DIAN FOSSEY GRAVE TOUR IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
DIAN - ONCE THE BEST FRIEND OF GORILLAS -REST IN ETERNAL PEACE.
Born: January 16, 1932 in United States of America
Died: December 26, 1985, Virunga Mountains of Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Buried: December 31, 1985, in Karisoke research centre.
Dian Fossey was an American zoologist, primatologist and anthropologist who loved mountain Gorillas to a large extent. Dian played a leading role in the preservation of Gorillas for about 18 year. Dian Fossey served in both Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo where she established camps in Karisoke (from the combined name: Karisimbi & Visoke) and Kabara respectively. This is where she conducted her research.
Due to constant instabilities in Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C), Dian Fossey gave up with her research in Congo and shifted to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park following Leakey’s advice. She established a camp at Karisoke research center which is one of the chief tourist attractions in Volcanoes National Park to date. You can not claim that you love mountain Gorillas so much minus loving Diane Fossey who strived to conserve their lives- thus part of the revenue collected from Diane Fossey treks goes to the treasury of Dian Fossey gorilla fund.
Karisoke research centre was established on September 24, 1967 by Diane Fossey her self. The centre is situated in Volcanoes National Park between Karisimbi and Visoke mountains. By the time of establishing Karisoke research centre, No group of mountain Gorillas was habituated and it became hard for Dian Fossey to study about them at a close range.
Roles of Dian Fossey towards the preservation of mountain Gorillas
Together with her staff, she carried out patrols aimed at controlling poaching of mountain Gorillas, elephants and so on. The habit of Killing animals had become rampant by Fossey tried to control it through her anti-poaching campaigns.
She tried to befriend mountain Gorillas making they familiar to human beings- thus initiating mountain Gorilla habituation process. To date, Volcanoes National Park is hosts 10 habituated groups of gorillas hence earning the country a lot of foreign exchange.
During her study, she befriended people in the nearby communities like Nyirmachabelli or Nyiramacibiri, who used to call her “the woman who lives alone on the mountain’.
Her work went on well and she soon found favor and friendship with the mountain gorillas where she befriended silver back known as digit. The death of Digit in 1978 was a big blow in Dian’s heart after digit was short as he was trying to protect a baby gorilla known as Kweli from poachers.
Dian Fossey educated people about the advantages of preserving the mountain Gorillas hence calming animals poaching.
Dian Fossey set up Karisoke research centre- today it is one of the chief tourist attractions. She was also buried at Karisoke research centre where tourists trek to see her grave and take wrath. Currently, Dian Fossey trek cost US$ 75 per person.
Dian Fossey launched descent burial of mountain Gorillas – mountain Gorilla by the name of Digit was buried at the camp at the Karisoke Research center after being killed by poachers in the struggle of rescuing a baby Gorillas from poachers. Digit became the first friend of Dian Fossey and its death was a bigger blow to her.
From her struggle of protecting mountain Gorillas, other international bodies like African Wildlife foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, Fauna Preservation Society and the Mountain Gorilla Project to join her in the struggle.
Through her poaching patrols, Dian Fossey arrested some poachers and taken to courts of law who set punishments for them- in the process, poaching was controlled.
Dian Fossey went on decampagning poaching through anti poaching patrols. Initially, gorillas and elephants were being killed for selfish motives like meat, tasks among others. Dian Fossey’s anti-poaching patrols led to the arrest of many poachers who were sentenced to jail. Dian was murdered in 1985 in her tent at her research institute by unknown murders where she was found lying in a pool of blood in the early morning of December 27, 1985.