What Are Some Interesting Facts About Jane Goodall?

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Dr. Jane Goodall began studying wild chimpanzees when she was 26 years old, equipped with nothing but a pair of binoculars and a notebook. Dr. Goodall eventually became an advocate for endangered species and environmental conservation around the world.

Dr. Jane Goodall was the daughter of Mortimer Morris-Goodall, a well-known race car driver. Always interested in animals, she first traveled to Africa in 1957 and quickly began working for paleontologist Louis Leakey's natural history museum.

After three years, Leakey suggested that Goodall travel to Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve (in what is now Tanzania) to live among and observe the chimpanzees. When she began working with Leakey and observing wild chimpanzees, Goodall did not have a college degree. She worked for several years as a secretary and temporary post office worker to save enough money to travel to Africa.

Dr. Goodall's early work with chimpanzees departed from typical scientific studies because of her belief that chimpanzees should be studied as individuals; she went so far as to give them names like Flo, Fifi and Frodo. Goodall became one of the earliest researchers to witness chimpanzees altering objects into tools when she observed chimpanzees stripping leaves from sticks to use them to collect and eat termites.