Foreign Policy Magazine

The Trees of Gombe

I arrived in Gombe Stream National Park, in what is now Tanzania, in 1960 to study chimpanzees.

At first they were afraid, but eventually I won their trust. As I came to understand them, I found they are like us in so many ways; they are intelligent with personalities, family bonds, and emotions similar to our own. They can be brutal to one another, but also compassionate.

During those early years I spent hours alone in the rainforest. I came to see how everything is interconnected, each

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