Yesterday was one of those days when the phrase “Some of the best things in life are free.” took on a special meaning. I learned via my Facebook page that Jane Goodall, as part of her Gombe 50 Tour of Asia, would be speaking at KIAST (Korea Institute of Applied Science and Technology). I sat spell bound for two hours as she told stories about her work with the chimpanzees in Gombe, Africa. and of other scientists working to bring species back from the brink of distinction.
2010 is Dr. Goodall’s 50th anniversary of working with the chimps at Gombe. I was but a child when she started. I was always (and still am) excited to hear anything and everything about her work. Hard to believe 50 years have passed! When she started working with the chimps there were over one million. Sadly, that number has dwindled to 300,000.
She talked about her work with the chimpanzees, and how their genetic makeup is so similar to man’s. She talked about their brain power and reasoning capabilities. She is also working with the communities surrounding Gombe to improve their standard of living. Dr. Goodall knows that this will benefit the chimpanzees in the long run.
Everyone in the auditorium hung onto every word she shared.
Dr. Goodall shared several stories from her new book “Hope for Animals and the World”. The book chronicles the stories of scientists who have brought back species from the brink of extinction. You can read about it here.
In this shot she is talking about two black robins in New Zealand (called yellow and blue because of their leg bands) who with the help of a scientist increased the number of black robins from seven, YES SEVEN, to over 400.
She also shared the story of how Americas yellow back beetle was saved from extinction.
In this shot, using her interpreter, she is showing how chimps groom each other.
Dr. Goodall is working hard to get today’s youth involved in both environmental and humanitarian issues. She acknowledged that our earth is in bad shape, but firmly believes that young people around the world can make a positive difference. She was in Korea and Daejeon to encourage Korean youth to take up the cause. Her organization now sponsors youth groups in 121 countries involved in humanitarian and environmental projects.
You can read more about Dr. Goodall….her past and current work at janegoodall.org. She is an amazing human being and her passion is a true inspiration.