University of Otago's Prof Phil Bishop escorts Dame Jane
Goodall and her travelling companion ''Mr H'' into Orokonui
Ecosanctuary yesterday, followed by Dunedin pupils, members
of her Roots and Shoots movement. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Whether it is gale-force winds or a reptile crawling up
her arm, little fazes intrepid conservationist Dame Jane
The 80-year-old did not blink an eyelid when asked to brave
the stormy conditions to plant a tree inside Orokonui
Ecosanctuary's windswept enclosure yesterday.
Instead, she put on a beanie and headed outside, trailed by
20 pupils from six Dunedin schools who make up the first
Roots and Shoots group in New Zealand.
Dame Jane started Roots and Shoots, a hands-on humanitarian
and environmental programme aimed at young people, which is
run in 130 countries by the Jane Goodall Institute.
She is in Dunedin as part of an international tour marking
her 80th birthday and will give a talk tonight at the Regent
Theatre. All proceeds from this talk go towards the youth
As a special treat for the woman renowned for her work with
the Gombe chimpanzees, Orokonui brought in a tuatara, one of
New Zealand's endemic ancient reptiles that has been released
into the ecosanctuary, for her to see.
While keen to hold the tuatara, she was perturbed to hear its
only name was J58. Dame Jane faced controversy early in her
career for naming the chimpanzees she worked with.
''Then it should be Jane 58, of course,'' she said.
As it would be about 20 years before it was known if it was
boy or girl, the ecosanctuary had been looking for a
''How about Dr J,'' she suggested before kissing the tuatara
Dame Jane had some words of advice for the pupils watching
her every move.
''You have to look after them better than your forefathers.''
Tuataras were released into the ecosanctuary about two years
ago, after an absence on the mainland of 300 years.
''It's the most significant transfer we'll probably ever
do,'' ecosanctuary conservation manager Elton Smith told Dame