Today’s gorilla protectors reflect on Dian Fossey’s legacy

Posted on January, 17 2014

Mountain gorilla conservation comes into focus as Google honours pioneering primatologist
Like Dian Fossey before her, Anna Behm Masozera lives in Rwanda where she works to protect the amazing mountain gorilla.

Anna is the Director of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a coalition of WWF, FFI and African Wildlife Foundation. ICGP partners with the three mountain gorilla range country governments, Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo, to find solutions for the animals, their habitats and the communities living near them.

Anna took a moment to reflect on Dian Fossey after Google profiled the famous conservationist:

“Yesterday, I spent the day that would have been Dian Fossey's 82nd birthday working side-by-side with several other fantastic women - and men! - who have been inspired by her and share her passion for the protection and preservation of the mountain gorillas.

This passion she has instilled in so many that are now working together for the purpose of conservation is her legacy, and we can learn from this model. That what may seem impossible - protecting a species against overwhelming odds - can be made possible when people with passion work together. I firmly believe that there is as much heart applied in conservation as there is intellect.”

Thanks to this labour of love by Dian, Anna and many others, mountain gorilla populations have increased to at least 880. 

But new threats are emerging that Dian likely never imagined. Shockingly, a British oil company is planning to explore in one of the few remaining parks where the critically endangered gorillas live. Today we learned that a new baby gorilla has been born there

We draw the line at oil exploration in DRC’s gorilla park.

If you’ve been inspired to help, please sign our petition now and tell Soco International to leave Virunga immediately.

Mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park, where Soco International is looking for oil.
© Brent Stirton / Reportage by Getty Images / WWF
Anna Behm Masozera
© Ally Catterick / FFI