Special Video: “The Hug” and Notes on Jane Goodall

I just never know from where, or from whom, I will get my next source of inspiration. It can be something I’ve read, part of a conversation I hear (from classroom or elevator or grocery store), a poster or quote posted on a door or wall, or, sometimes it’s a video I just happen upon …

This was the case here, as I was searching for a video to support a lesson, somehow, I came upon one of the most touching scenes I have ever … well … seen …
It was a video from the Jane Goodall Institute, capturing the story and release of a chimpanzee into the wild … What I was unprepared for was the moment the adult chimpanzee was released … and, her reaction to Jane Goodall, who had never “met” the chimpanzee …

I have always heard that animals and kids were the best judges of character, and what you will see, I think, strongly reinforces that. There are many verses in Scripture which speak of how to treat animals, which Carol used to remind me of, quite often, when our household included cats. Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, for example, all speak of this.

I must admit that, while I had some knowledge of who Jane Goodall is, I really had not taken the time to find out much about her … until I saw this video, and the “hug.”

Jane Goodall is a primatologist most known for her long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. The Gombe chimp observation, which Jane began in 1960, is the world’s longest running continuous wildlife research project. Through her Jane Goodall Institute, she has become equally well known as a conservationist and a champion of human rights.

The older of two sisters, Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England.
Jane Goodall loved animals even as a child. When she was just over one year old, her father gave her a toy chimpanzee, which she named Jubilee. She carried Jubilee with her everywhere. Today, over 75 years later, Jubilee – now completely bald from so many hugs – sits on Jane’s dresser in England!
Her dreams of Africa began with reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting.
Jane goodall wih toy chimp

When Goodall was eighteen she completed secondary school and began working. She worked as a secretary, as an assistant editor in a film studio, and as a waitress, trying to save enough money to make her first trip to Africa.
Jane Goodall finally went to Africa when she was twenty-three years old.
jane goodall with chimp brushing hair

Through her writing and television appearances, Jane became an advocate for conservation, education, and human rights. In 1977, she founded the Jane Goodall Institute, a global non-profit organization. The institute is active in promoting health and conservation in the local communities surrounding the chimpanzee habitats. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, which Jane started with a group of Tanzania students in 1991, is today the Institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program for young people from preschool through university with nearly 150,000 members in more than 120 countries.
Jane Goodall with Chimp

In her book, My Life With Chimpanzees, Jane writes a special message to children: “The most important thing I can say to you — yes, you who are now reading this – is that you, as an individual, have a role to play and can make a difference. You get to choose: do you want to use your life to try to make the world a better place for humans and animals and the environment? Or not? It’s all up to you.”

Now, here’s the video, from about three years ago, with her narration, from the Jane Goodall Institute:

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