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from National Geographic

Photos: Women of National Geographic -- National Geographic Explorers


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)

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.


Leakey's Angels - Poster by Evan Animals, via Flickr Jane Goodall kissing Chimpanzee, photo credit to Jean-Marc Bouju. Dian Fossey Birute Galdikas kissing an orangutan can be found in "Sanctuary the Book" by Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison