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This is the epic story of three women who embarked on lifelong journeys to live with humanity’s closest living ancestors, the Great Apes. All three women made history and became pioneers of the global conservation movement today.   


The Great Apes share 96% of our DNA, but half a century ago, we hardly knew anything about them outside King Kong or Tarzan movies. Three young women changed all that, and much more: Jane Goodall left England to live with the chimpanzees of Africa, and became one of the most famous women of our time; American Dian Fossey championed the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and met a tragic end, but made her cause legendary; and Canadian Biruté Galdikas went into the deepest jungles of Borneo to live among the orangutans. They became known as the Trimates, celebrated in National Geographic features and in films.  


These stories, each of which began in isolation decades ago, have ignited a worldwide consciousness about the wonder of the Great Apes and the crisis of their disappearing habitats. The Trimates also became powerful role models for a generation of young women around the world, and literally thousands have been inspired to follow them as students, scientists and passionate defenders of our closest living ancestors. 

This documentary not only tells the story of the pioneering generation, but follows the adventures of three young women who were inspired by the Trimates to make the same choices, and live with the Great Apes of Africa and Borneo. 

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The Trimates are the original 3 scientist tasked with becoming leaders of a new frontier in primatology. The women who inspired a new generation to live among the apes they cared for so dearly. 

The New Generation are the young women who have followed in the footsteps of the original Trimates, advancing our understanding of ape behaviour. In addition to the research, they all work towards conservation of the habitats the apes rely on. 

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