"Chimpanzees are more like humans than any other living animal.
They have personalities--each one is as different from every other.
They have minds that can solve simple problems. They have emotions
like happiness and sadness, anger and frustration, and grief..."
Sheroes are an important element in getting more girls and women
into STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers. Anita
Silvey's Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall can make an important
contribution to this. Published by National Geographic for Kids, it
lives up to their high standards of excellence and has knock out
Goodall is one of those rare individuals with a passion and
focus spanning over 75 years. When she was five she could stay still
for hours to observe an animal. She found formal education boring.
She much preferred being in the natural world. In her twenties she
was able to fulfill her childhood dream of going to Africa to study
chimpanzees. It required time and patience to gain the trust of the
elusive animals. But when she was able to she made an earth shaking
observation. She saw one using a piece of grass to "fish" for
termites. People had thought humans were the only tool users walking
the face of the Earth.
In 1986 at a conference Goodall learned about the horrendous
conditions under which medical research chimps were kept. Her focus
shifted from field research and advocacy. Today, in her eighties, she
travels around the world conducting this crucial work,
Untamed is a great read for budding naturalists and anyone else
with an inquiring mind.
On a personal note, my own little wild at heart beast is celebrating
his 14th birthday. He is a for sure miracle cat. Born with urinary
tract problems, he almost died at 3 and 11. It makes my heart sing
that he is healthy and happy with the energy of a kitten. He is
already getting lots of attention and he will get a new catnip toy
this afternoon. Prayers of any faith for his continued well being
would be greatly appreciated. It is truly a joyous day for the
A great big shout out goes out to Joey and the Veazie Vet crew who
enable him to stay in the game, the many companion animals who add so
much to our lives, and those special professionals who treat all
creatures great and small.
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