Jane Goodall Interview on Disneynature's "Chimpanzee" (2012) | Student Handouts
 
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A Few Words with Chimpanzee Champion Jane Goodall
 
In anticipation of Disneynature's breathtaking new film "Chimpanzee," wildlife conservationist and chimp expert Jane Goodall sits down to share her knowledge of chimpanzees and how saving them can help to save the planet.
 
Interview and Publication Date for Citations: April 18, 2012
 
Primatologist Jane Goodall poses with a stuffed monkey (not a chimp) named "Mr. H" (the H stands for hope).

Jane Goodall is considered to be the world's leading expert on chimpanzees.  She began her celebrated career in 1960 with a study on the chimps of Tanzania's Gombe Stream National Park.
   
Jane Goodall and Disneynature's "Chimpanzee"

The chimps filmed for "Chimpanzee" are not part of the group studied by Jane Goodall; this group is being researched by Christophe Boesch.  All the same, Dr. Goodall is happy to promote the movie because not only does she love the film, but a portion of its first week's box office receipts will go toward the Jane Goodall Institute, which aims to protect chimpanzees in the wild.
 
 
Why do chimpanzees need to be protected?

When Dr. Goodall began studying African chimpanzees in 1960, preservation was not a concern.  Since then, however, human encroachment on the rain forests of Africa has resulted in the shrinking of chimpanzees' natural habitat.  The chimpanzee population has decreased by about 70% over the past fifty years.

And as go the chimpanzees, so goes the planet.  By helping to protect the homes of chimpanzees, we are protecting these places whose plants produce so much of the air we breathe (no matter where we live).  Dr. Goodall also recommends that we recycle our cell phones, which contain an element that is mined in the Congo.
   
How does one become a primatologist like Jane Goodall?

Dr. Goodall attended Darwin College at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.  But you don't need to wait until you are in college to begin your study of chimps.

The Roots and Shoots program, a youth initiative of the Jane Goodall Institute, provides numerous opportunities for young people to start learning about animals and conservation.  There are opportunities to learn about the latest chimpanzee research while connecting with experts and other students from around the world.

But whatever you do, do not get a chimpanzee or other wild animal as a pet, warns Dr. Goodall.  We must never forget that chimps are wild animals with up to five times the strength of human beings.
   
Tips for Parents: You Can Learn a Lot from Chimpanzees

We asked Dr. Goodall if her knowledge of primate behavior influenced her own parenting.  Her answer was yes.  According to Dr. Goodall, you can learn a lot about raising children by observing chimpanzees in the wild.  Like humans, some chimps are good parents, while other chimps are bad parents.  The best chimpanzee parents are protective, but not overprotective.  They are loving and show affection.  Most importantly, good chimp parents are playful. 

It is this playfulness which Dr. Goodall hopes she most emulated with her own son, as well as with her three grandchildren, the oldest of which is eighteen years old (and all of whom live in Tanzania, Africa).  Will these youngsters follow in their grandma's footsteps?  The grandkids are still too young to know for certain, but Dr. Goodall tells us that the middle grandchild, a girl named Angel, has expressed an interest in dog rescue.  With a mentor and role model like Jane Goodall, we expect all of these children to do well at whatever they pursue.