Bill Wallauer: Life in the Wild

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Bill Wallauer
Tuesday, March 8, 2011; 12:00 PM

Videographer Bill Wallauer will be online Tuesday, March 8, at noon ET, to chat about his time in the wild, working for the Jane Goodall Institute and his experiences with chimpanzees.

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Bill Wallauer: Bill

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Violence among chimpanzees and humans: From your observations of wild chimpanzees, what have you learned about violence and aggression and how do you think that reflects on human violence?

Bill Wallauer:

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Jane Goodall: What work have you done beyond your chimpanzee work? I know Jane Goodall has done excellent work on saving nearly extinct species. Have you worked with you on this or any other of her other works?

Bill Wallauer: She is dedicated to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment(most recently 60 Minutes).We are now involved in a Disneynature film entitled 'Chimpanzee' which we hope will reach 100 million people.

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Remembering: What was one of the most touching things you saw during your time in the wild?

Bill Wallauer: Heart wrenching, but very telling.

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Tails, etc.: Aaarrrrrgghh! Please educate the Post and others about the differences between apes and monkeys.

Bill Wallauer: Many studies have shown that that this group is the most similar genetically to humans.

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JGI: How can we get involved with the Institute here in the US? What can we do to help?

Bill Wallauer: For young people, check out JGI's global youth program www.rootsandshoots.org.

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Chimps: What is something many people might not know about chimpanzees? Are there any common misconceptions?

Bill Wallauer: I think the thing that people do not know is that we could lose them in the wild within the next 20 years.

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Jane Goodall : What is it like working with Dr. Goodall?

Bill Wallauer: She is living proof that one person can have a huge impact in making the world a better place.

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What does the future hold for chimpanzees in the wild?: Having seen first-hand the effects of man on chimpanzees in the wild over the years and also working with Dr. Jane Goodall to help educate people to protect chimps and their habitats. What do you think the future holds for chimps in the wild and their current way of life?

Bill Wallauer: Please do what you can do to get involved with organizations such as the Jane Goodall Institute (www.janegoodall.org).

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first time: What happened the first time you filmed chimpanzees?

Bill Wallauer: The chimps were already used to having people around so they did not mind my presence.

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Grief: Did you ever mourn the death of a chimpanzee?

Bill Wallauer:

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richmond: Recently a woman was severely injured by her friend's pet chimp. Does unnatural captivity increase stress and the chance they'll attack humans?

Bill Wallauer:

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Filming : Describe the feeling of your first day in the forest with your camera.

Bill Wallauer: I was feeling an overwhelming connection to another animal species.

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bonobos: Would you ever consider filming bonobos?

Bill Wallauer: I am amazed at the differences between one community of chimps and another, so observing bonobos would be off the chart for me!!

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Chimps: We could lose chimps in the wild? Are they endangered? Why is their existence in jeopardy?

Bill Wallauer: At the turn of the 20th century there were one to two million in the wild. Today, there are fewer than 300,000 in the wild and they are disappearing at an alarming rate because of destruction of their forest habitat and the illegal commericial bushmeat trade.

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top 5: What top five things are in your survival kit?

Bill Wallauer: Fun Questions.Lens cleaning papper (can't live without it)CompassGPSMapWater Purification TabsDried Fruit and Energy Bars

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Communication: Did you ever have the feeling that a chimpanzee was trying to tell you something? How did he/she communicate with you?

Bill Wallauer: If one of the chimps does approach or begin to stare at me, I back off and move away.

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Chiimpanzee characteristics: Who is the smartest chimpanzee you ever met? Who is the funniest?

Bill Wallauer: I think he has a serious screw loose and zero impulse control.

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chimps: How many live chimp births have you witnessed as well as caught on camera?

Bill Wallauer:

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60 Minutes: I recently saw Dr. Goodall on 60 Minutes. Were you there filming too? What was that like?

Bill Wallauer: I love to be involved in news programs like 60 Minutes because we are able to reach an entirely different audience than the typical Nat Geo and Discovery Channel viewers.

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Wonderful!: This is truly wonderful! I am learning so much about these amazing creatures. Thank you, Bill. And of course, thank you JGI :)

Bill Wallauer: This is one of my favorite topics!!

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How did you get started: How did you get started filming chimps in the wild?

Bill Wallauer: I learned about shooting from visiting camera crews who needed my help to follow chimps.

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US Sanctuaries: Do you know any of the primatologists in the United States who manage sanctuaries? How have you interfaced with them?

Bill Wallauer: We are currently raising funds for expanding the site to meet the need for space.

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Scary: You spend so much time in places many of us only read about. What was the scariest moment in the wild you've had personally?

Bill Wallauer: Having said that, living in the forests of Africa is actually much more comfortable (and less dangerous) for me than sitting in traffic during rush hour.

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Sick and injured chimps in wild communities: I am interested in knowing what happens in a community of wild chimpanzees if a community/family member becomes sick or injured. What is the response from the chimpanzee community?

Bill Wallauer: I believe that the chimps' capacity to suffer loss emotionally is very similar to ours.

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Tanzania: What would you say is the most important lesson you learned from your time in Tanzania? (whether chimp-related, personal, environmental, societal, etc.)

Bill Wallauer: That each country shares similar challenges utilizing and protecting its natural resources.

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Planet Earth: Did you do the filming for Planet Earth? If so, did you enjoy it? And how was it different to your filming of the chimps?

Bill Wallauer: Each project brings its own challenges, so each of the 30 or so films I have worked on has been slightly different.

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Predators: Is man the prime predator of wild chimpanzees?

Bill Wallauer: Yes, sadly we are by far the biggest threat to chimps, and people do still eat them.

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Teasing: Do chimps enjoy teasing one another - or even teasing other animals? And laughing?

Bill Wallauer: Just like human kids.

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there must be bad days: With the humidity, the snakes, the insects, rain.... and ickyness of the jungle, do you ever just want to jump up and shout naughty words at them?

Bill Wallauer: Yes, it does get wet and yucky, and things go wrong and I miss great shots, but it is just so amazing to witness this great place and spend time with chimps.Bill


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