Dian Fossey (January 16, 1932 - December 26, 1985) was an American ethologist interested in gorillas, completing an extended study of several gorilla groups, observing them daily for years in the mountain forests of Rwanda. Initially encouraged to work there by famous paleontologist Louis Leakey, her work is somewhat similar to Jane Goodall's with chimpanzees.
She was found murdered in Rwanda in 1985, presumably by poachers.
Her memoir "Gorillas in the Mist" was turned into a film Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey starring Sigourney Weaver as Fossey. The film is based on Fossey's life and work in Africa. The written work covers her scientific career in much greater detail, and omits some material on her personal life, notably an affair with photographer Bob Campbell that was a major plot point of the movie.
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