For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
During the summer I went to an event at the nature and science museum. It was a fundraiser, and Jane Goodall was going to be there! I have to admit, it was a little nerve wrecking.
You might ask “What does this have anything to do with animals?”
Well, as you might know, she is one of the most well-known naturalists for her work with chimpanzees. During her research, which spans 50 years, she learned a lot of interesting facts about chimpanzees that were total game changers. One thing that she discovered about these apes was that they used tools to get food. One example of this is when a chimpanzee used a stick to dig in a termite mound. At first she was unsure if they ate other animals but she confirmed it when she watched a chimpanzee capture and devour a bush baby. It lead to the conclusion that chimps are omnivores.
She also discovered that chimpanzees can recognize faces. Like a group of chimpanzees (also called a cartload) she was studying were hostile toward her first. But, they grew friendlier toward her as she began to stay around more and more. She earned their trust by grooming other chimpanzees to tell them that she respected them and that they have a higher stature in the group than her.
Louis Leakey, a famous archaeologist and naturalist, met up with Jane Goodall in 1957. At first, people were unsure if Jane Goodall could become a naturalist. Back then, men thought that women didn’t really amount to anything, so it was difficult for women to enter certain disciplines like the sciences. It was really rare to find a woman naturalist. But Jane Goodall was determined. That is how she became the great naturalist she is today.
She showed men and women that she could make ground-breaking contributions by discovering helpful facts about chimpanzees. That is why I really wanted to meet her. And meet her I did!
Kids can do things, too. Just because you are a kid and you are around an adult or someone famous doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up and act on your opinion-especially if an animal or person is at stake.
When I met Jane Goodall, it was so scary. It’s not every day you meet a famous naturalist. But, I acted calm and proud, and it wasn’t so scary after all. If you act like that you can be like Jane Goodall, who worked to achieve her dreams even though some people didn’t believe in her.
Kids can make change too and all you have to do is speak up about what you think is right and tell other people what they can do to help. Make a change.
Mom Note: Special thanks to the Morgridge Family Foundation for helping Zoe get a ticket for this amazing event!