News Column

Dian Fossey Honored with Google Doodle

January 16, 2014

Staff Reports --

Dian Fossey,

Today's Google Doodle is dedicated to Dian Fossey, an American zoologist who studied and lived with gorillas in Rwanda for 18 years.

Jan. 16, 2014 would have been her 82nd birthday.

Her first trip to Africa was in 1963 where she would meet anthropologist Louis Leakey, who told Fossey about Jane Goodall's work with chimpanzees, and encouraged her to conduct a long-term study of great apes.

In the 1970s, she spent four years traveling between Africa and Cambridge University to earn her Ph.D., and in 1983 she wrote the best-selling book "Gorillas in the Mist," that would later become a movie.

Unfortunately, Fossey was murdered in 1985.

But before she died, Fossey was able to catalogue a lot of her work and findings about the endangered animal, including this piece, originally published January 1970 in the National Geographic:

"Thus the mountain gorilla faces grave danger of extinction, primarily because of the encroachments of native man upon its habitat—and neglect by civilized man, who does not conscientiously protect even the limited areas now allotted for the gorilla's survival.

Money alone will not solve the problem. Conservation groups and political authority must join in concerted programs if this three-nation area and its wildlife are to be saved from human trespassers.

Such help is overdue. I only hope that Rafiki, Uncle Bert, Icarus, and my other forest friends can survive until it comes."

How you can contribute to Fossey's legacy and help gorillas:

Google's Doodle in honor of Fossey:

Source: (c) 2014. All rights reserved.

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