Today marks the 50th anniversary of Jane Goodall's pioneering research on chimpanzees at Gombe National Park in Tanzania. She spoke at one of our conferences a while back. Although it was only a featured session, you would have thought she was the keynote speaker with how crowded the room was. Since I should have been working at our HQ offices at the time, I pulled strings, cajoled, and basically pi$$ed off some people for leaving my duties to attend her speech. I did not care. It was well worth it. Somewhat shy and reticent, her passion for animals and the environment came through loud and clear. She is such a positive role model for me.
While she is on the road giving speeches 300 days a year, I read on her website that she is marking the anniversary by going back to Gombe getting reacquainted with her friends (both human and animal). She will be taking a solitary hike up "Jane's Mountain" and then attending a celebration in her honor tonight.
Thank you Jane for letting the world know that chimpanzees are smart, sentient beings with a complex social structure, and not the silly mindless creatures that had been portrayed for years. May you have many more years of health and happiness in advocating for those who have no voice.