Jane Goodall Is More of a Dog Person, Actually

Jane Goodall is turning 90 on April 3 and the primatologist-turned-activist seems busier than ever. This year, she’ll be on the road for 320 days. She’ll be raising money for her nonprofit organizations, the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots, and encouraging people to take environmental action.

But she is still managing to find time for fun. On Saturday, revelers congregated on the beach here for a 90-dog salute. Hosted by the Wildlife Conservation Network, a nonprofit, and its founder, Charles Knowles, the event saw guests’ Great Danes, goldendoodles, chihuahuas and other dogs bound across the sand in honor of Dr. Goodall, who has said that dogs are her favorite animal (although she is best known for her work on chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania).

On-and-off rain briefly lifted just as Dr. Goodall arrived, which one attendee, Jeff Horowitz, attributed to a phenomenon called “Jane Magic.”

After the canine salute, Dr. Goodall talked with The New York Times. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

I first want to get your thoughts on what just occurred on the beach. I will confess that a dog salute is not something I’d heard of before.

It’s never been thought of before. You know, it didn’t go as they planned it. What they planned was at the end, the dogs would file past me and we’d have a photo. That was the salute. But the rain came. So actually it was much better the way it was. I don’t think anything like that’s ever been done. Never.

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