On this day 28 years ago, the world’s most famous gorilla researcher, Dr. Dian Fossey, was murdered in her cabin at the former Karisoke Research Center site in the misty Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda. Before her death Fossey realized that, with just 248 mountain gorillas left in the wild, the population needed a dedicated veterinarian to treat sick and injured gorillas or they would not survive. Just a few short weeks after her death, Fossey’s friend and fellow wildlife enthusiast Ruth Morris Keesling of the Morris Animal Foundation hired Dr. James Foster – the very first Gorilla Doctor – and he moved to Rwanda to set up the Centre Veterinaire des Volcans. For more about Dr. Foster and the history of Gorilla Doctors, go to the Gorilla Doctors history webpage.

Today, we honor the memory of Dian and the many brave men and women who have paid the ultimate price for gorilla conservation. 

You can follow the Gorilla Doctors health monitoring efforts on our Facebook page, where we post photos and notes from our monthly visits.

Please consider supporting us by making a secure online donation. Every dollar you give goes to directly supporting our gorilla health programs and One Health initiative. Thank you for your generosity.