Green Heroes pp 117-123 | Cite as

No One Loved Gorillas More – The Life and Legacy of Dian Fossey

  • László Erdős


Dian Fossey graduated as an occupational therapist and was working at a children’s hospital. In 1963 she went on safari to Africa and was so fascinated by the mountain gorillas that she decided to return to them. She started her gorilla research project three years later. Dian Fossey accumulated a huge amount of data on the behaviour of mountain gorillas and had important scientific observations about countless aspects of gorilla life. What is even more important, she became an activist to protect mountain gorillas. She destroyed thousands of traps, rescued and healed trapped animals, and captured poachers. While Fossey’s scientific achievements and tireless conservation activity brought her international recognition, her single-mindedness also earned her several enemies. She was brutally murdered in her cabin on December the 26th, 1985. Mountain gorillas are still endangered, but, thanks partly to the efforts of Dian Fossey, their population is increasing.


Mountain gorilla Louis Leakey Digit (gorilla) Gorillas in the Mist Virunga Mountains 

Worth Reading

  1. De la Bédoyére, C. (2011). Letters from the mist. London: Palazzo Editions.Google Scholar
  2. Fossey, D. (2000). Gorillas in the mist. Boston: Mariner Books.Google Scholar
  3. Gordon, N. (1993). Murders in the mist. Who killed Dian Fossey? London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar
  4. Hayes, H. (1990). The dark romance of Dian Fossey. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  5. Mowat, F. (1987). Virunga: The passion of Dian Fossey. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.Google Scholar
  6. Nienaber, G. (2006). Gorilla dreams: The legacy of Dian Fossey. New York: iUniverse.Google Scholar
  7. Schaller, G. B. (2010). The year of the gorilla. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Shoumatoff, A. (1988). African madness. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar

Worth Browsing

Worth Watching

  1. The Lost Film of Dian Fossey (2002)Google Scholar
  2. Dian Fossey: Secrets in the mist (2017)Google Scholar
  3. Gorillas revisited with David Attenborough (2005)Google Scholar
  4. Fossey’s war (1980)Google Scholar
  5. Search for the Great Apes (1975)Google Scholar
  6. Gorillas in the mist (1988)Google Scholar
  7. Virunga (2014)Google Scholar
  8. The Lost Gorillas of the Virunga (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • László Erdős
    • 1
  1. 1.MTA-DE Lendület Functional and Restoration Ecology Research Group, DebrecenInstitute of Ecology and Botany MTA Centre for Ecological ResearchVácrátótHungary

Personalised recommendations