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Lovely, lovely Jane

 

It was beyond fabulous to see Dr Dame Jane Goodall recently in Hong Kong during her whirlwind visit and her presentation at the Royal Geographical Society.

Jane, who named one of our bears in Chengdu "Mandela" several years ago, also found time in her busy schedule to film a message to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, appealing to him to allow us to keep our sanctuary and also keep to the spirit of the Project Agreement he'd signed.

During her presentation, Jane spoke movingly about her life's work - from the beginnings .... her inspirational mother who encouraged both her love of worms and her curiosity in exploring how eggs were really laid. Her mother then accompanied her to Africa to work with Dr Richard Leakey - which ultimately inspired both a world renowned primatologist and a UN Ambassador of Peace.

Jane also spoke of another inspirational influence - her dog Rusty - and that's probably the story I like most of all. The concept of animals being embraced as individuals, has been the same inspiration behind the foundation of Animals Asia, rather than always lumped into species, or thought of as "things" to be exploited for our gain. It is why a dog named Max became the inspiration for Dr Dog - now in its 21st year across Asia - and why a bear called Hong began the dream of the China bear rescue.

Above: Jane is surrounded by her adoring fans. Below: Here's Jane with publisher and photographer Michael Neugebauer who's holding his iconic photo that's become the most famous picture of Jane of all. And in the last pic here we are with Jane's beloved "Mr H" - and with the travelling teddy that I gave her a couple of years ago (to keep her safe).

Sometimes the word "tireless" is used far too casually - but in Jane's case, it most definitely applies. Never spending more than three weeks in one place, Jane is a remarkable ambassador for all species - and for the healing of our broken planet. Through her wisdom, her compassion, she's a shining example of how to live one's life - the "things" we collect, at the end of the day, mean nothing without a clean environment, healthy families, and animals our children will respect and protect. Thank you Jane, with endless strength and love as your work goes on.

 

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