“MOST people in Bournemouth have never heard of Jane Goodall,” said the famous conservationist, Dr Jane Goodall.
The modest 76-year-old has dedicated her life to understanding chimpanzees – and has quietly lived on the West Cliff since she was four.
Yesterday saw Jane Goodall Day, organised by local supporters to celebrate the life and work of one of Bournemouth’s most distinguished residents.
The event marked the 50th anniversary of the start of her research with wild chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania.
During the day of events at Bournemouth University, Dr Goodall launched a campaign against the trade in bushmeat.
The Jane Goodall Institute rescues chimpanzee orphans whose parents have been killed for food.
It hopes to raise awareness of the problem and an orphan sanctuary on three islands donated by the Congolese government.
“This has been a problem for a long time,” Dr Goodall, a former pupil at Uplands School in Parkstone, told the Daily Echo.
“But we are using the orphans to educate people about chimpanzees.”
She said the locals were “amazed” to see the chimps embracing, holding hands and kissing, and most never eat a monkey again.
Dr Goodall is best known for her research into the wild chimpanzees at Gombe in Tanzania.
Yesterday’s events also included a film about Jane Goodall’s life and work, an art show with silent auction and a question and answer session.
She gave a lecture – complete with excellent primate impressions – and noted how she only got the money for her first boat ticket to Africa by serving at what is now the Wessex Hotel.
Dr Goodall, who still travels for 300 days a year but enjoys walking the dogs on Bournemouth beach, posed her own questions.
She asked why, if man is the most intellectual creature ever to walk the planet, are we destroying it?
She called for the return of wisdom that looks into the future, not immediate reward, and said: “Every single one of us makes a difference to this planet ever single day that we live.”