Monday, 14 January 2013 09:25

Crowsnest Pass girl met Jane Goodall

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Eight-year-old Libby Wilmot from the Crowsnest Pass was able to meet her idol Jane Goodall in October. Wilmot wants to be just like Goodall and help monkeys and apes. Eight-year-old Libby Wilmot from the Crowsnest Pass was able to meet her idol Jane Goodall in October. Wilmot wants to be just like Goodall and help monkeys and apes. Photo by Brian Clarksen

When people are determined and want to make a difference, all they need is to work at it. That’s just what eight-year-old Libby Wilmot did.


Wilmot lives in the Crowsnest Pass and has been a monkey/chimpanzee lover since she was born and received a stuffed monkey as a gift. Once she was old enough to speak, Libby began expressing her love for monkeys.
For her eighth birthday, instead of having everyone bring presents for her, she asked everyone to bring a donation to go towards saving apes and monkeys. Libby raised enough money to sponsor an ape through Jane Goodall’s institute.
“(I adopted a chimpanzee) Because, chimpanzees and monkeys are ... my favourite animals and I wanted to raise money for my birthday to help them,” says Wilmot.
Goodall has studied chimpanzees in Africa for years and she’s the one that discovered chimpanzees use tools, which no animal has been discovered to do. Now, Goodall has a foundation in Africa.
Goodall has been going to Africa since she was a little girl and has been working to help chimpanzees and apes.
However, she also helps villages find alternate sources of food, because a lot of chimpanzees get killed for bush meat.
As well, Goodall’s foundation builds wells in Africa to help people have clean drinking water.
Libby’s mother Jenny Wilmot says shortly after sponsoring the ape, she heard Jane Goodall was going to be in Cranbrook B.C. Oct. 1 and Jenny was ecstatic. Jenny contacted the company that was sponsoring Goodall to go to B.C., Columbian Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) and tried to set up a meeting with Goodall.
There was only an adult evening reception with Goodall that was advertised, so Wilmot thought she would do everything she could to get her daughter to meet her idol.
Talking to CBEEN, Jenny found out there would also be a program for grades four and five students and Libby received a special invitation to attend.
Libby was diagnosed at birth with cystic fibrosis and it turned out that when talking to CBEEN, two of the woman’s brothers also have cystic fibrosis. Therefore, Jenny and the company thought it would be perfect to have Libby meet Goodall.
“It was really neat,” says Jenny about Libby being able to meet her idol.
“She was super excited about it.”
Libby was happy to meet Goodall and it has made her even more excited to start helping apes in the future.
“It was fun to meet her and we just talked about each other’s monkeys,” says Libby, adding it was exciting to be able to meet Goodall.
When Libby sponsored an ape, she was able to afford to sponsor it for a full year. She receives updates on how the ape is doing and what improvements it has over time.
Libby went on the website and picked her ape. Because Libby adopted the chimpanzee for a full year, Goodall’s agency sent Libby a stuffed chimpanzee.
Goodall brings a chimpanzee around with her when she travels and when Libby got the chance to meet her, she also got the chance to hold Goodall’s chimpanzee.
While in Cranbrook, Goodall talked about her program called roots and shoots, which is a program for children where they have to pick three projects. One has to be for animals, one for people and one for their community.
Libby is going to think about adopting another chimpanzee after her one-year sponsorship is over with her current chimpanzee.
However, she wants to do more than just adopt a chimpanzee in the future.
“I want to save monkeys and apes like Jane Goodall,” says Libby.

Read 1213 times Last modified on Monday, 14 January 2013 09:27
Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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