Dr. Louis Leaky 's The Mountain Gorillas

1123 Words Apr 15th, 2016 5 Pages
Doctor Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who chose to dedicate two decades of her life studying the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Mountains in East Africa. She chose to report her study of the mountain gorillas in the form of a book called Gorillas in the Mist. It portrays the adventure, struggles, and realizations Dian Fossey experienced in her efforts to understanding the Mountain Gorillas lifestyle. When on a six-week long safari in Africa, Fossey was introduced to Dr. Louis Leaky who emphasized to her the importance of conducting a long term field study with great apes. Once returned home Dr. Leaky convinced Fossey to become the “gorilla girl” and carry out a funded long-term field study of mountain gorillas (Fossey, 1983). Although at first Fossey’s goal was simply to collect data, she was able to gain the trust of the Mountain Gorillas and in turn teach the scientific community and the general population new information on gorilla’s individualism and social structure. Fossey dismantled previous stereotypes of gorillas being vicious beasts and instead preached of their playful and gentle personalities. This encouraged primatologist to work towards conservation research for the great apes along with pushing the field to focus on studying the apes for their own culture, not just for human evolutionary interests. The means in which Dian Fossey formatted Gorillas in the Mist is clearly so that it is an easily readable piece that can be understood by a wide…
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