Dian Fossey Facts

Dian Fossey Facts
Dian Fossey (January 16, 1932 to December 26, 1985) was an American primatologist who studied gorilla groups in their native habitat for almost two decades.
Interesting Dian Fossey Facts:
Fossey had a love of animals and originally wanted to study veterinary medicine.
She struggled with chemistry, and transferred to occupational therapy and received a B.S. in 1954.
She met anthropologist Louis Leakey while vacationing in Africa at Olduvai Gorge.
She rekindled her friendship with Leakey and his wife when he toured Louisville on a nation-wide lecture tour.
In 1966 she quit her job as a therapist after Leakey offered to fund her research with mountain gorillas.
In preparation for her trip, Leakey stated Fossey had to have her appendix removed due to the inability to seek medical care while in the forest, then after the surgery told her it was really just to test her dedication to the project.
During the eight months it took her to get a visa, Fossey studied Swahili and primatology, arriving in Nairobi in December, 1966.
Fossey studied the gorillas in the mountains of Rwanda.
On September 24, 1967 she founded the Karisoke Research Center in the Rwandan rainforest.
She credited her experience with autistic children with teaching her the skills she needed to make the gorillas comfortable with her.
Leakey sent three primatologists to study great apes in their native habitat, including Fossey, Jane Goodall, and Birute Galdikas.
In 1983 Fossey wrote Gorillas in the Mist about her study of the gorillas at the Karisoke Research Center.
In 1988 the book was made into a film.
On December 27, 1985 Fossey was found murdered in her cabin from a machete blow to the face.
While it is believed poachers killed her to stop her conservation efforts, the case has never been solved.

Related Links:
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Dian Fossey Timeline
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