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Jane Goodall Awarded Honorary Cross in Vienna

Published: September 12, 2019; 17:07 · (Vindobona)

The well-known primate researcher and environmental activist Jane Goodall has been awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art 1st Class by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen.

Alexander Van der Bellen praised the chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall as "a great scientist and a great human being". / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Peter Lechner/HBF

Alexander Van der Bellen described the 85-year-old British woman as "a great scientist and a great human being" at the award ceremony in the Festsaal of the Vienna Urania.

With a hug Dame Goodall thanked him in return for this incredible honour and imitated the sounds of those great apes, the chimpanzees, whose behaviour she had begun to study in Tanzania in the 1960s.

"It is the animal that is closest to us," explained Jane Goodall. In his speech at the award ceremony for the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art 1st Class, Alexander Van der Bellen paid tribute to Jane Morris Goodall:

"On the one hand, there is the impressive work of you as a behavioural scientist. You have gained essential insights into the life of primates and thus brought our closest relatives even closer to us. "

"And you have campaigned for the protection of your animals, especially the chimpanzees. You have vehemently committed yourself to preserving the natural habitat of these animals. To protect them from human access, from ignorance and greed."

"You have understood how to sensitize millions of people all over the world to your concerns and have thus made your concerns ours. If we look at what you, Mrs Goodall, have achieved in recent decades, what you have achieved, then we must involuntarily ask ourselves: what an almost superhuman achievement you have made here? How was all this possible?"

"This love, you say, began at the age of 10 with the reading of the novel "Tarzan" by the US writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. But even more important to me was the fact that you pointed out that you were disappointed with the film version of the book: because it set limits to your imagination."

"Young people and children all over the world are involved in the Jane Goodall Institute for the protection of species, the environment, animal rights and the respectful treatment of our planet. The young people's campaigns have the motto: "Just get started". This seems to me to be an answer to how you, Mrs Goodall, have achieved so much."

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