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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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