In an exclusive deal, Discovery Communications Inc. and primate expert Jane
Goodall have entered into a partnership that will include the development of
programming for Animal Planet, officials said Monday.
"For years, we at Discovery have admired Jane's work and have tried to
emulate the type of excitement in animals she has compelled in television
audiences everywhere," said Billy Campbell, president of Discovery Networks
"Her reputation and experiences are a wonderful complement to the sensibility
and consumer promise of Animal Planet," Campbell added.
Under the pact, Goodall -- renowned for her pioneering research with
chimpanzees in Africa -- will work with Animal Planet to produce at least three
specials over the next three years, according to Animal Planet general manager
Campbell also mentioned a potential retrospective of her work. "There are a
number of ideas on the table," Cascio added.
As part of the partnership, the Jane Goodall Institute will participate in
Animal Planet's traveling exhibit, Animal Planet Expo, which promotes the health
and well being of animals.
She will visit and promote the activities of the Discovery Channel Global
Education Fund, a nonprofit charity.
During a conference call, Goodall said she was eager to have Animal Planet
serve as a source of information relating to her research.
"I meet so many young people in different countries that just sit glued to
Animal Planet," she said. "They love it."
And Goodall believes the network provides a good outlet for her message to
young people about animals and changing perceptions about them.
"Chimpanzees have taught us so clearly that we're not the only beings on this
planet with personalities, minds and feelings," she said. "They blurred the line
we used to think was so sharp between humans and animals. It gives us a new
respect for all living creatures, and I want to get that message out."
Through its various international networks, DCI will offer Goodall a global
forum for her research, according to Discovery officials. Her institute
continues her research into chimpanzee behavior.