he Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is dedicated to continuing and expanding the work begun by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1967, to protect and study endangered gorillas and their forests every day. The Fossey Fund’s holistic model of conservation today includes not only direct, daily gorilla protection and continuing the world’s longest-running gorilla research program, but also collaborating with nearby communities to help meet critical needs and building the next generation of conservationists through extensive training and education programs. As a leading woman of conservation, we are sure that Dian Fossey would have been proud to support the Great Elephant Migration, helping to tell the world more about endangered wildlife and how wildlife and people can and must thrive together.

- Dr. Tara Stoinski—President and CEO/Chief Scientific Officer

Dian Fossey first visited Africa in 1963, getting her initial sight of the endangered mountain gorillas and also meeting famed paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. She returned to Africa several years later to study gorilla behavior, at the urging of Dr. Leakey. Her work in Rwanda began in 1967, when she set up camp in the Virunga mountains and began what is now the world’s longest-running gorilla research program. Fossey later recounted her work and growing love and concern for the gorillas in her book “Gorillas in the Mist,” bringing their plight to the attention of the world. Fossey faced and overcame many obstacles and ultimately gave her life to gorilla protection, when she was killed in her forest cabin in 1985. Her legacy continues today in the work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, with its many expanded scientific, conservation, education and community development programs. Fossey feared that mountain gorillas would go extinct by the year 2000 and instead, based on the work she began, they are the only great ape whose numbers are increasing. Her legacy is immortalized in these words from her book: “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate on the preservation of the future.

Photo courtesy of Robert Campbell Archives.