I watched a fascinating programme on BBC Four last night featuring the background behind one of the most important discoveries in primate behavioural study. This documentary covered the 50-year career of Jane Goodall, primatologist and conservationist. She followed a childhood ambition to work with animals in Africa when Dr Leakey sent her out to Tanzania in 1960 to study wild chimpanzees.
Her groundbreaking work included proof that chimpanzees use tools, are not vegetarian and social and territorial behaviour previously undocumented was shown to the world. The Gombe Stream National Park was the first area in Africa to be given protected status, and today there is still a thriving chimpanzee community despite decreased habitat and poacher threats. Why not follow in Jane’s footsteps, meet some of our nearest genetic relatives and also meet Jane herself, by joining our Gombe 50 tour next May in celebration of the pioneering work and in support of the Jane Goodall Institute.