Celebrated primatologist Jane Goodall turned 81 yesterday. Back in 2002, Goodall controversially stated in an interview on NPR – prompted by a question from a caller – that she believed that a Bigfoot-type species did indeed exist, citing reports from Native Americans she has spoken to, as well as a news story at the time about a possible Yeti hair having been discovered.
Edited audio from the original interview can be listened to in the animated clip below (the transcript of the relevant section is underneath):
Caller: I wanted to know if you believe there are any undiscovered large ape species.
Jane Goodall: You’re talking about Yeti, or Bigfoot, or Sasquatch?
Ira Flatow: Is that what he’s talking about?
Jane Goodall: Yes, yes he is.
Caller: Ah, pretty much.
Ira Flatow: *laughing* I’m out of the loop.
Jane Goodall: Well now, you’ll be amazed, when I tell you that I’m *sure* that they exist. I’ve talked to so many Native Americans, who’ve all described the same sounds, two who’ve seen them. And there was a little tiny snippet in the newspaper just last week, which is that British scientists have found what they believe to be a Yeti hair, and that the scientists in the Natural History Museum of London couldn’t identify it as any known animal.
Ira Flatow: Did you always have this belief, that they existed?
Jane Goodall: Well I’m a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist…