Jane and her mother Vanne arrive
on the shores of Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve
in western Tanzania.
Jane and Vanne get sick from malaria.
Upon recovering Jane discovers “the Peak,”
which would become her favorite vantage point for
Jane has named some of the chimpanzees
she sees regularly, and finds she is able to move
in closer without them running away.
Oct 30, Jane
observes the chimpanzees eating meat. Later she
would see the chimpanzees hunt for meat. These observations
disproved the widely held belief that chimpanzees
were primarily vegetarians.
Jane observes David Greybeard and
Goliath making tools to extract termites from their
mounds, a discovery that would force science to
reconsider its definition of homo sapiens: “Man
Vanne returns to England.
Jane returns to England; Dr. Leakey had arranged
for Jane to go to Cambridge University to get her
PhD and lend greater scientific credibility to her
Early July, After
her first semester of studies, Jane returns to Gombe.
She will travel back and forth to England until
she has completed her doctoral program.
After noting the other chimpanzees' continued
deference to Goliath, Jane begins to suspect that
Goliath is indeed the highest ranking male (or “alpha”).
Filmmaker and photographer Hugo van
Lawick arrives at Gombe.
Dec., Jane leaves
for home and soon receives an telegram from Hugo
in which he proposes.
have begun to visit Jane's camp. Flo attracs a large
number of male chimps to Jane's camp.
Feb 29, 1964
Flo gives birth to son Flint.
Edna Koning arrives and becomes Jane’s
first research assistant, freeing up more of Jane’s
time for constant observation.
Melissa gives birth to Goblin
Mike rises to the alpha male position
by using empty kerosene cans in his charging displays.
National Geographic grants
funds for aluminum buildings, the first permanent
structures to exist at Gombe and the beginnings
of the research center.
An outbreak of Polio infects the
Gombe chimpanzees and is a danger to Jane as she
has a baby on the way.
The Gombe Stream Reserve is taken
over by Tanzania National Parks, becoming Gombe
Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick, nicknamed
“Grub,” is born.
David Greybeard dies
June, Flu outbreak
Humphrey defeats Mike and becomes
the next alpha male
Figan ends Humphrey’s 20-month
term as alpha .
Flo dies. Unable to cope without
his mother, little Flint dies shortly thereafter.
The Gombe chimpanzees split in two
groups. Humphrey leads the northern group, which
includes Evered, Faben, Figan, Hugo, Jomeo, Mike
and Satan. Hugh and Charlie lead the southern fraction
with De, Gode, Willy Wally and Goliath.
The split between the two groups
is complete and friendly interaction no longer occurs.
Beginning of Four-Year War
De is severely beaten.
Goliath is attacked.
Cannibalism among the Gombe chimpanzees
is first observed. Mother and daughter Passion and
Pom steal and kill babies in their own community.
The violence continues as Willy Wally
May, Charlie is
Nov 11, Finally, the last Kahama
male, Sniff, is killed.
Goblin becomes the next alpha male
in the Kasekela community.
Goblin, Gremlin and Gimbel’s
mother, Melissa, dies.
A pneumonia outbreak, the worst epidemic
since the polio outbreak of 1966, afflicts the chimpanzees,
One of those afflicted is the mother of three-year-old
Mel and for the first time, a non-related, adolescent
male chimpanzee (Spindle) is observed to adopt an
orphaned youngster (Mel).
Spring Goblin’s reign as alpha
male comes to an end when he is challenged by Wilkie.
Freud, eldest son of Fifi, defeats
Wilkie to become the alpha male of Gombe’s
Mange, a skin disease, infects the
Kasekela community, hitting the hardest on the nursing
females and their infants. Fifi loses her infant
son, Fred. Also affected are Freud, Prof, Goblin
Due to his weakened condition, Freud
is overthrown by his younger brother Frodo, who
becomes the next alpha male.
Gremlin gives birth to a set of twins,
Golden and Glitter. Fifi gives birth to her third
Fifi gives birth to her ninth offspring,
Researchers reveal that male and
female chimpanzees learn to use tools differently.
24, Fanni gives birth to Familia.
Aug. 24, Goblin
dies after an illness.
Aug. 19-25, One
of the worst fires in decades sweeps through Gombe.
The chimpanzees are unharmed by the fire and are
able to survive despite loss of food sources.
Fall Fifi disappears
with daughter Furaha.
The struggling Mitumba community
appears to be in turmoil. Rudi and Edgar attack
and kill alpha male Vincent in December and a few
weeks later juvenile male Ebony is found dead. Gombe
staff believe he was killed by one of the few remaining
Kris becomes alpha male of the Kasekela community.
Did You Know?
Just about every creature in the animal kingdom is
fascinating. The termites the Gombe chimpanzees eat
are master builders. Click
here to learn more about them.