Dian Fossey was born in Fairfax, California in 1932. She was

an only child and was always interested in animals. She attended

San Jose State where she majored in veterinary medicine for a

while, but ended up getting a degree in occupational therapy. After

reading a book by George Schaller, who is now 65 years old and was

one of the first people to conduct a scientific study of the mountain

gorilla. Later she attended a symposium where Dr. Louis Leakey was

the lead speaker and convinced him to let her conduct a field study

on mountain gorillas.


In 1967, Dian Fossey began observing and trying to get an

accurate count of the mountain gorillas in Zaire. She ended up

having to leave there because of a civil war. Dian relocated to

Rwanda, where she founded the Karisoke research center. She

lived there for almost 20 years among the gorillas. Dian was one

of the first people to ever have voluntary contact with a gorilla and

eventually was able to sit among them to observe and play with

them. Fossey temporarily left Africa to attend Cambridge

University and earn her Ph.D in Zoology in 1974.


For more information see the links we've gathered at the conclusion page of this website.

JANE BIRUTE conclusion and links

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