using it
to dig for termites – a pivotal moment in the history of
primatology studies. She witnessed chimpanzees dancing
at the sight of a waterfall, recorded an adolescent female
adopting a baby after its mother had died of pneumonia,
observed brutal warfare, during which a group of
Kasakela male chimps killed of all seven members of a
rival splinter group.
‘In what terms should we think of these beings,
non-human yet possessing so very many human-like
characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely
we should treat them with the same consideration
and kindness as we show to other humans; and as we
recognise human rights, so too should we recognise the
rights of the great apes? Yes.’
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