Dian Fossey was born on January 16, 1932, in San Francisco, California, United States. She spent eighteen years among gorillas on Mount Rwanda. It was like Jane Goodall for Tanzanian chimpanzees because she dedicated all her life to gorillas and made us aware of their existence.
In 1967 she set up camp at an altitude of 10,000 feet in the Virunga Mountains, which is a chain of volcanoes that have largely extinct along with the borders of Zaire and Uganda. The largest berberei Gorilla population in the world is around 240 individuals. It took several years before one group allowed her to sit with them while they chewed celery, played with each other, quarreled, and joked.
Dian Fossey and Gorilla
Dian’s sacrifice to make gorilla become familiar with her was far more extraordinary because she did it without anything while Goodall did it by bribing chimpanzees with bananas to get their cooperation. After 11,000 hours in the field, Dian identified individuals in four groups from their typical nose prints and discovered their possible genealogical relationships.
In addition, she explores poorly understood behaviors such as infanticide and the migration of females among the gorilla groups. Her scientific work, according to a colleague, is very factual and detailed. Her book entitled Gorillas in the Mist, three articles on National Geographic has the biggest impact on current science for Gorilla.
In 1967, Dr. Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke ™ Research Center in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda to protect and study endangered mountain gorillas. Although Fossey’s life is quite short, her work continues through the Karisoke Research Center and grows into a conservation effort for other wildlife and programs for people living near gorillas.
The Legacy of Dian Fossey
Fossey, at the end of her life, was buried in Karisoke, on a site she created himself for friends of dead gorillas. She was buried in a gorilla cemetery next to Digits, and near a gorilla that had been killed by hunters. Her death service was also held in New York, Washington, and California.
After her death, Digit Fund Fossey in the United States was renamed Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. The Karisoke Research Center operated which she founded was then operated by Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International and was tasked with continuing the monitoring and protection of the gorillas she had begun.
Shirley McGreal, a friend of Fossey continues to work to protect primates through the work of the Primate International Protection League (IPPL), one of the few wildlife organizations that according to Dian Fossey effectively promotes conservation actively.