She was an American primatologist and conservationist known for taking a deeper study of mountain gorillas Groups between 1966-1885. The study was carried out in karisoke research centre and was her prior career.
She was a powerful primatologist and a member of the sound called trimates group that was mainly carrying studies about apes. She supported wildlife conservation effort and strongly disagreed with poachers and wildlife tourism in their habitats.
She was born in San Francisco, California in 1932. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she grew up with her mother and stepfather. She was an excellent student and was extremely interested in animals from a very young age of age 6, she began horseback riding lessons and in high school earned a letter on the riding team.
Dian enjoyed her experience on the farm, but she dreamed of seeing more of the world and its abundant wildlife. A friend travelled to Africa and brought home pictures and stories of her exciting vacation. Once Dian saw the photos and heard the stories, she decided that she must travel there herself.
She was driven from the camp by the worsening political situation in Congo. On July 9, 1967, Dian and Senwekwe returned to camp to find armed soldiers waiting for them. There was political instability in Kivu Province of Zaire and the soldiers had come to “escort” her down the mountain for protection.
She was in Rumangabo for a fortnight under military guard until, on July 26, she was able to plan her escape. She offered the guards money to escort/take her to Kisoro, Uganda, to register “Lily” properly and then bring her back. The guards never resisted and agreed to provide an escort. While in Kisoro, Dian went to Travellers Rest Hotel, where Walter Baumgärtel immediately called the Ugandan military. The soldiers from Zaire were arrested, and Dian was safe.
In Kisoro, she was questioned and warned not to return to Zaire present today Democratic Republic of Congo. After more questioning in Kigali Rwanda, she finally flew back to Nairobi where she met with Dr. Leakey. There they decided, against the advice of the U.S. Embassy, that Dian would continue her work on the Rwandan side of the Virunga.
“The Kabara groups taught me much regarding gorilla behavior. From them I learned to accept the animals on their own terms and never to push them beyond the varying levels of tolerance they were willing to give. Any observer is an intruder in the domain of a wild animal and must remember that the rights of that animal supersede human interests.” Dian fossey wrote in her Published book “gorilla in the mist”.
She became successful in the study of mountain gorillas after getting help of people she met along the way. This proved her true and shifted her focus to Volcanoes National Park on the Rwandan side of the Virunga. In Rwanda, Dian met a woman named Rosamond Carr, who had lived in Rwanda for some years and was familiar with the country.
Dian used her own funds to help purchase boots, uniforms, food and provide additional wages to encourage park wardens to be more active in enforcing anti-poaching laws. These efforts spawned the first Karisoke anti-poaching patrols, whose job was to protect the gorillas in the research area.
Fossey was dead in the bedroom of her cabin located at the far edge of the camp in the Virunga Mountains, Rwanda. She was buried at Karisoke in a site that she constructed for her deceased gorilla friends. She was buried in the gorilla graveyard next to Digit fund, and near many gorillas killed by poachers. Memorial services were also held in New York, Washington, and California.