Jane Goodall

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If Jane Goodall lived many years ago, then we might suspect that she inspired the character of Jane Porter, Tarzan of the Jungle’s true love. But Jane Goodall was born when the novel Tarzan was already popularly known as a children’s classic book. In her case, it was the other way around—she was inspired by Tarzan of the Jungle. Having Jane for a name was merely a coincidence. From the onset, Jane chose a life that’s far from ordinary. She loved everything about nature and felt at home around animals.

Achievements

Why Jane Goodall is Extraordinary

Dr. Jane Goodall succeeded in disproving many theories about chimpanzees made by thoroughly educated anthropologists. That’s quite an achievement for someone who did not have proper education. Jane Goodall went to Africa first before securing a post doctorate degree without even completing a bachelor course. She was the eighth person in the whole world given that privilege.

Prior to earning a degree, Jane Goodall busted myths about chimpanzees being largely vegetarian and men being the lone creatures on earth who could fashion tools. When Jane nullified those two major beliefs, she has not only uncovered the truth. She shamed scientists who questioned her unconventional methods. To identify her subjects, she used names. It caused an outcry from among the most erudite members of the anthropological society. Scientists, legitimate ones at least, won’t do such a thing.

Dame of the Order of the British Empire

She took criticisms with a grain of salt and pushed forward to make more discoveries. At 79 years old, Jane has not yet attained her goal as far as her objectives are concerned. Since her breakthrough discoveries, Jane’s contribution to the science of evolution and environmental concerns had been earning acknowledgements from different organizations—public and private entities alike. She began receiving awards in 1965 and the accolades keep coming, from being named a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 to receiving honorary degrees from highly-respected educational institutions.

Spending a Lifetime in the Jungle

The question “which came first: the chicken or the egg?” literally commenced Jane Goodall’s fascination for animals and the creation of life. For hours, she watched how chickens in a hen-house laid eggs. It answered her question but she then began to wonder about the animal kingdom on a larger scale.

Her mother indulged her curiosity and gave her more reading materials concerning animals and their habitats. As kids her age started dreaming of going to find places to realize their dreams, Jane had her eye on Africa. Why she dreamt of going to Africa never really bothered her mother. If she allowed her to keep worms under her pillow, then she should be prepared for her daughter’s grander display of love for nature. She named her ‘Jane’ after all, so she must be the one responsible for her daughter’s extreme interest in animals and the jungle.

Without proper education, Jane went to Africa to realize her lifelong dream. She was at the right place and was blessed to meet the perfect person—Louis Leakey, an anthropologist. As her interest in observing the wildlife became more and more apparent, she was tasked to observe chimpanzees.

Along with her mother, Jane met more mentors in Gombe Stream National Park. They did not talk but they showed her their way of life by communicating in their own language. David Greybeard, Fifi, and many other chimpanzees welcomed Jane with wide grins and open fury arms.

It did not happen just like that though. Jane, who is the only human known to be accepted into the chimpanzee community up to this time, survived a severe case of malaria and endured bouts of depression before she won David Greybeard over with a piece of banana. As she got to know more about David’s family, Jane realized a lot of things about her own mortality.

Once in every generation, a person like Jane is born—someone who will challenge the norm thereby creating lasting change. Jane was not intimidated by people who are considered “qualified” to write about the subjects she loved. What she lacked in knowledge and educational background, Jane compensated for with genuine passion. That way, she achieved greater things and exceeded society’s expectations.

Her name is Jane and she was born for the jungle.

Top Reasons why Jane Goodall is Extraordinary

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