Dian Fossey

Dr. Dian Fossey, spent 14 years in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda Studying the huge primates where after a number of years she was accepted by one of the gorilla family groups and treated as a member.

After an absence of 3 years, she returns to visit her beloved gorillas to find out if they still remember and accept her.

Gratitude should go to Dian Fossy who saved these mountain gorillas that they can be now tracked safely in their natural habitat. Dian Fossy was a prominent primatologist and anthropologist stayed with and studied the behaviors of these giant apes for over a period of 18 years, he was against poaching activities and she fought hardly for the gorilla protection and survival, without her, mountain gorillas would be no more. She habituated them to human standards that they can now be meet safely in their natural habitat without any danger caused on human. She conducted a lot of research on mountain gorillas on her research centre known as Karisoke research center, she studied about the feeding diet of gorillas, how female run from group to another, socialization in gorillas, copulation among others. On September 24, 1967, Dian Fossy founded the karisoke research center, a remote rain forest camp built in Ruhengeri province in the saddle of two volcanoes (Visoke and Karisimbi) at an elevation of about 3,000 meters up Mount Visoke.

She started anti-poaching campaigns with a team of her staff, who would carry out patrols rescuing some of the gorillas whose parent were killed during the raids. However in the areas like the western side where she was not reaching continued to suffer the plight. Elephants too were hunted for ivory until when they were almost more.

Dian Fossy’s anti-poaching patrols led to the arrest of many poachers who were sentenced to jail and some are still serving sentences. However her works come to an end on 27 December 1985 when she was murdered by the said poachers whom she had made herself very unpopular. She was buried in Karisoke in a site that she herself had constructed for her deceased gorilla friends. She was buried in the graveyard bext to Digit and near many gorillas murdered by poachers, her work come to a film called ‘’gorillas in the mist’’. Go hike the Dian Fossy grave as attribute to her work of protecting the volcanoes mountain gorillas which today are still existing and your able to come see them

A vote of thanks also go to the government and the local community surrounding the park for protecting these giants without which gorillas could not be more. In order to conserve these rare species, there is a percentage which goes direct to the local community in order to improve their standards of living. Mountain Gorillas are listed as endangered by the IUCN. Gorillas are regarded as the second closest relative of man after the chimpanzee which shares almost 98% of human DNA make up, and its known as the largest primate on earth with a male weighing up to 370 kb. Gorillas feed on plants, fruits, buds, small insect and ants; they rarely drink water since most of the foods they consume contain too much water. By the time of writing, Rwanda has about 10 habituated gorilla families ready for tracking and only 8 people are allowed to track in each gorilla group which means that 80 people track mountain gorillas each day.