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Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey

Gorillas in the Mist (1983)

by Dian Fossey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey in November 1984
Born January 16, 1932
San Francisco, California, U.S.
It's Not Goodbye - Sweet November MV

Died December 26, 1985 (aged 53)
Volcanoes National Park,Rwanda

Citizenship United States
Fields Ethology, primatology

Institutions Karisoke Research Center,Cornell University

Alma mater
College of Marin, (1949-1950)San Jose State University (B.A.,Occupational therapy, 1954)
Darwin College, Cambridge(Ph.D., Zoology, 1974)

Known for Study and conservation of themountain gorilla

Influences Jane Goodall, Louis Leakey,George Schaller

After I saw the movie "Gorillas in the Mist," I had to read this book

Gorillas in the Mist (1988) Official Trailer - Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown Movie HD

Gorillas in the Mist is Dian Fossey’s account of thirteen years spent learning mountain gorillas on the Virunga volcanic mountains.

Called one of the foremost primatologists while alive.
Although Fossey has been dead for over 25 years – she was killed in 1985, her ideas and contribution to conservation approaches still warrant recognition, if not application

Life and career

Fossey was born in San Francisco, California, the daughter of Kathryn "Kitty" (née Kidd), a fashion model, and George E. Fossey III, an insurance agent

Educated at Lowell High School, following the guidance of her stepfather she enrolled in a business course at the College of Marin. However, spending her summer on a ranch in Montana at age 19 rekindled her love of animals, and she enrolled in a pre-veterinary course in biology at the University of California, Davis.
Interest in Africa

Fossey turned down an offer to join the Henrys on an African tour due to lack of finances, but in 1963 she borrowed $8,000 (one year's salary), took out her life savings and went on a seven-week visit to Africa.

In September 1963, she arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. While in Kenya she met actor William Holden, owner of Treetops Hotel, who introduced her to her safari guide, John Alexander. Alexander became her guide for the next seven weeks through Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rhodesia.

Rwandan president and one of the country's most wanted criminals for his creation of "death squads," which killed 800,000 in 1994, was captured by Belgian police while trying to flee Kenya on June 9, 2001.

Dian Fossey, Digit's death
In loving memory Dian Fossey
Dian Fossey gorilla’s
For years the FBI was unable to catch its prime suspect, Zigiranyirazo, because of the dogmatic influences, but that all altered when he was detained in Belgium for combat wrongdoings.

There are really no easy solutions. Reading Gorillas in the Mist filled me with awe and respect for these amazing animals. Can you imagine a world without gorillas? I’ve never seen an actual gorilla, but I love knowing they exist somewhere. And the thought of them no longer existing makes me tremendously sad.

From the moment you open this captivating non-fiction book about the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Mountains, you crave to know more of these "gentle giants".

Though it would be easy Ms. Fossey to stray away from the gorillas to her own private life, Ms. Fossey stays totally attentive on her unselfish voyage to explain to the world that these gorillas are not beasts but "gentle Goliath's".

She gorgeously paints the picture of the gorillas' close-knit families and groups! Ms. Fossey also brilliantly fit in her own knowledges with the gorillas. This volume showed me that humans and gorillas can have relationships and can be "friends".

Intensely thorough and enunciated by Ms. Fossey and her studies and sympathy towards these superb Animals. This volume goes on to detail gorillas and their lives as well as the battles of deforestation and the combat to protect them. You get to know specific gorillas as well as Diane Fossey and her lifespan. I praise this and will recommend it especially to animal lovers.
Koko the Gorilla with in memory Robin Williams

This is for fun the lets dance

Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Footloose - Kenny Loggins
Flash-dance - Final Dance / What A Feeling (1983)
She´s a maniac – Flash-dance

Galantis - Runaway

( )
  Savehouse | Sep 24, 2018 |
Much like when I reviewed Jane Goodall's In the Shadow of Man, I quickly fell in love with the gorillas that Dian Fossey describes in exquisite detail in her book Gorillas in the Mist. (You may have heard of it.) Dr. Fossey moved to the Virungas of Africa (Zaire, Uganda, and Rwanda) to study the mountain gorillas that lived there. That study ended up taking nearly 20 years. However, she wasn't only studying the habits of the gorillas but also the parasites, environment (rainfall), vegetation, and the other animals that lived there (elephants, buffalo, duiker). (Basically, whatever she and her team could study they did to increase their chances of getting more grant money and lengthening their stay.) One of the things that Fossey stressed was that it would take more than passive conservation (tourism) to keep the mountain gorillas alive and thriving. She found that active conservation was the only way to go which meant that she had to employ staff to track down poacher's lairs and destroy their supplies and traps. Basically, she was a bada$$ of the highest caliber and the surrounding villagers had a nickname for her (it wasn't sweet lady of the mountain either). She quickly earned a reputation for not backing down and for doing everything within her power to protect these creatures from imminent extinction (which is looking more and more likely). Between poachers, population encroachment, and decreasing territory for the different gorilla groups there were only 242 mountain gorillas left at the end of her nearly two decade study. There are even less now. Fossey's fervent desire was that governments and the people governed by them would want to conserve these animals because they lived in the area providing the only fresh water source for the region. However, deforestation to make way for increasing numbers of people and farms continued no matter what arguments she put forth. I had heard about this book and its movie adaptation before but it wasn't until I saw Ellen DeGeneres talking about it (on her birthday episode) that I decided to finally pick up the book. I am so glad that I did. Even if you only read the appendices (which are absolutely phenomenal) you'd learn so much about these amazing animals and the land they inhabit. You'd also bear witness to the dedication and passion which Fossey had for her research. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Gorillas in the Mist and afterward that you do further research into Fossey because it makes it all the more poignant and meaningful (at least it did for me). 10/10 ( )
  AliceaP | Apr 6, 2018 |
Dian Fossey's account of her thirteen years among the Mountain gorillas whose range is limited to the six extinct volcanoes of the Virunga range, located in small portions of three countries: Zaire (Congo), Rwanda, and Uganda.

The largest of the living primates, the gorilla had never really been observed and studied closely. About 240 members of this subspecies survived at the time of her study. Leakey recognized that the groups were threatened with extinction in the same century they had first been scientifically observed.

Fossey corroborated, distinguished, corrected and detailed her own and others' observations, comparing them to work on other species. She ventilated the importance of females, largely overlooked by George Schaller, Leighton Wilkie, and other men for somewhat understandable reasons--they had less time, and a predisposition of the importance of the "dominant" male.

Leakey and Jane Goodall (Gombe Stream Research Center), showed her camp organization, data collecting techniques, and the comparative ethology of chimpanzees. [5] We see the proof in this book.

Having survived the wilds, the diseases and camp limitations, and the gorillas themselves, and having learned much about animal behavior and various means of communicating including fluency in Swahili, Fossey was murdered by humans in 1985.
  keylawk | Oct 6, 2013 |
A very interesting (if somewhat more scientific than I was expecting!) book about several groups of mountain gorillas studied by Dian Fossey in the 70s and 80s.

Prior to reading this book, I knew nothing about mountain gorillas or their habitat and had no particular interest in the subject. Despite that, this book more than held my attention.

Dian Fossey comes across as a very strong, opinionated, determined and brave woman, yet its easy to see how she could have easily made enemies. I was saddened to discover that she was murdered in Rwanda a few years after writing this book.
  cazfrancis | Jul 24, 2013 |
Legendary anthropologist Louis Leakey believed that field study of the great apes, our closet living relatives, could yield important insights into the behavior of early hominids. He recruited Jane Goodall to study chimpanzees in the wild. Dian Fossey was his "gorilla girl" and in this memoir she "recounts some of the events of the thirteen years... spent with the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat." Two years after publishing this book in 1983, Fossey was murdered--the case still remains unsolved. I had read Jane Goodall's memoir, Reason for Hope, just before reading Fossey's book. With Goodall, I rather wished for more on the chimpanzees, and less on her spiritual and political beliefs. I certainly didn't have that complaint with Fossey, although in the end her book is less accessible and engaging. Much of Fossey's book is too detailed and dry for a layman and reads more like a scientific report complete with appendixes, bibliography and index. She was less willing to speculate than Goodall about what her observations of gorillas suggested about human nature. I learned far more about such things as the dung of the gorilla than I ever wanted to know. At the same time, the various gorillas she observed, such as Pablo, Puck and especially Digit, do come through as endearing personalities. And if you're not moved by the stories of Coco and Pucker in "Wild Orphans" you have no beating heart.

The probable reason for her murder also chillingly comes through. I don't recall Goodall having had much of a problem with poaching in Tanzania. Fossey's situation was quite different. One of three subspecies of gorilla, the mountain gorilla inhabits a narrow band of territory consisting of six dormant volcanoes running through Zaire, Rwanda and Uganda. Mountain gorillas had been discovered in 1902 and were expected to become extinct by the end of the same century. When Fossey wrote the preface to her book, she estimated the population of mountain gorillas at less than 250 individuals. As soon as Fossey hit the ground, she went to war with the hunters and herders using the reserve. She released caught prey, cut traplines, destroyed hunting equipment, confiscated weapons and helped capture men who then received long prison sentences for poaching. At one point she even kidnapped the ten-year-old son of a "leading poacher" to force him to stop. A cynical part of me wondered when I read that if Fossey would have become such a beloved heroine in the Western world had she done that to a European or American child. She deliberately "mixed herds...thus destroying long-cherished bloodlines between familial herds" of cattlemen whose families had been grazing in those areas for "at least four hundred years." And when her dog was taken, she stole and held hostage the cattle of herders who had nothing to do with it, threatening to kill one of the cattle each day until her dog was returned. That's what she admitted to.

After reading the book and wondering what had happened in the nearly 30 years since--and to find out what she hadn't told me--I went a-googling. I found this article from Entertainment Weekly about Hayes' The Dark Romance of Dian Fossey, based on over 200 interviews. The article, quoting Hayes, claimed that in "pursuit of her singular goal, the protection of the endangered mountain gorilla, Fossey had shot at her enemies, kidnapped their children, whipped them about the genitals, smeared them with ape dung, killed their cattle, [and] burned their property." Moreover, the article notes: "Had Fossey not been lucky enough to publicize the plight of the apes by getting her book on the best-seller lists, her efforts on behalf of these magnificent creatures could have done more harm than good. Hardly anybody in Rwanda, for example, doubts that some apes were slaughtered less for profit than as acts of revenge against the scientist herself." The good news at least is that, according to the Wiki, as "of Spring 2010, the estimated total number of mountain gorillas worldwide is 790." Not out of danger--but not extinct--and with a population that's grown three-fold in the last three decades. The irony is that as the Entertainment Weekly article pointed out, it's the success of the tourism Fossey opposed "that has protected the mountain apes, by making them worth infinitely more to Rwandans than the value of their habitat as crop land."

I can't help but compare Fossey's legacy--and the impression she made on me in her book--to that of Jane Goodall. In her opposition to animal research, Goodall didn't just hurl bricks, rhetorical or otherwise, from outside the walls. She didn't abuse those on the other side of the debate. She visited laboratories and sat down with researchers to convince them--to work with them to better the condition of experimental animals, and she tried to find common ground with those who disagreed with her. I have a very different worldview than Jane Goodall--but I ended her memoir feeling for her liking, respect, even admiration. With Fossey, by the end of her memoir and a little follow-up, it was a very different story. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Jan 16, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fossey, Dianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eklöf, MargaretaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heij, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pietiläinen, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 061808360X, Paperback)

In 1963, an occupational therapist from Kentucky, in uncertain health and spirits, traveled to central Africa in the quixotic hope of seeing a mountain gorilla in its natural habitat. Dian Fossey had read everything she could about the reclusive and much-feared animal, and she returned from her trip convinced that most of the books were wrong.

During her seven-week stay in Africa, Fossey had a chance encounter with the famed primatologists Mary and Louis Leakey, who encouraged her to follow her dream of living among the mountain gorillas and learning their ways. In 1967 she did just that, setting up a camp on the slopes of the 14,000-foot Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda and studying four gorilla families there. Although it took them some time to accept Fossey's presence among them, she was immediately impressed by their peaceful nature and by their generous, guileless behavior--so unlike the images found in popular culture.

But, Fossey discovered, despite their peaceable way of life, the gorillas had many enemies in the form of poachers who hunted them for their hands, skins, and heads--ghastly remains sold to the tourist market. Much of Fossey's thoughtful but often rightly angry memoir Gorillas in the Mist is a well-reasoned plea for the protection of the gorillas and the suppression of the poachers' black market. That argument found a wide audience when her book was published in 1983, but Fossey's work remains unfinished: she was murdered, probably by those very poachers, in 1985, and today there are fewer than 650 mountain gorillas in the wild. To read Gorillas in the Mist is a first step for anyone concerned with their preservation, and that of other wild species everywhere. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:38 -0400)

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Presents Dian Fossey's account of her thirteen years living in a remote African rain forest where she conducted groundbreaking research on gorillas and worked to ensure their future.

» see all 3 descriptions

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