The Famous Chimps of Gombe

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David Greybeard

David Greybeard

Dr. Goodall’s favorite chimpanzee, after all of these years, is still David Greybeard, the very first individual at Gombe to have trusted Jane. David Greybeard, easily recognizable by his silver facial hair, was also the first chimp Jane saw using tools and the first she observed eating meat. David was a good friend not only to Dr. Goodall, but also to his companion Goliath. David often comforted Goliath by placing a hand on his head or body, particularly when Jane was observing the two chimps. He was very tolerant and kind, maintaining a gentle temperament even while others grew aggressive. David, in addition to all that he taught Dr. Goodall about primate behavior, also helped her by bringing other chimps with him when he visited her camp. Without David’s helpful introductions, Jane may not have been able to meet the other Gombe chimps. Jane believes that David Greybeard died during a pneumonia epidemic in 1968. Time Magazine named David one of the 15 most influential animals that ever lived.

About Author

Elodie served as an intern for the Jane Goodall Institute during the summer of 2015 in the Office of the Founder-Global. Elodie's internship experience included supporting Dr. Jane Goodall's global tour through online outreach, social media and blogging.

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  • Anne Blankenship

    I remember watching these programs. Wasn’t it young Flint who was maladjusted, and with his mother Flo killed and ate a baby chimpanzee? And after finding his mother Flo dead in the stream, wasn’t it Flint who was so grief-stricken and unable to adjust that he made a bed of leaves in a tree and stayed there until he died? That is the narrative I remember, unless it was a contrived story to fit some film footage.

  • abram pretorius

    I would like to get involve with this work

  • I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this website. Thanks , I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  • Scott Alsop

    Sparrow maybe Leaky and Worzles sister?