About Dian Fossey Foundation : Dian Fossey returned to Africa, this time to the Congo, to study the region’s mountain gorillas. Dian Fossey first encountered mountain gorillas in October 1966. Dian Fossey visited Uganda and stayed at the Travelers Rest, a little hotel in Kisoro that is still in business today albeit on a shoestring budget. The hotel owner was a well-known gorilla environmentalist, mostly because he saw the potential value of tourism to the area.
Her first expedition was with Joan and Alan Root, two Kenyan photographers who had been documenting these gentle giants. Dian Fossey was to observe and study the mountain gorillas on one of the days when they wandered into the forest.
Dian Fossey later returned to the Virunga Mountains and spent more time with friends in Rhodesia. She finally returned home to her prior employment at the Kosair Children’s Hospital, where she was still paying off her previous trip’s debt and planning her future journey to Africa.
About the Dian Fossey Foundation in Congo.
Dian Fossey traveled to the Congo and subsequently to Zaire, accompanied by Alan Root, an African specialist who supported her in getting permissions to do research and study in the Virunga Mountains. Alan even helped her hire two African gentlemen to help her with the assignment, and before he left, he taught her the basics of gorilla tracking. Alan dispatched her to Kabara, where she was to begin working alone.
Her fate with the mountain gorillas was confirmed on her first day of gorilla tracking, when she stumbled across a lone male gorilla after only 10 minutes of walking, giving her even more hope for her research. She linked up with Senkwekwe, an experienced gorilla tracker, for the following sightings.
Dian Fossey settled into a 7 by 10-foot tent in Kabara as her new home, replete with a bedroom, bathroom, office, and laundry room where she tried to dry her clothes in the rain forest. She usually ate canned food, although she had the option of having meals prepared in an antique structure. She got her meals from the Kibumba community once a month.
Senkwekwe proceeded to supply Dian with all of the information she could possibly need about these gorillas and their tracking, and with this knowledge, she was able to find three gorilla families near her study location on the slopes of Mount Mikeno. She attempted constantly to adapt these gorillas to her presence, but they resisted. Her habituation process took longer than intended, but she persevered.
The political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo/Zaire was not ideal, and on July 9th, 1967, during one of their regular meetings, Dian and Senkwekwe discovered a squad of armed soldiers waiting for them with the aim of safely transporting them to safety. She languished in Rumangabo for over two weeks before bribing her way out and returning to Kisoro, where she was warned she would not be allowed to return.
About Dian Fossey foundation in Rwanda.
Dian Fossey’s gorilla conservation effort in Rwanda to study and protect the lives of wild gorillas moved people all over the world. Her persistence, drive, and passion have inspired numerous environmentalists who have followed in her footsteps. Her legacy lives on through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s gorilla conservation, scientific, education, and people-development efforts.
Dian travelled from Kisoro to Nairobi to meet with Dr. Leakey, who helped her secure permission to continue her research on the Rwandan side of the Virungas, now Volcanoes National Park. Dian founded the Karisoke research center in 1967, named for Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke, where the camp was built.
Dian utilized the knowledge she gained while in Zaire to habituate four gorilla populations in 1968. During her time in Rwanda, she photographed some of her work for the National Geographic Society. People’s conceptions of mountain gorillas transformed as a result of these images, and the gorillas were recast as gentle creatures.
As she gathered data, Dian began to see the threats to the survival of these species, and their greatest threat was humanity; poachers and livestock caretakers. She tried to fend off the poachers, which was not well received by these people. Dian Fossey was discovered unconscious in her hut with a knife in her head on December 27, 1985. Her research center and efforts are still evident and may be visited on a Rwanda gorilla trekking expedition.