The human-chimp bond captured in an iconic photo
Posted in 23/08/2023
Hugo van Lawick/BBC
By Anna Turns (BBC)
In 1964, Jane Goodall’s husband Hugo van Lawick took a photo of her and an infant chimp reaching out to each other. Decades later, it continues to impact how we view chimpanzees.
On 14 July 1960, 26-year-old Jane Goodall arrived by boat to the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania. Here, in what is now Gombe Stream National Park, her ground-breaking scientific research into chimpanzee behaviour began.
Previously a secretarial student without an undergraduate degree in science, Goodall says she observed her wild subjects with an open mind and without preconceptions. Controversially at the time, she defied convention by giving these chimps names instead of numbers.
One image taken of Goodall during this time captured her fresh approach, challenged the scientific norm and has become one of the world’s most recognisable photos.
Her late husband, Dutch photographer Hugo van Lawick, went to Gombe in 1962 where he took thousands of photographs of Goodall. But it was in 1964 that he took what became an iconic photograph of Goodall with an infant chimp known as Flint.
In the photo, Goodall is shown crouching down and reaching out with her right arm to Flint, the first chimp to be born at Gombe after Goodall’s arrival, as he extends his left arm up towards her.