Dr. Jane Goodall, born on April 3, 1934, has inspired countless people around the world (including Patrick McDonnell and the rest of us at Team MUTTS) through her advocacy for animal welfare and environmental conservation.

In honor of her 86th birthday, we’re celebrating her impact and achievements — from revolutionizing the way we view animal behavior and sentience to leading a global organization committed to protecting the animal kingdom and our natural world.

Have you been inspired by Jane? If so, you can share your stories with her! Our friends at the Jane Goodall Institute are collecting messages from people around the world, and you can submit yours here. You can also join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #becauseofJane.

Below is Patrick’s message (and a birthday card) for Jane on this special day.

“Every day I think of Jane, her optimism and hope. Jane’s determination to help our planet and all its inhabitants inspires my MUTTS comic strip and, of course, my picture book biography of her childhood, Me…Jane. She has greatly influenced me to do more. And we can all do more. Because of Jane the world is a better place.”

In this challenging time, we are also heeding Dr. Goodall’s wise words regarding the current state of the world. In an interview with the New York Times, she reflects on her past achievements and on the importance of keeping a sense of humor while self-isolating.

Additionally, in a video posted on YouTube and Facebook, Jane spoke from her home in England, sharing her thoughts about the COVID-19 virus (including the importance of social distancing) and offering a message of hope that, together, we will get through this difficult time.

Comments (7)

Thank you Jane Goodall for all you have done for our world. I enjoyed sharing your story with my second grade students through Patrick McDonnell’s book, ME JANE. They loved it! Happy 86th Birthday to you! You are a beautiful lady, inside and out!

Patricia Kolb

You have been & continue to be a marvelous inspiration to the world. Thank you for being you…& sharing your goodness & your love with living creatures who all too often don’t get the treatment they deserve.


Dr. Goodall, in word and deed, shows the difference one person can make.

Pamela Alcid

Happy Continuation Day Dearest Jane Goodall – The world is a better place because of you. Thank you for helping people see that animals are people too!

Vivian MacKinnon

Happy birthday I love you and I have a bunch of books and also a bunch of chimpanzees stuffed animals. I have also read all your books and I watch you on Disney plus alot. I also hope you have a good birthday and are staying healthy. Penelope age 9 Kentucky

Anne M Ogonek

Thank You for your lifetime devotion to promote human animal relations.


Dear Dr Goodhall, I have admired you since I was a little girl, for your scientific acumen and your deep love of our fellow species. The great apes other than our species, Homo Sapiens, are under terrible threat right now, as you say due to hunting and habitat loss, and very probably this coronavirus, as we share so much dna. I wish you good health and the ability to continue your activities “virtually”, if not through lecture tours.

Sadly, here there was vandalism against East and Southeast Asian religious and cultural centres; some humans are slow to learn the dreadful consequences of bigotry.

Bonne journée de la Terre de Montréal de moi (humaine) et Livia (chatte noire)

Lagatta de Montréal