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from National Geographic

Photos: Women of National Geographic -- National Geographic Explorers

Dian Fossey spent 18 tempestuous years (1967-85) studying endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda's Virunga Volcanoes. She was also devoted to their care and protection. Though it came at the cost of her life-she was eventually murdered, probably by poachers, on whom she had waged a relentless war-Fossey awakened the world to the plight of these gentle creatures.


Dian Fossey is remembered throughout the world for her heroic struggle to preserve, protect and study the mountain gorilla. She founded the Digit Fund (later renamed the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International)


Dian Fossey,1932-1985, with Kima. American zoologist, She was a leading authority on mountain gorillas in Africa. She lost her life protecting something she loved...

from Museum of Motherhood {BLOG}

Inspiring Women- Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey - On her gravestone, "no one loved gorillas more." She preferred the loving, nurturing creatures over humans. She was found dead, murdered, near her research center in Africa in 1985

from Mental Floss

Ape Women: 10 Dedicated Primate Researchers

Dian Fossey lived in Rwanda for 18 years studying the lowland gorilla in its natural habitat. She approached and befriended a colony of gorillas, gaining their trust over time, and was even accepted as a member of their group. Over the years, Fossey wrote about her relationship with the gorillas, which led to the supporting of her work through the Digit Fund (named after her favorite juvenile gorilla), which later grew into the organization The Gorilla Fund.


Dian Fossey, a legendary figure in the study of great apes, spent 18 years closely studying the gorillas in their natural environment. Heavily influenced by Louis Leakey and Jane Goodall, she was a leading advocate against poaching in Africa. She was murdered in 1985.