Jane Goodall in town to name Prague Zoo’s baby gorilla

Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall, the famous English primatologist and anthropologist who has spent decades studying chimpanzees, is paying a special visit to the Prague Zoo this weekend. Goodall will be naming one of the Zoo’s new baby gorillas, a special event which spokesman for the Prague Zoo Filip Mašek told me more about.

Photo: Miroslav Bobek,  ZOO Praha

“Jane Goodall is a long-time friend of the Prague Zoo, and she accepted our invitation regarding the two baby gorillas that were born in the zoo this year. We also welcomed a baby orangutan two weeks ago. Within five months, we have welcomed three critically endangered primates to the zoo. This is something that is really extraordinary, and is a really big step in our conservation efforts. This is exactly the work that Jane Goodall has been doing her whole life. She’s accepted our invitation, and she will be ‘baptizing’ the second born gorilla baby that we welcomed a few months ago.”

Will Dr. Goodall be picking out the name for the baby gorilla?

“We suggested some names, but she said she will pick it on her own, so it will be a surprise for all of us tomorrow.”

Gorilla cub in Prague Zoo | Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková,  Czech Radio

What does the program look like tomorrow at the zoo, how open is the event with Dr. Goodall to the public?

“Dr. Goodall is quite busy in Prague. She’s visiting high schools in Prague, and she is also giving a free lecture at the Czech University of Life Sciences on Friday evening at 5pm. The program on Saturday at the Prague Zoo will start at 11am. First, Dr. Goodall will present her new children’s book ‘Pangolina’, which is a story about pangolins. We translated the book into Czech, and we are officially launching its sale. She will do a brief book signing after, and then she will name the baby gorilla.”

Photo: Zuzana Jarolímková,  Czech Radio

What does it mean for the Prague Zoo to have a good relationship with Dr. Goodall? It seems like she really honours the work you guys are doing.

“It’s really a confirmation that the work that we are doing here makes sense. The Prague Zoo has been working really hard on our conservation projects – like the horses we successfully reintroduced to Mongolia, or the project called ‘Wandering Bus’ in Cameroon where we educate children. We also are really working to protect and breed these endangered species. We try to present ourselves as a modern zoo, not like one where the animals are in cages. Our zoo is very alive, and the fact that Dr. Goodall is visiting us and is interested in the work we are doing, is just confirmation that we are doing things right.”