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Africa Fulfills a Life's Ambition

To be accepted thus by a group of wild chimpanzees is the result of months of patience. In England, before I commenced my field study, I met one or two people who had seen chimpanzees in the wild.

"You'll never get close to chimps—not unless you're very well hidden," they told me. At first it seemed they were right, but gradually I was able to move nearer the chimpanzees, until at last I sat among them, enjoying a degree of acceptance that I had hardly dreamed possible.

At this intimate range, I observed details of their lives never recorded before. I saw chimpanzees in the wild hunt and kill for meat. Though this had been suspected, nobody dreamed that a chimpanzee would attack an animal as large as a young bushbuck, until I saw an ape with his kill.

Most astonishing of all, I saw chimpanzees fashion and use crude implements-the beginnings of tool use. This discovery could prove helpful to those studying man's rise to dominance over other primates. Chimps Threatened by Civilization

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to go to Africa to study animals. Therefore, after leaving school, I saved up the fare and went to Nairobi, Kenya. There I was fortunate in meeting and working for Dr. Louis S. B. Leakey, then Curator of the Coryndon Museum. After a year, Dr. Leakey asked me if I would undertake a field study of chimpanzees.

Although the chimpanzee has been known to science for nearly three centuries, and although, because of its striking resemblance to man, it has been used extensively as an experimental animal in medical and other fields, no attempts had been made to study this ape in its natural habitat until Dr. Henry W. Nissen made his pioneer study in French Guinea. I found his 1931 report invaluable as I prepared my own program.

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