Jane Goodall‘s love for animals started long before her first encounter with a chimpanzee.
The legendary primatologist tells PEOPLE she was “born loving animals” and after reading Tarzan of the Apes at just 10 years old, she knew she had found her calling.
“I decided I would have to go to Africa and live with animals and write books about them,” she says. “Eventually I was invited by a school friend and met the famous anthropologist, paleontologist Louis Leakey and he was the one who said would I go study not just any animal but the ones most like us, the chimpanzee.”
But Goodall, 83, admits that working with chimpanzees was not her first choice of animal to study.
“I was in love with elephants,” she says. “It was just that offered me chimps, which fit into what I see as the mission of my life.”
She says it was easier to get scientists to “change their attitude” about animals when she presented her work with chimpanzees because they are biologically more like humans than any other animal.
“Scientists were saying, ‘There’s a sharp line dividing us from the other animals. We’re superior, we’re separate,’ ” she explains. “But other animals are intelligent. …read more
Source:: USA Culture News