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Gorillas in the mist.
From 1967 to her murder in 1985, American primatologist Dian Fossey, was the one true friend the mountain gorillas could have asked for, in what is now Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, east Africa. Initially on a mission to study the primates in their natural habitat, Fossey upon witnessing the mass killing of the primates with no protection offered by rangers, established her own anti-poaching outfit and fought bitterly for the conservation of the species against both armed poachers and government authorities that defended the illegal activities as a source of income for impoverished villagers.
Concerned for the health of the primates, as gorillas are known to be vulnerable to human diseases, she stood up against larger environmental organizations bent on introducing wildlife tourism. Her up-close and personal relation with mountain gorillas and her observations gathered over a period of eighteen years helped advance understanding of the species and made the world aware of their plight.
Released in 1988, the motion picture ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ is based upon her book published two years prior to her death in 1983 by the same name. The film was nominated for five Oscar awards and won two Golden Globe including the best actress award – bagged by Sigourney Weaver for her portrayal of the lone woman who inspite her shortcomings defended a species not her own, that too in a far away country also not her own. Fossey remains one of the most inspiring figures of the 21st century and is buried among her deceased gorilla friends in a graveyard she had constructed during her lifetime within the research center she founded.
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