Eight year old fulfills dream
of meeting Jane Goodall
Photos coutesy of Brian Clarksen
Left, Jane Goodall and Libby Wilmot holding their special friends.
Pass Herald Reporter
It’s not rare to have an idol in this day and age, and to have a mentor to look up to when the going gets tough. However, what is rare is to actually meet that idol. For eight year-old Libbey Wilmot, she did just that this past summer.
Libbey, a Crowsnest Pass local, has had a keen fondness for monkeys and apes since she was a baby, after she was given a stuffed monkey for a gift. She said that monkeys have also been a passion of hers, and she wanted to study them when she grows up.
On her 8th birthday, Libbey asked for some spare pocket change from her friends. With the money she collected, she adopted a monkey and a chimpanzee through the Jane Goodall institute.
After learning that Jane Goodall has the same fondness, and has studied those curious creatures for the majority of her life, Wilmot became a fan.
After learning that Goodall would be touring to Cranbrook on October 1st, Wilmot knew that she had to go.
Libbey’s dad, Bill, said he contacted Columbian Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) the organization that was presenting the Jane Goodall exhibitions in Cranbrook.
He then told CBEEN Libbey’s story.
He explained that Libbey was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth. He said that is was Libbey’s dream to meet Jane, as Jane was her idol and mentor.
After making the inquiry, CBEEN was eager to make it happen.
“They said that Libbey could go to a presentation geared towards kids,” said Bill. “They also said that Jane would put some time aside after the presentation to meet with Libbey one on one.”
“I really wanted to see her because we are both interested in monkeys and apes,” said Libbey.
“Jane said hi to me and asked for my name,” she said.
“We talked about why we like monkeys. It was really special.”
Libbey sewed Jane a bookmark and had the opportunity to give her.
Libbey explained that when she is older, she wants to help monkeys and apes, much like Goodall.
“When I told her that I want to be like her when I’m older, she told me to be like the young me, not like the old me,” Libbey said.
Jane Goodall was in the Cranbrook area to promote the Roots & Shoots program, put on by the Jane Goodall Institute and to try to deliver a message of hope and get children involved in making a difference.
“It made a difference for me,” said Libbey. She confirmed that she will continue to learn about monkeys and apes and will further pursue her dream to help make primates her future career.