bob campbell's photographs dian fossey's Karisoke Research Center, 1968 - 1972

Bob Campbell


Bob Campbell was an inexperienced photographer when he got a lucky break, the National Geographic assignment to document Dian Fossey’s mountain gorilla research in 1969. Photographing jet-black gorillas in clouded forests was difficult with available photographic equipment. He proposed habituating the timid animals to close human approaches, contradicting Fossey’s chosen scientific protocol. However, winning her approval to habituate the gorillas allowed him to film a series of historic first images of peaceful human-gorilla contact. His photographs captured National Geographic magazine readers’ attention in 1970 and 1971, earning worldwide recognition for Fossey and increasing public interest in gorilla conservation. Campbell’s work at Karisoke and throughout East Africa contributed greatly to African wildlife photography.


Photograph of Bob Campbell carrying cine or movie film camera equipment with a Maasai man



Bob Campbell with orphaned gorillas Coco and Pucker and Dian's dog Cindy, Rwanda