Jane (2017) Movie Script

I think I've read
somewhere, maybe someone told me
that when you were a child
you used to dream as a man.
I was typically a man,
I went on adventures.
How come?
Probably because
at the time I wanted to
do things which men did
and women didn't.
You know going to Africa,
living with animals, that's
all I ever thought about.
Everything led in the most
natural way, it seems now,
to that magical invitation to
Africa in 1957 where I
would meet Dr. Louis Leakey,
who had sent me on
my way to Gombe
and the chimpanzees.
I had no training, no degree.
But Louis didn't care
about academic credentials.
What he was looking for was
someone with an open mind,
with a passion for knowledge,
with a love of animals, and
with monumental patience.
My mission was to get
close to the chimpanzees,
to live among them,
to be accepted.
I wanted to come as close to
talking to animals as I could,
to be like Doctor Doolittle.
I wanted to move among them
without fear, like Tarzan.
The huge, gnarled, and ancient
trees, the little streams
chuckling their way through
rocky pathways to the lake.
The birds. The insects.
Since I was eight or nine
years old, I had dreamed
of being in Africa,
of living in the bush
among wild animals.
And suddenly, I found I was
actually living in my dream.
I already felt that I belonged
to this new forest world.
That this was where
I was meant to be.
When I arrived in Gombe,
I had no idea what I was
going to do except that
I was going to try and get
the chimpanzees used to me,
so that I could really learn
about what they were doing.
That was, that was in the
back of my mind because
I'd watched other animals,
and the only way to
learn about them is when
they know you're there but
they ignore you.
Except they
can rip your face off.
-Well, I didn't know that.
I didn't think about that!
There was nobody
talking about that.
There was no fear
of chimpanzees in the wild?
-You have to realize that back
then, there were no people out
in the field whose research I
could read about except this
one man, and he saw chimps
once or maybe twice in the
three months of his study.
And then much earlier on,
there was this crazy man who
painted himself with
baboon shit, I think, and sat
in hides, in hopes that
chimps would appear.
There were plenty of snakes,
many poisonous snakes.
And to be honest,
I always believed that
if you walk carefully,
you don't startle a snake,
you don't tread on it,
they're not going to hurt you.
I had this probably crazy
feeling, 'nothing's going to
hurt me, I'm meant to be here."
I watched them feeding in
a large fig tree, calling
noisily from time to time.
The trees came alive.
And so began one of the most
exciting periods of my life.
The time of discovery.
My life fell into a rhythm.
Day after day.
In the sun, the
wind and the rain.
I climbed into the
hills and stayed with the
chimps from dawn...
until darkness fell.
Most times I would
encounter a group of
chimps or a single chimp,
but there were times when I
couldn't find them at all.
And when I tried to get
closer, they ran off
as soon as they saw me.
I was an intruder.
And a strange one at that.
As I am not a defeatist,
it only made my determination
to succeed stronger.
I never had any
thought of quitting.
I should forever have
lost all self respect
if I had given up.
I became totally absorbed
into this forest existence.
I could give myself up to
the sheer pleasure of being on
my own in the rugged terrain
that I was coming to know
as well as I had known the
Bournemouth cliffs as a child.
It was an unparalleled period.
When aloneness
was a way of life.
And even as I was, bit by bit,
piecing together something
of their way of life,
so they were getting
used to the sight of
the strange white ape.
In those days,
it was not thought at
all safe for a young,
single girl to go into
the wilds of Africa.
I had to choose a companion.
It was my mother
who volunteered.
Mom set up a clinic; she
handed out medicine to many
of the local fisherman.
Patients would walk for
miles to get treatment.
What was your relationship
like with your father?
I didn't really
know my father.
He went off to the war.
When war broke out I
was five and of course
I hugely admired him,
but he didn't really
care about children.
So, I couldn't say I had
a relationship with him.
I think the most important
part about my mother
was that she listened.
She was always fair.
She was never angry
without a reason.
She supported me and
my love of animals.
She never said,
"Well, you're just a girl.
You can't do that.
Why don't you dream about
something you can achieve?"
Which is what
everybody else told me.
So it was my mother who really
built up my self-esteem.
Like most children before
the age of TV and computer
games, I loved being outside.
Playing in the secrets
places in the garden,
learning about nature.
I spent many hours high above
the ground at the top of my
favorite tree and
I would read up there in my
own leafy and private world.
It was daydreaming about life
in the forest with Tarzan that
lead to my determination to go
to Africa to live with animals
and write books about them.
I never had any aspiration
of being married
and having a family.
It just didn't come
into my way of thinking.
It simply wasn't there.
Going to Africa,
living with animals.
That's all I ever thought about.
We were by no
means a wealthy family, so
university wasn't an option.
But I still wanted to
work with animals in
some far off place.
I got a job as a waitress.
I saved my wages and my
tips, every penny I could...
to get me to Africa.
But even though I was
living my childhood dream, I
couldn't help but be concerned
because I couldn't get
close to the chimps.
I didn't know if they
would ever get used to me.
And time was running out.
How frustrating
was it trying to study
them in those early days?
-It was probably mostly
frustrating because
they kept running away.
And while chimpanzees are
running away from you, you
can't really get down to the
details of their behavior and
in the back of my mind it was
always the fear if I don't
find out something exciting.
The money will
run out cause all my earlier
observations were either chimps
close up running away
or sitting on the peak
or some other spot and
watching them
through binoculars.
And so, you know, from
those early observations
it was very clear
that I wasn't really
learning anything much.
I'd been in Gombe
for five months.
It had been a
frustrating morning.
I had tramped up and down
three different valleys
in search of chimps,
but had found none.
I soon recognized
the adult male less
fearful than the others whom I
already knew by sight
because of the distinctive
white hair on his chin.
And unlike the
others, he didn't run.
After months of patient
and tireless observation,
I had been rewarded.
The chimps had accepted me.
And gradually I was able to
penetrate further and further
into a magic world that no
human had explored before.
The world of the
wild chimpanzees.
Finally, I was
allowed to observe the
chimpanzees closely.
I learned that chimpanzees
spend long hours
in grooming sessions.
They, like us, need friendly
contact and reassurance.
As I got to know them as
individuals I named them.
David Greybeard, with
his calm and dignified
personality and often
he was accompanied
by the top ranking male
at the time, Goliath.
Mr. McGregor, a somewhat
belligerent old male,
and then there was Flo,
with her bulbous nose and
ragged ears along with
her infant daughter Fifi.
Staring into
the eyes of a chimpanzee,
I saw a thinking,
reasoning personality
looking back.
I was learning from some
of the most fascinating
creatures of our times.
And I realized that they
were all part of one group.
A community.
And the more I learned,
the more I realized how like
us they were in so many ways.
At that time in the early
1960's it was held at
least by many scientists
that only humans had minds.
Only humans were capable
of rational thought.
Fortunately, I had not
been to university, and I
did not know these things.
I felt very much as though
I was learning about fellow
beings capable of joy and
sorrow, fear, and jealousy.
Louis Leakey sent me to Gombe
because he believed that an
understanding of chimpanzees
in the wild would help him to
better guess how our Stone Age
ancestors may have behaved.
It had long been thought
that we were the only
creatures on earth that used
and made tools.
Man the toolmaker is
how we were defined.
And here was David
Greybeard using a tool.
It was hard for me to
believe what I had seen.
A few days later I watched
spellbound as chimps set
off to a termite mound,
picked a small leafy
twig, then stripped
it of its leaves.
That was object modification.
The crude beginning
of tool making.
It had never been seen before.
When I telegramed the news to
Louis Leakey he responded that
we must now redefine man
or accept chimpanzee's as human.
My observations at Gombe would
challenge human uniqueness and
whenever that happens...
there is always
a violent uproar.
There were some who would try to
discredit my observations
because I was a young,
untrained girl and should,
therefore, be disregarded.
The result of it all, however,
was that Louis was able
to obtain a grant from the
National Geographic Society
to continue my study.
In addition, they would be
sending out a photographer
to document the chimpanzees.
Hi, I'm Jane.
Jane, for someone who
enjoyed your solitude,
were you concerned
about bringing another
person into your...
No, I wasn't
particularly happy, but
it was part of the deal.
Geographic funds you.
They must cover the research.
It was my project.
And he came to, you know,
document my project.
And I just didn't want
anybody coming into
my little paradise.
What were your
first impressions of Hugo?
-Well, Hugo smoked.
He almost chained smoked.
And all the butts on
the floor, oh I have
always hated smoking.
And he was a perfectionist.
It drove me nuts.
But at the same time, you know,
he was a nice looking guy and
his voice was quiet.
-The first evening Hugo
spent telling me about the
films that he'd made and his
childhood and how he
had always wanted to
photograph animals.
So we had a lot in common.
And I think it was pretty
obvious to me right from the
start that I was a subject of
interest as well as the chimps.
One day we were greeted
with fantastic news.
A chimp had crept into
my tent and had taken some
bananas left from my supper.
Perhaps he would come again.
And so the next day,
Hugo and I waited.
As the hours went by, I
began to fear that the
chimp wouldn't come.
Then a black shape
appeared on the other
side of the clearing.
I recognized him at once.
It was David Greybeard.
I could hardly believe it.
For months the chimps had been
running off when they saw me.
Now one had actually
visited my camp.
After that I always had a
supply of bananas ready.
The chimps often came to
camp looking for bananas.
And gradually they allowed
me to get closer and closer.
It was absolutely thrilling to
have the chimpanzees so close,
but the bananas feedings
were not without problems.
As they lost their fear of
us, the chimps quickly proved
to be unconscionable thieves.
They would steal blankets,
cloths from the kitchen,
shirts and pillows,
and cardboard boxes-
wonderful things to chew on.
No longer did the chimpanzees
arrive in small quiet parties.
Instead, they invaded
our camp in huge groups and
aggressive competition between
chimpanzees increased.
Occasionally, we
had to seek shelter.
And the aggression
became more serious.
In order to stop the
aggression, we decided to
create the feeding station.
With the hope that it would
control their aggressive
tendencies and bring peace.
Now, using hand operated steel
boxes we could manage the
feeding in an organized way.
As a result, we were able
to make closer observations
than ever before.
Old Flo was easy to
identify, she had a bulbous
nose and ragged ears.
Flo was the top ranked
female of her community
and could dominate all
the other females.
But none of the adult males.
For in chimpanzee society
males are the dominant sex.
One day she came to camp
with a pink swelling
on her backside.
It was a sign that she
was ready for mating.
Many of the males
quickly realized and
began their pursuit.
She was followed by a
long line of suitors.
It was from Flo
that I first learned that
in the wild female chimps do
not just have one mate.
She allowed them all
to mate with her.
And Fifi hated it.
It must
have been exciting to have
been joined by someone who
shared your passions.
-No, that's right.
We both loved being out in
nature and we both loved
the work we were doing.
We just got on very well.
Hugo's time in Gombe
was almost over.
I cared for him, and I
knew that I would miss him,
but then after he had left I
received a telegram.
When you and
Hugo decided to get married,
what were your plans?
You know honestly, we
didn't really make long term
plans, we really didn't.
We just wanted to go back
to Gombe and make films.
When we returned to Gombe,
there was wonderful news.
Flo gave birth to a son.
I called him Flint.
When Flint was born it gave
Hugo and I the opportunity to
initiate a study that could
last 50 years.
And it was the first time
an infant chimpanzee and the
relationship between parent
and child could be observed
so closely in the wild.
As a mother Flo was
tolerant, and nurturing
and used distraction
rather than punishment
to teach her small infant.
Fifi soon became
utterly preoccupied
with her infant brother.
She tried to handle him.
But Flo very gently
prevented her.
Eventually though as soon as
she was allowed she played
with him, groomed him,
and carried him around.
Indeed, she became a
real help to her mother.
What was it
about Flo that you admired?
- Well, she was all things
that a chimp mother should be.
She was protective, but
not over protective.
She was affectionate, she was
playful, but being supportive.
That was the key and of course
that is what my mother was.
She supported me.
And there is no question that
those close contacts with
Flo and her family were very
important to my own development.
It was just so amazing to have
this sort of relationship.
Together, the chimpanzees
and the birds and the insects,
the teeming life
of the vibrant forest,
formed one whole.
All part of the great mystery.
And I was part of it too.
All the time, I was
getting closer to animals
and nature and as a result,
closer to myself and more
in tune with the spiritual
power that I felt all around.
I thought, as I have so
often since, what an amazing
privilege it was to be utterly
accepted thus by a
wild, free animal.
-Truth is stranger than
fiction and fiction can be
transformed into prophecy.
Here we have a perfect example
of that evolution, with this
lovely English lady called
Jane and likewise traded her
comfortable home in England
for the primitive life of the
African wilderness
among the African apes.
And now I give myself
the rewarding pleasure
of presenting to you
Miss Jane Goodall.
David Graybeard is
a chimpanzee who has put
his complete trust in man.
Surely it's up to us to see
that at least some of these
nearly human creatures survive
in their natural habitat.
- Jane Goodall tall,
blonde and beautiful.
Jane Goodall living
with the chimpanzees in
the wilds of Africa...
I was the
Geographic covergirl.
And people said well my
fame was due to my legs.
Well, I mean, it was so
stupid, it didn't bother me.
It was really very useful
because by this time I was
needing to raise money myself,
so I made use of it.
Hugo and
I successfully applied
for additional funding,
to build up a research
station in Gombe.
And we accepted students so
that we could take advantage
of the increased opportunity
for collecting data.
Jane Goodall
came back from Africa just
a few weeks ago.
Since then, she's been
traveling around Europe
and across America,
telling zoologists.
It is a very great
pleasure for Hugo and me
to be with you here tonight.
-Dr. Goodall and her husband
have been filming
and studying...
-Hugo, a Dutchman, came
to Africa to film her studies
and they later married.
-She and her Husband, Baron
Hugo van Lawick, are now the
leading experts in the study
of chimpanzees, their research
station in Gombe in Tanzania.
-I am absolutely
full of admiration for
somebody who can go and live
alone in a jungle and do this
sort of work that you did.
Were you ever really
very frightened?
-Sometimes I was
frightened especially
of things like leopards,
but it was the
kind of life I had always
dreamed of myself living.
And it was so fascinating
that nothing could deter me.
What about
the actual significance
of the studies?
We feel quite strongly
that one of the goals
of continuing work is to
increasingly relate our
understanding of chimpanzee
behavior to human behavior.
How long are
you going to be associated
with the chimpanzees?
Oh I should say it's
a rough guess until I die,
but I can't tell you how
many years that will be.
But I think one of the most
valuable things has been this
film record which has been
kept and we are hoping
that Hugo will be able to
come back and carry on.
Especially as the
last three months gave
such fantastic film,
better than all the
rest put together.
It seems to me vitally
important that somebody
should be there.
-Unless there is something
else to discuss we
will adjourn the meeting.
- Geographic ended the funding
for Hugo just like that.
But it was
always an assignment and
assignments when you're a
cameraman come to an end.
It was very upsetting,
unfortunate and sad.
And it was like,
well what do we do?
You know, how do we?
Cause I wanted to go on
at Gombe and he couldn't.
It was simple like that.
So then I had to change
everything actually.
We had to find other work to
do, which we did of course.
On the Serengeti.
We had students at Gombe
and we used to talk to them on
the radio telephone just about
every day I think.
So I would write books,
and Hugo would make films.
Was it difficult
for you to not be at Gombe?
Well, because I had a
jolly good team of students
at Gombe and I heard what
was happening all the time,
it wasn't too bad at all.
I had all this
finding out to do.
So, I was getting on with
writing and I was able to
watch other animals and that
gave me a wider perspective.
I understood more
animals better than if
I hadn't left Gombe.
From the moment when we stood
on the Serengeti plains, it
had been as though an unseen
hand had drawn back a curtain.
The mystery of evolution
was all around us.
I was awed by the beauty.
We didn't sit
down and talk about
shall we have children or
anything like that.
But Grub came along
so, that was that.
It was just one of the things
that happened, you know.
You got married and you got
pregnant, and you had a baby.
I don't remember contemplating
what this would do
to me, what it would do to us,
how it would be, but the
idea of having a baby after
Flo had a baby and I thought
I would watch my baby and
see the difference.
And of course, Grub would
be with us on the Serengeti.
I had planned to do a
decent study and keep
notes and everything,
watching for the development
stages in Grub, just as
I had done with the chimps.
And catching it on film
seemed a jolly good idea,
but it doesn't work with
your own child.
I just found that I didn't
want to do it, I wanted just
to be there in the moment.
For the first three years
of his life, I wasn't
away one single night.
I was always there.
Of course, like all mothers,
I wanted to give my son the
best possible start in life,
and I had to choose between
various sources of advice.
There was my own mother,
there was Dr. Spock,
and there was Flo.
There is no doubt that
my observations of the
chimpanzees helped me to
be a better mother.
But I found also that the
experience of being myself
a mother helped me better
understand chimpanzee
maternal behavior.
It was not until
Grub came along, for example,
that I began to understand
the basic powerful
instincts of mother love.
How much more easily I could
now understand the feelings
of a chimpanzee mother who
furiously waved her
arms and barked out threats
to any who approached her
infant too closely.
When Grub was little,
it was dangerous
for him at Gombe.
Chimpanzees eat other primates.
We are a primate.
They have been known
to take infant humans.
I wasn't going to risk
my little precious son.
So when we went to
Gombe, it was a cage.
It had been made at a time
when some of the chimps became
very aggressive towards Hugo.
And so Grub sat in a cage.
But it was painted blue and
there were mobiles hanging
down and it was very lovely.
I had thought that I could
raise a child and carry on
with my work at the same time.
It was not so.
I stopped following the
chimps; the students and
field staff did that.
I merely administered
the research station.
Eventually, we spent the
bulk of our time working
on the Serengeti.
I was Hugo's assistant
and I was mother to Grub.
From Nairobi,
in a small bush plane
it's a two hour flight to
en Dudu Tanzania.
Our purpose was to meet Grub,
the three and a half year old
son of Doctor Jane Goodall
and Hugo van Lawick.
Born and raised in Africa,
who speaks to animals,
English to his parents,
and perfect Swahili
to his only playmate,
a 40-year-old African.
This child has spent
three quarters of
his life in Africa,
and I don't mean in
a Nairobian cities.
I mean in really remote areas.
You'll make a sound for me?
-What does a zebra say, Grub?
A bit louder. That's right.
And what about a hyena?
That's a beauty.
Now lion?
Tell me
some stories about raising
the child here, Hugo.
-Well, one of the first things
we had to do when he was tiny
was teach him of the dangers in
the bush, so we showed them
to him and say, "Ow, ow," and
teach him that he was to stay
away from these animals.
Did you
learn anything from watching
chimps and raising children?
I'm told that a chimp baby
is just given so much love.
Is that a good, do you
think you could transfer
that to our lives?
Does it have a meaning?
-With Grub, we gave him
immense amounts of love and
security, and everyone said,
"Oh, he'll be so
dependent on you.
He'll never make his
own way in the world."
It seems to myself,
the opposite.
he reaches six, Grublin
will have to be taken to
England for schooling.
I hope, in the process
of being educated,
he never forgets what he
has already learned.
Hello, hello, hello.
Anynews with you? Any news
with you? Over.
- I just talked to and I think they are coming.
- Over.
Ok, ok,
have received you.
I'll be joining you soon.
Over and out, over and out.
It was a horrible time,
one after the other.
Chimpanzees came
in, dragging limbs.
Some of them were okay.
But McGregor, both legs gone.
Unable to use even one arm.
It was awful.
We immediately found that we
could vaccinate the chimps.
It was a bit late, but
maybe it would have
gone on if we hadn't.
But, McGregor, he
had to be shot.
Did someone say,
"Let nature take its course?"
I didn't care what anybody said.
I was going to help
the chimps if I could.
I couldn't watch an animal
suffering anymore than I
could watch a human suffering
and not help if I could.
I see no difference
between helping a human
and helping an animal.
I mean, yes we could
have gone on and fed him
everyday and kept him alive
for what reason?
To be honest, if that
happens to me, I do not wish
to be kept alive either.
Were you
ever concerned that you
might've carried it in?
The first examples of polio
were not from our chimps.
They were way to the
south, and that's where
the human polio was.
So I didn't feel responsible
for introducing it.
Although, for sure, it
could pass on more because
they were coming together.
But it didn't start
with us which was very
reassuring, actually.
After the incident, it
was no longer permitted
to touch the chimpanzees.
Gombe would never
be quite the same.
I wanted nothing more than
to be with the chimpanzees,
and I made the decision
to spend more time in Gombe.
Grub stayed with me.
So in the morning, I
would do analysis of
data, administration,
that sort of thing.
Then I would spend about one
to two hours up in a chimp
camp with the students and
looking at the chimps.
And then every afternoon
was his, totally.
And he
loved chimpanzees?
- No, he did not.
He hated them.
He's never loved chimpanzees.
I tried to homeschool him.
I felt a bit isolated
at that time.
But there were always one
or two students who would
come along and provide
that sort of, you know,
emotional support that I think
sometimes is very important.
And of course Hugo was away
somewhere else filming so he
wasn't there to, to help.
I mean that was
the deal, that was his work.
Flint was now an adolescent.
And old Flo, she was
now a grandmother.
Fifi had an infant of her own.
A new generation of
Flo's family to study.
But even though he was at
an age, when most males begin
to spend time away from their
mothers, Flint was
still dependent on Flo.
By this time she must've
been close to 50 years old.
But Flint insisted
on riding her back.
Flint was still suckling.
Flo would push him away, and
he cried, and he screamed,
and he got very, very clingy
and very, very dependent.
She was too old to push
him to independence.
You more than
anyone knew the importance
of socialization,
were you concerned about Grub?
-Well, Grub was school
age, and I couldn't go on
homeschooling him anymore.
So, it was decided that
he would start school in
England and live with Mom.
And I quite well remember
when I had to leave him.
And how awful and
betraying I felt.
But, it was better for Grub.
In Christmas and Spring,
I went to the UK.
In the summer,
he came out to Tanzania.
Back at Gombe
now, Dr. Goodall, what kind
of enterprise is it today?
- Well today, it's the Gombe
Stream Research Center.
There are anything between
six and twelve scientists
working on different aspects
of chimp or baboon behavior.
And there are also students
studying for their PhD degrees
or doing postdoctoral work on
specific aspects
of chimp behavior, which
is you know, quite a big
little scientific community.
Flo died as she crossed
the clear, fast-flowing
Kokombe stream.
She looked so peaceful.
It was as if her heart had
suddenly just stopped beating.
Flint sat on the bank of
the stream near Flo's body.
From time to time he
approached her as though
begging her to groom him,
to comfort him as
she had always done
throughout his life.
Finally, Flint moved away.
His depression worsened.
He stopped eating.
He stayed mostly alone.
And in this state of
grief, he fell sick.
It was as though without
his mother, he no longer
had the will to live.
And about three weeks after
Flo died, Flint died too.
After the death of Flo,
the chimpanzee community,
whose members I had come to
know so well, began to divide.
As chimps of one group
started to spend more time
in the southern part of
the range over which the
whole community roamed.
By separating themselves,
it was as though they had
forfeited their right to be
treated as community members.
Instead, they were
treated as strangers.
Our idyllic world,
our little paradise, had
been turned upside down.
The once peaceful seeming
chimpanzees were heavily
engaged in what amounted to a
sort of primitive warfare.
The entire community that
moved south was annihilated.
It must have
been a very dark time for you.
It was a very,
very dark time, it was.
I thought they were like
us, but nicer than us.
I had no idea of the
brutality that they can show.
Took me awhile to come
to terms with that.
War had always seemed to me
to be a purely human behavior.
I had come to accept that the
dark and evil side of human
nature was deeply embedded in
our genes, inherited from our
ancient primate ancestors.
You and Hugo
had been in different places.
Did you feel yourselves
drifting apart?
-Well, you do drift apart
when you're in two different
places and you have
different goals in a way.
Hugo wasn't anymore
content with just
being at Gombe for me,
he needed to be in
the Serengeti for him.
Were you
struggling to try and keep
the marriage together?
-Well for Grub's sake, but
we'd begun bickering by then,
and so you have to weigh up,
you know, is it better to stay
together or to subject your
child to constant bickering's.
He wanted me to leave
Gombe, because there was no
way he could stay and work,
but I couldn't.
It was my life, and he had his.
During the trying time of my
divorce, it was all very sad.
Especially for Grub, for
he of course loved us both.
But I realized that my
experience in the forest
had given me perspective.
In the forest, death
is not hidden; it's all
around you, all the time.
A part of the endless
cycle of life.
Chimpanzees are born,
they grow older, they
get sick, and they die.
And always there are the
young ones that carry on
the life of the species.
Louis Leakey sent me to Gombe
with the hope that a better
understanding of chimpanzee
behavior might provide us
with a window on our past.
Our study of the chimpanzees
had helped to pinpoint not
only the similarities between
them and us, but also
those ways in which
we are most different.
Admittedly, we're not the only
beings with personalities,
reasoning powers, altruism,
and emotions, nor are we the
only beings capable of mental
as well as physical suffering.
But our intellect has grown
mightily in complexity since
the first true men branched
off from the ape men's stalk
some two million years ago.
And we, and only we, have
developed a sophisticated
spoken language.
For the first time in
evolution, a species evolved
that was able to teach its
young about objects
and events not present,
to pass on wisdom gleaned
from the successes and
the mistakes of the past.
With language we can ask
as can no other living being,
those questions about who we
are and why we are here.
And this highly developed
intellect means surely, that
we have a responsibility
towards the other life forms
of our planet, whose continued
existence is threatened by the
thoughtless behavior of
our own human species.
My life, the time, was perfect.
I was spending
time in the field,
I was writing a book,
I had students so the
research was secure and
I could be with my son.
Who's my life for
the rest of my life?
It was better than
anything I dreamed of.
But I knew that
the chimpanzees across
Africa were disappearing.
So that's when I realized that
I had to raise awareness about
the plight of chimps in Africa
and the role that I must
play is to make sure that
the next generation are
better stewards than we've been.
And I needed to take that
message to the world.
And since that time, which
was October 1986, I haven't
been more than three weeks
consecutively in any one place.
When I look back over my
life, it seems I've been
extraordinarily lucky.
Although as my mother
Vanne always says, luck
was only part of the story.
She's always believed
that success comes through
determination and hard work
and that the fault is not
in our stars, but in ourselves
that we are underlings.
I certainly believe that's true.
Yet though I had worked hard
all my life, I must admit
that the stars seemed to have
played their part too.