Friday, October 5, 2012

Chimp expert Jane Goodall says she is ‘fascinated’ by Bigfoot

Jane Goodall may believe in Bigfoot, but she is more concerned with the plight of the chimpanzee, which she calls “very, very” endangered.

Bela Szandelszky/AP

Jane Goodall may believe in Bigfoot, but she is more concerned with the plight of the chimpanzee, which she calls “very, very” endangered.

Bigfoot hunters just got a new champion: chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall.

The Cambridge-educated Ph.D. — long considered one of the world’s leading chimpanzee experts — says that she is “fascinated” by the legendary beast.

"I'm not going to flat-out deny its existence," she told the Huffington Post after a bout of laughter at a fundraiser in La Jolla, Calif. "I'm fascinated and would actually love them to exist.

"Of course, it's strange that there has never been a single authentic hide or hair of the Bigfoot, but I've read all the accounts,” she said.

This isn’t the first time 78-year-old Goodall has publicly admitted to her belief in large, ape-like creatures such as the Yeti, Sasquatch or Bigfoot.

“I'm sure that they exist,” she told an NPR reporter in an interview several years ago.

BIGFOOT3N_1_WEB

ROGER PATTERSON AND BOB GIMLIN/AP

What some believe to be a female Sasquatch running out of a stream bed in the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California is seen in this frame taken from a piece of 16mm footage taken by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin in 1967 during a horseback search for Bigfoot.

At the time, she confirmed that she has always believed in the existence of these creatures.
“Well, I'm a romantic so I always wanted that,” she said.

The scientist and activist has spent her fair share of time with apes: in the early 1960s, her research in Africa showed that chimpanzees could use tools, were not vegetarian, and had distinct personalities. This challenged most scientific assumptions about chimps at the time.

BEFORE: BIGFOOT HOAXTER WAS JUST A 'REGULAR GUY'
Goodall was in La Jolla at a benefit for the Jane Goodall Institute, an organization aimed at caring for both humans and apes around the world.

Even though chimpanzees might appear frequently in movies and on TV all the time, Goodall said the animals are “very, very” endangered.

When she was working in Africa decades ago, Goodall said there were several million chimpanzees, but now there are only 300,000 spread out over 21 nations.

This reduction has come from habitat loss, logging, and hunting for bush meat.

BIGFOOT3N_2_WEB

Nick Ut/AP

Chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall says she’s a romantic and would like to believe that Bigfoot exists.

If the fact that chimps are endangered seems surprising, it is because people have getting the wrong message about chimpanzees from Hollywood and other outlets for a long time, Goodall said.

To improve the lives of chimpanzees, the lives of the people who live near them need to be improved, she said.

On Oct. 9, Animal Planet will air a special about the life of the esteemed researcher called “Jane’s Journey.” The program will track Goodall’s life from her birth in England, to her research in Africa, and to her advocacy work across the globe.

cwells@nydailynews.com


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