In March of 2015, during the height of the Ebola crisis, the New York Blood Center(NYBC), a U.S. based research institution, stopped paying for the care of over 60 of its chimpanzees. These chimps which were used in hepatitis research at a center in Liberia, were then left on islands to live out their lives. The research project they were used in was created and funded by the NYBC in partnership with the Government of Liberia.
Forward: This is a long post, but it is my hope that you will make it to the end. Getting the chance to meet someone as inspiring as Jane Goodall is an experience I could not limit to a few hundred words. And although this is a post that may not introduce to you a new species or a conservation crisis, I think that it can introduce you to hope if you will let it.
I arrived exactly one hour early. I stood and watched the meerkats outside of the Woburn Safari Park’s Safari Lodge, biding my time until the doors opened and I could find my seat. Even before seeing Jane Goodall standing a mere 10 feet from me the day was perfect. I had seen my first ever wild pheasant, which could seem silly to many people, but for me it was incredibly exciting. Even the mundane turns magical on the day you get to meet your life-long hero.
Of a chimpanzee researcher at Gombe National Park. Does Gombe sound familiar to you?? Well, if not, it should. Gombe is where Jane Goodall began her groundbreaking research on chimpanzees, or Pan troglodytes.