Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey named some of the mountain gorillas after her auntie Flossie and her Uncle Bert

Who is Dian Fossey?

Dian Fossey an American Gorilla-loving Primatologist born in January 1932 in California San Francisco. Diane Fossey was raised by the mother and the stepfather after their parents divorced. Diane Fossey saw her light of love with animals earlier when at the age of 6 as young she had started picking interest in horseback riding lessons and she got a letter inviting her on the riding team. By the time she graduated in 1954, Diane Fossey was already a well-established equestrienne.

It is believed that Fossey had no enough money to visit African jungles when she was invited by Henry but she had to use her personal life-saving in addition to a bank loan of united states dollars 8,000 to take a seven-week trip to Africa. She first arrived in Kenya in 1963 where she found the owner of treetops hotel Mr. William who introduced her safaris guide and he became her travel guide for the seven weeks in Kenya, D.R.Congo, Tanzania, and Rhodesia. This itinerary led Dian and her guide to Tsavo National Park the biggest National Park, to Lakes Manyara and flamingo as well as to Ngorongoro because there are a lot of amazing wild species.

Dian Fossey further visited the Olduvai Gorge the famous archeological sites of the world and hiked mount  Mikeno in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Mount Mikeko in Congo, still, the American zoologists who studied for along the championed the study of mountain gorillas in 1959.  By 1973 the population of these great apes in the Virunga Mountains had fallen below 275, but today possibly because of her extreme conservation measures, constant monitoring, intensive antipoaching efforts, and rapid veterinary interventions, the population of mountain gorillas have increased to over 600 in Virunga Conservation Area

Dian Fossey was instrumental in increasing the population of mountain gorillas via her strategies and efforts of gorilla conservation by establishing a gorilla Research Center called Karisoke Research Center. Dain Fossey’s first encounter with endangered mountain gorillas was when she stayed at the traveler’s hotel in Uganda which is near the Virunga Mountains and which harbors the mountain gorillas.  This hotel owner was Mr. Walter Baumgartel who was a gorilla conservationist and he was one of the first beneficiaries of gorilla tourism in Uganda.

Diane Fossey was advised to meet the Kenyans Joan and Alan Root, who were taking pictures and filming mountain gorillas for a documentary.  These two Kenyans introduced Dian Fossey to the forests to search for the endangered mountain gorillas and when they saw them, Dian was so excited and to a lot of photos of the gorillas and decided to come back and have a study on these amiable creatures as she narrated in the Gorillas in the Mist.

Dian Fossey gained gorillas trust by adapting to the gorilla habitat by chewing celery stalks and walking on projections, Dian Fossey took her time habituating gorillas and the locals even gave her a nickname Nyiramachebeli to mean the woman who lives alone in the mountain”

Dian Fossey started to name gorillas most times using the differences of their noses and characters, by the year 1983 Dian published the book gorillas in the Mist. After five years Dian Sigourney Weaver starred as Dian Fossey in a film of the same name.

For years, gorillas were seen as wild creatures but Dian revealed the softer side of these great apes. Dian Fossey named some of the mountain gorillas after her auntie Flossie and her Uncle Bert, Dian nursed two orphaned gorillas who were injured by poachers planning to sell them to a German zoo.

When the enemies became serious and rampant, Dian went back to the United States creating awareness and teaching about mountain gorillas, Dian Fossey and she obtained enough money through her campaign and found when Rwanda Government had also started conserving and protecting gorillas.

Disaster fell on the eve of the 27th of December 1985 when Dian Fossey was cruelly killed, she was found dead in her cottage at her camp in Rwanda, and up today, nobody knows who hit Fossey with a machete on the head through the Rwandan court convicted her research assistant Wayne McGuire to death as he fled Rwanda before the conviction.

Dian Fossey was buried near her loved gorilla called Digit which was killed by poachers a while. And all these made her famous in Africa and tourists for gorilla trekking in volcanoes usually go and have a glance at her tomb

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