Where is Lori Robinson? That question may have crossed your mind recently if you follow this blog at Saving Wild because I haven’t written to you since announcing I would be attending three wildlife events.

Well…I attended those wildlife events and came away full of ideas and stories for you, and contacts for interviews of amazing wildlife advocates I think you will love meeting. 

Some of the highlights were spending time with my childhood mentor Jane Goodall, and my other favorite animal heroes like Daphne Sheldrick and Iain Douglas-Hamilton

Daphne, me, and Daphne's daughter, Jill
Daphne, me, and Daphne’s daughter, Jill

I also caught up with the work of Shivani Bhalla, and Laurie Marker’s Cheetah Conservation Fund, and was re-introduced to Beverly and Dereck Joubert, a couple I have added to my ‘I-am-in-awe-by-what-you-do’ list.

The lovely and amazing Derek and Beverly Joubert
The lovely and amazing Dereck and Beverly Joubert

They are champions of the African rhino and lion.

Did you know that in the past 25 years the lion population has declined from 450,000 to about 20,000? And you won’t believe why. But I’m getting ahead of myself.







I will be sharing lots of what I learned with you here at Saving Wild over the next few months. The subjects discussed were not short-term blog and forget them issues.

They are big issues, addressing questions such as:

How are we going to inspire the next generation to be conservationists? 

How are we going to stop the forest destruction from Palm Oil plantations?

Can we save Elephants and Great Apes from extinction

What can each of us do that will really make a difference?


Big, pressing issues.

Which brings me to Dr. Jane Goodall.

Although I’ve been leading safari’s to Africa for her organization (the Jane Goodall Institute) for the past eight years, I hadn’t seen her in a couple of years. She spoke at all three of the wildlife events I attended and seeing her always inspires me, no matter how big and pressing the issues facing wildlife are.

Jane Goodall and Lori Robinson










Many of you probably don’t know that my relationship with Jane goes back to before we were both born. 

Yes… Before.

It’s kind of a cool story and Jane has been known to tell it whenever I am in the audience. 

It goes like this…

Jane’s father owned race-cars. Meaning: they were fast, and he liked to drive them that way. So when Jane’s mother Vanne gave birth to Jane she refused to be driven home from the hospital with her new born baby in her husband’s fast car.

Instead, she asked her dear friend and neighbor (they lived in London) Denis Robinson to do the honors.

Denis was my grandfather, and of course he agreed to drive Vanne and baby Jane home from the hospital that day in April of 1934.  

Needless to say, since my early introduction to Jane through my grandfather, I’ve been a Jane wannabe, and have heard her speak on numerous occasions.  One of my favorite Jane quotes is, “Each of us makes a difference. And it is our choice what that difference will be. “

Despite the depressing stories (we all know them) about man’s destruction of the world’s wild creatures, Jane’s message always gives me hope. Hope that one person really can help make a difference.

Hope is what Saving Wild’s Nature Programs give to the children in Africa, and it’s Hope that I want to continue to share with you here at Saving Wild, most recently coming from the amazing people I met at the wildlife events.

People like the eleven-year old who is saving forests, and the man who single handedly saved a monkey species in the Congo from going extinct, to the researchers risking their lives in the field to save the last remaining population of ‘their’ particular species.

As always, you – the readers of Saving Wild – give me Hope just knowing there are people like you in the world who care so deeply and are working to make a difference for wild animals and wild places. 

And please continue to use the share buttons, to get your like-hearted friends to join the tribe here at Saving Wild, and to let me (and the readers) know what you think (and feel) by commenting.







If you were inspired by this post, please like and share it:

10 Replies to “Jane Goodall’s Hope”

  1. I’m so glad you’re “back” to continue to inform and inspire me and so many others!
    I’d not heard of your pre-natal connection to Jane Goodall before.
    Love it!!

    My donation is in honour of my wonderful niece, Annais Rittenberg, who’s birthday it is today.

    As you know, she was tragically killed in July, when a tree fell on her at a campsite in Yosemite, where she was working as a counselor.
    She would have… should have… turned 22 today.

    Annais was also a “Jane wannabe” and already part of that next generation of conservationists.
    I had told her about you and she had very much wanted to meet you.
    When I described her to you and shared some of her field writings and drawings, you’d commented on how much she reminded you of yourself.

    I know she’d like to be an honorary member of the tribe at Africa Inside!

  2. I am so touched by your comment Josee and honored that Africa Inside is a recipient on behalf of Annais.
    Happy Birthday dear wonderful Annais. Although we never met I know that we are like-hearted souls, and that the world is worse off for having lost you at such a young age.
    Thanks again Josee. You have made my evening, no, you have made my week.

  3. This was your heart speaking. And, you have a good heart. You make me want to work harder to help inform the next generation.

  4. I love this, dear one. What a fine writer you are. You have captured so much of the important messages in our experience with these great people and their commitments.

    I loved being with you – if only briefly. More to come.

  5. Bonnie, you inspire more of the next generation than almost anyone I know. I wish I had you as my science teacher when I was growing up. Thank you for your support over the years to help AfricaInside inspire the kids in Africa. It is much appreciated and life changing (as you know ) for the children you have helped. Thanks again. So happy to have you as part of the tribe here.

  6. Lori, love the questions you brought up about the BIG issues that need to be addressed regarding wildlife and conservation. It’s so essential to spread the word about these issues and encourage individuals to take a stand and make a difference. Thank you for this inspiring message!

  7. Lori, I’m back (2-24-14). I love your story and how you met Jane. What an amazing journey you, yourself have been on. I never knew, not really. I met you as “the plastic bag lady” and come to find out you’re a queen of the jungle. Love you!

  8. Queen of the Jungle – I love it. Thanks for your sweet comments Nancy. Yes the plastic clean up is only one of the programs we do here to help wildlife.

Comments are closed.