One of a handful of wildlife conservation figures recognized worldwide for her work, Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center for the study of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas in September 1967. She is credited with preventing the extinction of Mountain gorillas during the same century in which they were discovered, though her own efforts weren’t entirely successful or sustainable. Over 30 years after her mysterious and violent death, one of Fossey’s legacies is the conservation fund commemorating her favorite gorilla, Digit. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International continues to provide significant support towards gorilla conservation and public education, running primarily on individual contributions. Today, mountain gorillas are among the most monitored wildlife species thanks to her nearly 20-year residency at Karisoke.
Bob Campbell (British Kenyan resident, 1930-2014)
Dian Fossey with orphaned gorillas 'Coco' and 'Pucker,' Rwanda