Beauty and the Beast (II)

Goodall recalls the life in the Olduvai gorge: “I always remember the feeling of holding the bones of an ancient creature in my hand for the first time. They lived on this land millions of years ago. I think they used to stand here, with life, flesh and hair, they have their own unique sense of smell, can feel hunger, thirst and pain, and enjoy the sun.”

In order to obtain the trust of chimpanzees, Goodall quietly entered the forest area to wait and observe despite they have hostility to her sometimes. She slept in the forest, eating the fruits that eaten by chimpanzees, and sometimes only acting between trees like an orangutan. The grass in the rainforest is tall, the sharp leaves have scratched her skin, and the threat of chimpanzees has been encountered, but Goodall is always insist at risk.

“People often ask me if I miss the comfortable living conditions at home. Sometimes I want to enjoy a beautiful music and enjoy reading literature. But frankly, I feel very happy in this jungle. Living in a simple tent, taking a shower in a lovely creek, although there is hot at noon, sometimes even worms, but they are part of the forest life. This is the life I have been looking forward to.”

Through the research, Goodall discovered that “not only human beings have personality, the ability to think rationally, and expressions such as joy and sadness.” She observed many humanized movements between chimpanzees, such as hugs, and insisted that these movements are “an intimate and supportive ties between chimpanzee families and members of the community, and they have lasted for more than 50 years.” This is the first time that the scientific community proposed that the similarity between humans and chimpanzees is not only at the genetic level, but also in terms of emotions, intelligence, family and social relationships.

Of course, the most important achievement of Goodall is to subvert the two long-standing views of the scientific community – only human beings can make and use tools, and chimpanzees are vegetarian animals. In the 1960s, Goodall noticed that they would peel off the leaves from the branches and then use the branches to reach into the water for fish. In response to this revolutionary discovery, Dr. Louis Leakey, a mentor to Goodall, once wrote: “We must either redefine humans or redefine tools. Otherwise, we can only accept chimpanzees as humans.”

In fact, at the beginning, Goodall only planned to spend three years studying the chimpanzees in the wild, but later, in fact, she spent most of her life.

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