Jane Goodall at 90: Spreading a message of ‘hope through action’

British conservationist Jane Goodall, PhD, celebrated her 90th birthday on April 3. She has dedicated most of her life to chimpanzee studies and nature conservation and has no intention of retiring or ceasing to spread her message of hope through action around the world.

Born in the UK in 1934, Jane was fascinated by observing animals at a young age. At just 26 years old, she embarked on an adventure into the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, where she began to observe and record the behavior of chimpanzees under the mentorship of palaeoanthropologist Louis Leakey. Her observation that chimpanzees make and use tools later redefined our understanding of what it means to be human.

Jane Goodall appears in the television special “Miss Goodall and the World of Chimpanzees,” originally broadcast on CBS, December 22, 1965. /CFP

Jane Goodall appears in the television special “Miss Goodall and the World of Chimpanzees,” originally broadcast on CBS, December 22, 1965. /CFP

Beyond her scientific achievements, Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute to protect chimpanzees and their habitats and established the Roots & Shoots program to inspire a younger generation towards environmental protection.

In the last five years, she has become even busier than ever. She travels 300 days per year, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and other environmental crises. In the documentary “Jane Goodall: The Hope,” you can see her running around as if she is racing against time. 

Jane Goodall takes the hand of a spider monkey during her visit to the Rehabilitation Center and Primate Rescue in Chile, November 23, 2013. /CFP

Jane Goodall takes the hand of a spider monkey during her visit to the Rehabilitation Center and Primate Rescue in Chile, November 23, 2013. /CFP

On last year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, CGTN interviewed Goodall. She commended China’s conservation efforts.

“I’ve seen a big change since I first started coming to China in the mid-1990s. Basically, my first visit coincided with the first time that the government made the protection of the environment important. Since then, I’ve seen more and more groups protecting different kinds of animals, forests restored, for example, the giant panda, which was almost extinct and now the numbers have gone up. More and more people are aware,” said Goodall.

She also shared inspiring messages for young individuals and women during the interview. Watch the video below to learn more. 

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(Cover image via CFP)