Jane: My review

I have always been a huge admirer of the inspirational primatologist that is Dr Jane Goodall. And over the years, I have been lucky enough to meet her on several occasions after being invited to her annual Roots & Shoots ceremonies in London – one of which I was honoured with the role of presenting the prizes alongside her on stage.

Screen Shot 2018-10-24 at 09.24.58

R&S 2013

So when I discovered that National Geographic had made a documentary about her using footage from her first expeditions to Gombe in Africa during the 1960s, I couldn’t have been more excited to watch it.

In it, she talks about what she saw when she looked into a chimpanzees eyes. I remember the first time I truly looked into a chimpanzees eyes. It was at the UK’s primate sanctuary, called Monkey World in Dorset. It was the most incredible experience – watching him stare back at me, analysing every part of what he saw. But I felt this deep sadness in my heart. I felt like I could burst into tears at the thought of what humans are doing to our unique planet; harming these beautiful and intelligent animals by destroying the parts of the forest that they call home.

Jane made such revolutionary discoveries during her time in Africa. To think that she was the first human to have been truly accepted by a group of wild chimpanzees, the likes of whom most probably would have never encountered a human before, was remarkable. Seeing all of the newspaper clippings, from outlets breaking her wonderful story, made me think ” wow, what a time it must have been – for her, for women, for the whole world.”
Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 09.11.27
The story of Flo and Flint, albeit incredibly sad, is a prime example that animals are sentient beings. They have feelings. They care and love one another just like we humans do, and equally have the capacity to grieve for family losses.

Watching the documentary, it was incredible to see how close she became with all the animals – not just the chimpanzees. Her passion for raising awareness of the threats chimpanzees are facing in the wild is clearer than clear. Since October 1986, she hasn’t spent more than three consecutive weeks in any one place. Applauding her for her hard work and dedication would be a severe understatement.

She is an inspiration. She is a role model. She is the real-life Dr Dolittle.

A plot of earth

#51: You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?

Well, it of course all depends on where this plot of land is and how big it is! That said, I’d love to build an animal sanctuary/rehabilitation centre for endangered animals (inspired by the incredible primate sanctuary that is Monkey World). A pretty obvious answer when it comes from someone who works for a National Geographic product, right! But truthfully, something needs to be done about our endangered animals that continue to be poached and evicted from their natural habitats. It’s a shame but I think people don’t realise how serious the situation is – once they’re gone, that’s it!

There’s tonnes of ways you can help save the endangered animals:

EDGE: Evolutionary Distinct & Globally Endangered!

Care 2 petition: signing your names on these is easy and free to do!

Born Free: adopt an animal today for just £2.50 a month (that’s one less coffee a week – easy!)

Kick it

#3: What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

I don’t actually have a physical, written down bucket list (although maybe it should be a 2014 resolution?)… it’s more along the lines of several mental post-it notes of what I want to achieve in my lifetime! My main one though is to travel to Uganda and Borneo to be face-to-face with Mountain Gorillas and Orangutans, since for as long as I can remember, I’ve had an extreme fascination with primates. I have visited Monkey World in Dorset, on several occasions (as they are a rescue centre, not a zoo!) and to show my support I have adopted Bart the chimp, donated unwanted sheets and towels as well as purchasing a paving brick for the ‘Walk of Thanks’ (which can be found near the mischievous Capuchin Monkeys!). I also got the chance to meet a hero of mine in December last year, as mentioned in previous blog posts, in assistanting Dr Jane Goodall on stage at her Roots & Shoots Awards Ceremony – I must admit, I was completely awestruck! 

… I’ll keep you updated if I do ever make a physical bucket list!