Fifty years among the chimps

One of the rewards of journalism is meeting world figures who care so much for the environment. I was in awe when I met Jane Goodall, first in 2006, then again this year.  This year  marks Goodall’s  50th  anniversary of her expedition to the Gombe National Park in Tanzania to study, then later become a champion of chimpanzees.  Her dedication to the chimpanzees, to conservation, and to educating children is astounding.   But she startled me when she greeted a small gathering at the Los Angeles Zoo with a loud chimpanzee-like shriek.  From my story:

GRIFFITH PARK – Renowned primatologist Jane Goodall stepped up to the podium with the gentle ease of a dignitary.

With her silver hair woven neatly into her trademark ponytail, Goodall was about to tell a gathering at the L.A. Zoo Sunday about the serious threats facing her beloved chimpanzees in the jungles of Tanzania.

But before tackling such serious issues, the 72-year-old ape expert greeted her guests with a primordial scream.

“Woop whooooo! Woop whooooo!” a gleeful Goodall chirped in the language of the great apes she has closely studied for nearly five decades.

 Here’s my full story from 2006  (L.A. Daily News).

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