Dian Fossey Experience

posted 20th November 2017 by Danica Wilson in Work in progress

Learning more about

Dian Fossey

American primatologist and anthropologist Dian Fossey committed her life to the conservation of the Mountain Gorilla.

Louis and Mary Leakey were operating anthropological research in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania and gave much support and funding to Dian back in the 1960s.

In 1967 Dian went into the Democratic Republic of Congo to establish her camp at Kabara to commence what would become the beginnings of an 18 year study.  This time in the Congo was short-lived and Dian soon took up research of the mountain gorillas from the Rwandan side of the Virungas between Mount Karisimbi and Visoke. 

Well known among locals for living in the mountains, Dian ran anti-poaching campaigns and would spend hours with the gorillas.  International attention was raised when one of the gorillas was shot by poachers.

Read more about Gorilla trekking in Africa.

This attracted public sympathy and international funding which has directly benefitted the Mountain Gorilla population growth. 

Sadly Dian was murdered in 1985 in her tent. Fossey was buried at her research centre that she herself had constructed for her deceased gorilla friends.

Dian Fossey lays next to Digit and many other gorillas killed by poachers.

Today, you can hike to Dian Fossey’s grave. It’s not easy and steep in parts, taking 5 hours. 

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