Jane FAQ's

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  1. When is Dr. Jane's Birthday?
    Dr. Jane was born in London, England, on April 3, 1934.
  2. What is Dr. Jane doing now?
    At any moment, the most likely place to find Jane Goodall is on an airplane. "Dr. Jane," as many people call her, spends most of her time carrying her message of conservation and individual action all around the world. She travels an incredible amount of the time, giving lectures, visiting schools and community groups and meeting young people involved in her Roots & Shoots global youth program. She is not able to spend much time at the Gombe Stream Research Centre, site of almost 40 years of study on wild chimpanzees. The time Jane is able to spend there with the chimps is precious to her.
  3. Does Dr. Jane still write about chimpanzees?
    Dr. Jane is always publishing new books about her life and work with the chimpanzees. Other members of Dr. Jane’s research team also publish books and articles about their work at the Gombe Stream Research Center.
  4. Does Jane meet with kids when she travels?
    Jane Goodall spends her time traveling all over the world, all year long, to talk with adults and children about conservation and the ability we all have to make a difference. She values the hope, creativity, and energy of children, and takes their questions and input quite seriously. Dr. Jane often spends time meeting young people involved in her Roots & Shoots environmental education program to learn what they are doing for the environment, animals and their community.
  5. How long did Dr. Jane live in Africa?
    Dr. Jane first traveled to Africa in 1960. She also has a home in Bournemouth, England.
  6. How did Jane survive in the Gombe forest?
    When Jane was sent to Gombe, many people had doubts whether she would succeed. The risks in such a study were great. Would she be able to get close enough to the chimpanzees to make observations? Would the chimpanzees or some other wild animal attack her? What if she became sick? In fact, Jane spent many months without being able to observe the chimpanzees from nearby. But then she found a mountaintop, "the Peak," where she could watch them through her binoculars. She would sometimes spend days on the Peak, bringing only some tins of food and coffee with her. She was patient, and took time to build up the chimps' trust of her. When she observed chimpanzees making and using tools and eating meat, she knew others would see the importance of her work and that she would get the funding she needed to continue
  7. What advice would Jane give to a future Jane?
    Jane’s mother always gave her great advice, and it’s the same advice that Jane shares with those who are looking to pursue their dream. If you really want to do this, you’re going to have to work really hard, take advantage of opportunities, and never give up.
  8. What are Jane's thoughts about bigfoot?
    Jane has said that she is fascinated by the idea of the existence of an as of yet undiscovered ape species living in the wild. As a self-described romantic, has always wanted them to exist. She has read many accounts of bigfoot sightings and thinks that bigfoot is a real possibility.
  9. Does Jane go into the office every day?
    Jane travels over 300 days of the year, so she can’t always make it into the office.
  10. Is Jane still alive?
    Yes!
  11. Was Jane ever scared in the forest?
    Click here to hear Jane answer this question.
  12. Is Dr. Jane married?
    Dr. Jane was married twice. She was married first to Hugo van Lawick; however, they decided to divorce. Dr. Jane’s second husband Derek Bryceson died of cancer after they had been married only six years.
  13. Does Dr. Jane have any kids?
    Jane has a son named Hugo Eric Louis; however, he is known as "Grub" to his family and friends. He lives in Tanzania in the little guest house next to Dr. Jane’s house on the shore of the Indian Ocean.
  14. Does Dr. Jane have any pets?
    When she was young, Dr. Jane had a canine companion named Rusty. Rusty did not belong to Dr. Jane; he lived in a hotel around the corner. Dr. Jane used to take him for walks and play with him. Two dogs, Spoof and Mona Lisa, live with Dr. Jane at her present home in Tanzania.
  15. Does Dr. Jane have any brothers or sisters?
    Jane has a younger sister named Judy.
  16. Does Dr. Jane still have Jubilee?
    Jubilee is a life-like toy chimpanzee that Jane’s father gave her when she was just over a year old. Friends warned her parents that such a gift would cause nightmares for a child. But Jane loved the toy, and to this day Jubilee sits on a chair in her home in England.
  17. How was Jane able to go to Africa and study chimpanzees?
    From childhood, Jane wanted to go to Africa to live among animals and write about them. Her family was not wealthy, and Jane's dream was an unconventional one for a girl at that time. But Jane's mother always told her that if she tried hard enough and believed in herself, she would find a way. In 1956, a close friend named Marie-Claud (know as 'Clo') Mange invited her to Kenya. To earn money for her fare to and from Africa, Jane quit her job, moved back home and became a waitress. That summer she "worked herself to the bone." Finally, in 1957, Jane embarked on her ocean voyage to Kenya. Once there, she met famed anthropologist and archeologist Louis S.B. Leakey. He hired Jane as an assistant/secretary, and eventually asked if she would be interested in studying a group of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania.
  18. Why did Dr. Jane’s mom go to Africa with Dr. Jane?
    At first, British authorities resisted the idea of a young woman living among wild animals in Africa. But they finally agreed to Louis Leakey's proposal when Jane's mother, Vanne, volunteered to accompany her for several months.
  19. What is Dr. Jane’s favorite animal?
    As you might have guessed, Dr. Jane loves all animals, but chimpanzees will always hold a special place in her heart.
  20. Is Dr. Jane a vegetarian?
    Click here to see Dr. Jane answer this question.
  21. How old was Dr. Jane when she started working with chimpanzees?
    Dr. Jane was 26 years old when she arrived on Lake Tanganyika in East Africa to study the area's chimpanzee population.
  22. Is David Greybeard Dr. Jane’s favorite chimpanzee?
    David Greybeard is among Dr. Jane’s favorite chimpanzees. He was the first chimpanzee to trust Dr. Jane enough to approach her. He was also one of the chimpanzees Jane first observed making and using a tool to "fish" for termites.
  23. Does Dr. Jane communicate with chimpanzees?
    Jane mostly observes the chimpanzees. But sometimes she and the other scientists have to communicate a message -- for example, that they are not threats. They will do this by avoiding direct eye contact with the chimpanzees and having a submissive posture (such as a crouch).