If Tanzania's chimpanzees were to join millions of viewers around the world tuning into the 2013 Rose Parade, they would see their friend Jane Goodall as grand marshal, speaking on their behalf and for the betterment of the planet.
The famed primatologist was named grand marshal of the 124th Rose Parade at a Tournament House ceremony Wednesday.
“What an amazing honor, a surprising honor for me,” she said. “As most of you know, I spent many, many years of my life out with the wild chimpanzees in Africa — kind of different from Pasadena.”
She then offered her impression of a chimpanzee greeting call.
Goodall was 26 when she left England for Tanzania to visit a childhood friend. She remained with a notebook and pair of binoculars to observe the chimpanzees. On Wednesday, she recalled reaching Africa by boat after 21 days at sea and smelling the scent of the African coast, thinking to herself, “This cannot be me. It cannot be happening.”