Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey (/daɪˈæn/, January 16, 1932 – c. December 26, 1985) was an American primatologist and conservationist known for undertaking an extensive study of mountain gorilla groups from 1966 until her 1985 murder.[1] She studied them daily in the mountain forests of Rwanda, initially encouraged to work there by paleoanthropologist Louis LeakeyGorillas in the Mist, a book published two years before her death, is Fossey’s account of her scientific study of the gorillas at Karisoke Research Center and prior career. It was adapted into a 1988 film of the same name.[2]

Fossey was a leading primatologist, and a member of the “Trimates”, a group of female scientists recruited by Leakey to study great apes in their natural environments, along with Jane Goodall who studies chimpanzees, and Birutė Galdikas, who studies orangutans.[3][4]

Fossey spent 20 years in Rwanda, where she supported conservation efforts, strongly opposed poaching and tourism in wildlife habitats, and made more people acknowledge the sapience of gorillas. Following the killing of a gorilla and subsequent tensions, she was murdered in her cabin at a remote camp in Rwanda in December 1985. Although Fossey’s American research assistant was convicted in absentia, there is no consensus as to who killed her.

Her research and conservation work helped reduce the downward population trend in mountain gorillas.”

“Dian Fossey.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dian_Fossey. Accessed 17 Dec. 2021.

Watch the trailer for the 1988 film Gorillas in the Mist with Signourey Weaver as Dian Fossey.

Gorillas in the Mist

Theatrical Trailer from Universal Pictures

National Geographic on Dian Fossey – including 14 amazing photos:

The Renegade Scientist Who Taught Us to Love Gorillas

Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist , a three-part series, airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on National Geographic starting December 6. Before she was known around the world for living with mountain gorillas, Dian Fossey struggled to bring attention to their dwindling numbers.

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