Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

As Jane Goodall turns 80, she's as active as ever

Jane Goodall, who turns 80 this year, knows how to work a crowd.

In a packed auditorium in Johannesburg, South Africa, the elegant primatologist from Britain whooped like the chimpanzees she first studied in Tanzania in the early 1960s. She hugged an academic just like, she said, chimps do. She talked about her crush, as a "romantic little 10-year-old," on Tarzan, the fictional figure raised by apes.

"What did he do? He married the wrong Jane," Goodall lamented to laughter Friday at the University of the Witwatersrand, whose officials wished her a happy birthday. Her birthday is actually April 3, and Goodall said she was perplexed by the hoopla.

Goodall, a protege of anthropologist Louis Leakey, documented the relationships and other behavioral patterns of chimpanzees, finding parallels with human conduct that spurred debate about evolution. Now she is an environmental activist, traveling 300 days a year to speak for those species.

She is also part of popular culture. The United Nations designated her a peace messenger. A celebrated photograph shows a chimpanzee reaching out to her in a kind of E.T. moment, reminiscent of the finger touch between alien and child in the movie.

"There's no really sharp line dividing us from the rest of the animal kingdom," Goodall said in an hourlong speech that was part autobiography, part save the planet. But she acknowledged that chimpanzees don't gather in auditoriums, send robots to Mars and communicate with words.

A columnist in News24.com, an online news outlet in South Africa, was impressed, writing that the octogenarian "in a society terrified of aging, makes having reached this milestone seem, well, cool."

Jane Goodall, with a monkey doll she carries in her travels, is on the road about 300 days a year as an environment-al activist speaking for chimpanzees and other species.

Associated Press

Jane Goodall, with a monkey doll she carries in her travels, is on the road about 300 days a year as an environment-al activist speaking for chimpanzees and other species.

As Jane Goodall turns 80, she's as active as ever 02/10/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  2. Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under …

    In a photograph provided by the Russian foreign ministry, President Donald Trump meets with Sergei Lavrov, left, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 10, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in this meeting, where Trump said dismissing FBI Director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him, the New York Times reported on Sept. 20. [Russian Foreign Ministry via  New York Times]
  3. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane Maria demolishes Puerto Rico

    News

    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric …

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  4. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty

    Politics

    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.

  5. Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire 'private briefings' on 2016 campaign, report says

    Nation

    Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, the Washington Post reports.

    Paul Manafort, then Donald Trump's campaign chairman, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. [Associated Press]