Jane Goodall: Primatologist Naturalist (Women in Science) by Lisa Kozleski

By Lisa Kozleski

A biography of the zoologist, discussing her own lifestyles in addition to her paintings with chimpanzees on the Gombe circulation Reserve in Tanzania.

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Still, neither path seemed quite right for her: . . [B]oth of those careers had to do with dead animals. And I still wanted to work with living animals. My childhood dream was as strong as ever: Somehow I must find a way to watch free, wild animals living their own, undisturbed lives. I wanted to learn things that no one else knew. Uncover secrets through patient observation. I wanted to come as close to talking to animals as I could. . I wanted to move among them without fear, like Tarzan. (My Life, 46) So Goodall decided to act on her dreams again.

Goodall and van Lawick had to be away from Gombe, and each other, during much of this period of growth between March of 1965 and May of 1966. National Geographic had given van Lawick the funding he needed to photograph animals in East Africa. Goodall returned to Cambridge, where she finished writing her doctoral dissertation. Her advisor, Robert Hinde, had serious concerns about her research: like many of his colleagues, he believed it was a mistake to name the subjects as though they were human and that her records should not report the chimps’ behavior in a narrative form.

After that, Goodall discovered that if she offered David a banana he would bravely accept it. Goodall and van Lawick started leaving bananas out and studying the results. The chimps responded to the appeal, and soon they were coming into the camp frequently. Goodall and van Lawick worked to find a way to limit the number of bananas offered, and a cage was ready to protect them if the chimps should become aggressive at the camp. The work allowed Goodall to observe the chimps daily and get to know them personally.

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