Famed primatologist Jane Goodall was honored by the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday, on her 85th birthday, for her contributions to the study of animals and environmental conservation.
Councilman Paul Koretz, who chairs the council’s Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee, introduced Goodall, who rose to fame in the 1960s after her study of chimpanzees led to a number of new discoveries about the animals, including that they could make and use tools.
“She has certainly been an inspiration to me, both in my work as an animal and environmental activist, but also in my role as a father of a daughter,” Koretz said. “I don’t think there’s anyone else who has single-handedly inspired more girls to grow up to be scientists and environmentalists and work to protect and understand animals. Her work has inspired and continues to inspire efforts in my office on biodiversity, wildlife corridors, animal welfare, native plants and climate disruption.”
Led by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the council sang “Happy Birthday” to Goodall and Koretz, who share the same birthday.
During her remarks, Goodall called out a chimpanzee greeting for the crowd and also showed how a female chimp greets a high-ranking male — selecting Garcetti for the demonstration after quipping, “I suspect the highest ranking male is here.”
Goodall also shared her memories of Los Angeles, for which she said she has great affection.
“I have many, many friends here. I have been coming back for many years,” she said. “And I know that this city has a great reputation for concern for animals and protection of wildlife. I’ve met many individuals here with whom I’ve had many meaningful discussions about the importance of protecting our environment.”