Re: Goodall's story

Matthew Hill (mhhill@WATARTS.UWATERLOO.CA)
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 09:59:48 -0400

On Wed, 25 Oct 1995, karl h schwerin wrote:

> On Thu, 12 Oct 1995, ray scupin wrote:
> >
> > In the film Jane Goodall tells a story about a chimpanzee named
> > Lucy (not related to the Australopithecine, except that perhaps they
> > shared a common ancestor) who was raised in a human family and was taught
> > sign language. After a long period of time as a "child" of these
> > parents, where she had her own refigerator etc., the parents decided to
> > take her back to Africa to live among a group of Wild chimps. Goodall
> > compares this to a pampered U.S.teenager who is all of a sudden placed among
> > aborigines. In the wild Lucy went into a severe depression and remained
> > despondent for two years or so. In the meantime some humans came to
> > observe her in the wild, and Lucy went up to them, looked into their eyes
> > and signed "Please, help out!"
> >
> > I have skimmed through Goodall's work to find evidence of this
> > tale, and have not come up with anything. It seems like one of
> >

By coincidence, I happened last night in the library to find the book
Chimpanzee Travels: On and Off the Road in Africa, by Dale Peterson,
the account of a writer's jaunts to various chimp study locales. Since
I have worked in The Gambia I turned to that section and learned a bit
about Lucy.

The poor beast seems to have had a most unfortunate upbringing in the
home of a psychotherapist, Maurice Temerlin, who has written a book,
Lucy: Growing Up Human, about the experience. She was not returned
to Africa, since she was born in captivity.

Peterson was extremely interested in Lucy and writes, second hand,
a bit about her experience. It does not include the anecdote mentioned
but does document Lucy's discontent with life in the bush and the heroic
efforts of Janis Carter to get her to adapt (Carter has an article in
Smithsonian for June 88).

Hope this provides some leads.

Matthew Hill (