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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector of the Day: Jane Goodall

February 1st, 2010
03:55 PM ET

Jane Goodall left her home in London for the jungles of Africa at the young age of 26 - driven by a deep love of animals, her goal was to work with the chimpanzees of Tanzania.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/01/jane.goodall.blog.gi.jpg caption ="Jane Goodall has been a champion for animal rights."]

In July 1960, under the mentorship of famed anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey, Goodall began studying several chimpanzee communities in their natural surroundings. Her early findings—that chimpanzees make and use tools, eat meat and engage in war-like activity—profoundly altered our understanding of what it means to be human.

In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute to continue her pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior.  Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program.

In fact, in 1991, Dr. Goodall's work moved from the forests of Africa and increasingly into the classroom.   She encourages young people to do their part through Roots & Shoots, which today has nearly 150,000 members– from preschool to college - in more than 120 countries and helps to connect people of all ages who share a desire to create a better world.

Five decades on, she is now one of the world's most famous environmental advocates.  In fact, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of her research, one of the longest uninterrupted studies of a wild animal species.  Dr. Goodall, a UN Messenger of Peace, has remained focused on protecting natural habitats and has cemented her role on the global stage as a primatologist, environmentalist and humanitarian.

Here's your chance to ask Dr. Jane Goodall your questions.

Want to know what it was really like living with chimps? What is her favorite animal? What does she see for the future of wildlife and our planet?

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Katie

    First, I'd like to say that I admire you and your work. When you first started, how much was known of chimp behavior? How "humanlike" were they considered to be?

    February 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  2. jimmy

    you're such an inspiration to all. thank you for your hard work.
    how do you feel about the climate change controversies happening these days?
    do you feel like all the skepticism is making people care less about the environment?

    February 1, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  3. Nora Cata

    How much do you incorporate climate change into your teachings? Is this an important issue for you, in terms of deforestation and habitat encroachment?

    You have been a long standing heroine of mine and have played a very influential part in my education path. Its because of your work I became interested in the environment and now I'm currently pursuing a degree in the field!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Reply
  4. Daniel Mohlala

    Thanx for taking care of our animals.I also love animals.Unlike those who kill our nature.Keep on.

    February 1, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  5. Jill

    I am in the process of creating an international school for children age 2 to 18 near Lisbon, Portugal. The plans for the school include making it as energy self-sufficient as possible with lots of natural light, with an area around it dedicated to growing fruits and vegetables as well as some farm animals, another area to be left natural for the children to study, and a large space for the children to play together. I grew up with animals and I would like to pass on what they have taught me to the next generation. The difference is that I don't live in a woodsy rural area filled with wild animals any longer but in a large town with little natural space. From your personal and professional point of view, how might you design a school which values respect for the planet and the learning of its inhabitants? Thank you and you are one of the Earth's inhabitants I respect most!!!

    February 1, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  6. Samson ogunmoniwo

    I must say indeed you are an hero;but the question is how is life like leaving with chimps in the jungle.

    February 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  7. Abiodun oladimeji

    I want 2 first & foremost appreciate 4 a great job u've been doing so far 4 humanity,i equally blievd dat u ar bin called upon 2 do 4rm heaven more power 2 ur elbow.Kudos 2 u our living legend.

    February 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  8. Dikibo, Fortune

    U're truely a source of inspiratñ to us(youths) in d quest to recover plant & animals that are on d verge of extinction. Please create more awareness on plant & animal preservation. *More strength to ur elbow*

    February 1, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  9. Paul micheal

    I admire you and your work. So can you relate with wild animals.

    February 1, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  10. Megan

    I live in Canada where we have vibrant and thriving Inuit (Indigenous) populations throughout the North and in urban centres. I have traveled to the North and have witnessed firsthand how expensive it is to buy food (i.e. $15 for a box of cereal). Much of their food comes from hunting wild game like moose, caribou and seals; however there has been much controversy surrounding the seal hunt. Many people think it is inhumane but they fail to realize that Inuit populations are truly using the seal for their meat, fur and overall economic livelihood. What is your opinion of the seal hunt?

    February 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  11. Isaac yelkopba

    You have really made quite an impact,do you think chimps are an endangered species?

    February 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  12. John Frederick

    Thank You for your work!

    Would you support the developed world subsidizing the non-development (habitat preservation) of remainging wildlands in the developing world?

    February 1, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  13. Karalee Sargent

    I'd like to hear Jane's views on keeping chimps as domesticated pets. With the recent controversy with "Travis," the chimp who mauled a woman nearly a year ago, does she feel that chimps who have been domesticated are better off in rescue shelters or sanctuaries after they retire, rather than living as someone's pet?

    February 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  14. Dikibo, Fortune

    [1] What is on ground concerning plant and animal protection rights for Africa?- *Nigeria to be precise* [2] Of what benefit is the Chimpanzee to man? I know for sure about d Bats, that they feed on mosquitoes. And if they should go on extinction, d rate of malaria epidermic would increase and we would pay dearly with our lives. What's with d Chimps?

    February 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  15. Zaki josuah

    Living with the chimps isnt realy a walk on a pitch,kudos to you.since you have both lived with man and chimps,what do you think is the fundamental difference between them,from what you have observed and is man a modern or advanced chimp to you? Why, if yes and why if no.

    February 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  16. karen

    What is your institute's policy on the Great Ape Protection Act? Support it or oppose it?

    February 1, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  17. Abbas bashir

    You're such a hard work human being,i know you have been studying chimps,hw do you observed the climate change 2 them.

    February 1, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  18. Lebechi

    Please tell us your biography.

    February 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  19. Diri Moses

    Hi Dr, you are doing a great job. I really appreciate your job. Am a Nigerian, pls i want to know gestation period of the Ape specie. Thanks

    February 1, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  20. Bashir

    You doing a greate job.The question i want to ask is,how long have you been with chimpanzee.

    February 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  21. Akilu Abdullahi

    I will like say well done for what you are doing.Its really a great thing which deserve so much credit.Permit me to ask a single question, how would you compare the intelligence or sense of reasoning of chimpanzee to that of humans as well as other animals.Thank you.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  22. Keira

    I guess my question would be: why chimpanzees? Is it b/c they're the closest to humans? Or are they more interesting than any other animal?

    February 1, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  23. Michael

    You're an inspiration to us all. My question is, did you observe prejudice (or anything like it) among chimpanzee societies, or is this a strictly human trait? Thank you for your work, your passion, and your desire to help heal this world.

    February 1, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  24. Larry Dekker

    Jane:
    Thanks for the opportunity to ask a question from a legend. Question is: Which one is more intelligent: chimpansee, orang or gorilla, not taking into account environmental adptation.
    Thanks a lot!
    Larry

    February 2, 2010 at 12:14 am | Reply
  25. Brenna

    Please describe one of the most inspirational stories you have heard from the Roots & Shoots problem. What are your thoughts around engaging the Youth of this world to participate in change? Do you have a message to young aspiring leaders?

    February 2, 2010 at 3:13 am | Reply
  26. Dan

    Do humans have better control of their emotions than apes?

    February 2, 2010 at 3:51 am | Reply
  27. Benjamin oji

    Dr.you are too and zeal for the love animal & plant is a welcome for other to follow your footsteps.(Ben from Nigeria)

    February 2, 2010 at 7:16 am | Reply
  28. Benjamin oji

    You are too much.your zeal for the love aminal and plant is really appreciated by us.it is a welcome development.(Ben from Nigeria)

    February 2, 2010 at 7:21 am | Reply
  29. Hezekiah Adeyemi

    Hi Dr Goodall! U are a wonderful inspiration to this generation, more power to your elbow. Q 1: How dreadful is Chimpazee to human? Q 2: What inspired U to this Profession/Research work

    February 2, 2010 at 8:00 am | Reply
  30. Itote A. Damisa

    I commend your love for animals. Apart from chimpanzees, can you relate freely with other wild animals?

    February 2, 2010 at 9:00 am | Reply
  31. Jody

    I loved watching films about your work in elementary school (20 years ago) and being envious of your son Grub who was out in nature while I was sitting in a classroom. As an adult, does Grub also work with chimpanzees? ( Sorry, I don't know his real name!)

    February 2, 2010 at 9:48 am | Reply
  32. emily

    How do you cope with the constant threat of poaching?

    February 2, 2010 at 9:51 am | Reply
  33. Brigitte

    Thank you for your dedicated, wonderful work, I admire you so much.

    February 2, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply
  34. Chris

    I have been to Gombe Stream twice where she did her great research and was ashamed at the poverty in the nearby villages. Millions of dollars are being collected on behalf of Dr.Goodall, but why is seemingly none of this money going to help the areas around the chimpanzees home? To protect the chimpanzees we need to involve the nearby communities.

    February 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  35. Adamu Yakubu

    animals have some measure of rigths and therefore deserves to be considered as inhabitants of earth and not as items or materials to be mal handled.......

    February 2, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Reply
  36. Mikias Taye

    I want to appreciate your dedication and what you have done. MY QUESTION IS : What other animals have you worked towards or if there is any you are considering for the future?

    February 2, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  37. Ahmad idris

    Good work, well done! What is the level of extinction of the chimpanzee and how many species are found in Africa?

    February 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  38. Amos Chris

    Apart from where CNN is located now. is there any other place it can also be found.

    February 2, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  39. agubolu patrick obioma

    i wish to work as a staff in your farm because i am a great lover of animals.God bless you amen.+2347061699643.

    February 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  40. Allison

    I am so honored to be able to just post a question you may read 🙂 You have always been a hero to me. I am reading your book My Life With The Chimpanzees with my 8 yr old daughter right now and I have read Reason For Hope, which I think should be part of all high school curriculum. After the first 2 chapters of "My Life" my daughter said, "Wow, Jane Goodall and I have a lot in common!!" Anyways, my girl is very sensitive, a vegetarian already by her own choosing because she just loves animals too much.I'd like to start a Roots and Shoots program in our community but am not that confident in myself to responsibly carry out the task of education. My question is, when educating our youth, those who will inherit this earth, at what age is it appropriate to divulge all the horrible truths, so as not to paint such a bleak picture?

    February 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  41. Center School 3 rd grade Reading group

    Dear Ms. Goodall,
    We just read your book Jane Goodall, Living with the Chimpanzees in our reading group. We loved it and have some questions. First, how did you decide on names for the chimps? Second, what was Dr. Leaky like?
    Third, did you have a favorite chimp? Finally, what kind of meat did the chimps like to eat?
    Sincerely,
    Brenna, Claire, Emily, and Heather

    February 5, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  42. Manju

    Love your work, and your dedication, Dr Goodall. You are truly an inspiration to scientists all over the world.

    February 13, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Reply

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