Dian Fossey

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If there is one person who deserves to be credited for making the world aware of gorillas and the troubles they face, it is Dian Fossey. Without her compassion for the mountain gorillas of central Africa, we might be living in a world where these magnificent animals no longer exist. Fossey lived among the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes for nearly twenty years. She dedicated her life to them and died trying to protect them. Fossey was born in San Francisco, California, on January 16, 1932. She discovered her love for animals at a young age and was a talented horseback rider and an aspiring veterinarian. However, after enrolling in pre-veterinary studies at the University of California, she transferred to San Jose State …show more content…
Digit had no playmates his age in his group and was drawn to her and she to him. Tragically, on Dec. 31, 1977, Digit was killed by poachers. He died helping to defend his group, allowing them to escape safely. He was stabbed multiple times and his head and hands were severed. It was then that Dian Fossey declared war on the poachers. Fossey and Digit had been part of a famous photo shoot with photographer Bob Campbell appearing on posters and in travel agencies throughout the world. Fossey used Digit’s celebrity and his tragic death to gain attention and support for gorilla conservation. She established the Digit Fund to raise money for her “active conservation” and anti-poaching initiatives. The Digit Fund would later be renamed the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. In 1983, Fossey’s book entitled Gorillas in the Mist was published. It told the story of her years in the rainforest with the mountain gorillas. It brought attention to the need for concerted conservation efforts. The book was well received and, like the movie of the same name, remains popular to this day. Tragically, on December 26, 1985, Fossey was murdered at her research camp on Mount Visoke, presumably by poachers. No one has ever been found or prosecuted in her murder. The search for her killers is ongoing, and her research with gorillas continues today

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