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Gorillas in the Mist

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Devon May

on 8 May 2013

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Transcript of Gorillas in the Mist

Gorillas In The Mist By Dian Fossey Dian Fossey The Book Habitat Wild Orphans Bound For Captivity: Coco and Pucker. Poaching Family Group Structure The Death of Dian. "I realized dreams seldom materialize on their own." The book was sectioned into chapters as Dian recalled events from her thirteen years in the African Rainforest. Some chapters took place over the course of several years. Though technically a rainforest, the slopes of the volcanoes that the gorillas inhabit are cold, cloud covered and misty. They usually inhabit the dense vegetation at around 7,200–14,100 ft. Parc National Des Volcans is roughly 30,000 acres of conserved forest. A Family group of Mountain Gorillas consists of one dominant Silver Back (a male over the age of 13), several breeding age females, some younger Black Back males (younger than 13), and adolescent offspring of the group.
These groups are called Troops or Bands and can consist of as many as 30 gorillas. Both Coco and Pucker's families were killed by poachers. The reason however was not for the family members, but for the adolescents themselves. Both family units were killed in attempt to save the infants from the poachers. The reasoning behind killing two whole family units being to capture the two young Mountain Gorillas to be sold to the Cologne Zoo. Poaching and human encroachment on habitat are the biggest threats to the extinction of the Mountain Gorilla. Dian Fossy was murdered December 26, 1985, Rwanda. A hole was cut through the walls of her thin hut by the assailant(s), she was shot and killed before she could defend herself. All of her personal belongings, money and camera equipment were untouched. She was 53.
Her last journal entry read Born January 16, 1932, in San Francisco, California.
Studied at Darwin College, University of Cambridge, San Jose State University
Originally a occupational therapist.
Put herself into three years worth of bank debt to go to Africa for seven weeks. Getting to Africa Contents: Acknowledgments.
12 chapters of her recapping stories.
An Epilogue.
7 appendix entries of her scientific findings.
3 Maps.
A family lineage chart. Dian Fossey's greatest fear throughout the book was that the Mountain Gorilla would go extinct the same century that the species was discovered. "When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future." She was buried in Karisoke, in her Gorilla graveyard, next to Digit and many other poached gorillas. Fighting Back. Rwanda's government assists in fighting against poaching. "Rangers" who are sometimes ex-poachers themselves are paid to dismantle snares and save trapped animals. Dian Fossey not only got close to the Mountain Gorillas, but was eventually accepted as a part of some troops. There she learned how similar Human and Gorilla behavior are. My favorite being her discovery that almost all gorillas are extremely ticklish. Mountain Gorillas; Gorilla beringei beringei Dian was approached by the man selling Coco (who was captured first) to try and rehabilitate her from the terrible conditions the poachers had kept her in. This was merely because the zoo refused to buy the infant if she were sick. Pucker was soon brought to Fossey as well by the same man. Both infants had been restrained with wire, which had cut into both of their arms and legs causing severe infections. About 86% of their diet is made up of leaves, shoots, and stems, 7% is made up of roots, 3% is made up of flowers, 2% is fruit, and 2% ants, snails, and grubs. Diet See pg. 1. Ch. 9-11. Ch. 5. Fossey met Louis and Mary Leakey on her first trip to Africa, all sharing an interest in the Mountain Gorillas. After accidentally falling into an excavation cite and breaking her ankle, the Leakeys urged Fossey to not make the trek up the volcanic mountain. However she could not be deterred. She wrote that "Two weeks after leaving the Leakey's and aided by a walking stick carved by a sympathetic African encountered along the road, I, the hired driver, and a dozen porters carrying the basics of camping gear and food began the arduous five-hour climb to the remote Kabara meadow." Three years later, Dr. Leakey sends Dian a letter asking her to become the "Gorilla Girl" for his long term field study. Pg. 4. http://i4.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article173906.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/m-image-2-566956152.jpg
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/nov/13/mountain-gorilla-population-rises References: Digit Dian's most studied, trusting and favorite gorilla. He lived to become a Silver Back of Group 4 and father Mwelu (Meaning "A touch of brightness and light.") with his only mate Simba. However not long enough to meet Mwelu. Digit was killed by poachers a New Years Eva 1977. He died protecting Group 4. Mechling's Points Socially: Fossey points out often that society does not understand or relate to the plight of the Mountain Gorillas as they have never come into contact with them. However, she is adamantly against tourism of areas like the Virunga National Park. She believes that human tourism will decimate the population through the spread of human illnesses.
Environmentally: Fossey fears throughout the book that the Mountain Gorillas will disappear in the same century that they were discovered. The environmental theme throughout the book was that humans were like a wild fire, and that it was unnecessary for so many species to suffer for the expansion of the neighboring human population.
Efficiently: Dian Fossey is divided in the category of efficiency, she lived for 13 years on the bare minimum of necessities in the volcanic rainforests, however she developed attachments to the gorillas which made her objectivity to the study difficult at times.
Economically: A well funded field study, funded by the Leakeys.
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