Want to know a little more?

When were you happiest?

When I arrived at Gombe for the first time and when I had a baby.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing my mind.

What is your earliest memory?

When I was two, a dragonfly flew near me. A man knocked it to the ground and trod on it. I remember crying because I’d caused the dragonfly to be killed.

Which living person do you most admire and why?

Muhammad Yunus, who started the Grameen Bank.

What is your most treasured possession?

My mascot Mr H, a stuffed monkey that I have since 1994.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I played myself in Jane’s Journey.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

A whisky every night.

What do you owe your parents?

I owe my mother everything because she supported my childhood dream.

What is the worst thing anyone's said to you?

In 1975, when my students were kidnapped by rebels, I was accused of hiding instead of trying to save them, and of not giving enough money for their ransom. I wasn’t believed.

What does love feel like?

Like the whole world is different, all the ordinary things become magical.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

The ape-like, human-like creature that is the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees.

Which living person do you most despise, and why?

The agricultural company Monsanto, because I know too much about GM organisms and crops.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

Africa in the 17th century, when you could hardly see the water because of all the fish, there were millions of birds and the plains were covered with animals of all sorts.

What is the closest you've come to death?

Six years ago, at Gombe, I was climbing when a rock dislodged and came down on top of me. Together we rolled about three rolls down the slope and if I hadn’t been thrown aside, I would have died.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Writing In The Shadow Of Man, because people have said it changed the way they thought about animals.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who helped to change attitudes towards animals.

Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy/TrunkArchive