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Book Review of Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey

Updated on August 16, 2012
Gorillas in the Mist Bookcover
Gorillas in the Mist Bookcover | Source

In the Beginning

Dian Fossey, was a remarkable and selfless woman, who did all that she could to ensure the lives and well-being of the nearly extinct mountain gorilla of Rwanda, Zaire and Uganda through the efforts of Karisoke Research Center, which she founded.

Her work began in 1967 and continued until 1983, a small segment of time to study a species and attempt to help it proliferate.

Own Your Own Copy!

The Facts

She and an assortment of students and African staff worked zealously and above and beyond the call of duty to eradicate the selfish work of poachers. Not only did the poachers cause grave harm, death, and suffering to the mountain gorilla, they also cruelly caused injury and death to other species, as well.

Sadly, a third world country with people so poor that they will do anything for their survival, including nearly eradicating an entire species. Even officials in these countries will sell these wonderful animals to get money and vehicles for their organizations without a second thought.

Saddest of all, these mountain gorillas, when confronted by traps, guns, arrows and bows, as well as spears, can only fight for their lives as best they can. This causes the upheaval of life of the species as they know it, which includes infanticide, deaths of other animals within their familial groups, and emotional trauma for the cruelly captured animals that have survived their first round with human beings. Dian Fossey was then looked upon to try to repair these animals both mentally and physically.

What We Can Do

Unfortunately, when it comes to the almighty dollar, the animals are always the ones to suffer. They cannot afford due process, medical care, or even blood money to ensure their survival.

That is where you and I come into the picture. One of the mountain gorillas that was cruelly killed was named Digit. The Digit Fund was established to try to help fund the work of anti-poaching operations, and it still exists, but has been renamed. Tax deductible donations may be made to The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E., Atlanta, GA 30315, telephone 800-851-0203.

This book is a must-read for everyone that wants to know what really happens with animals that have been captured and sold for profit. It is not pretty, but it will enlighten all to the injustices that humanity can create, and turn a blind eye to it, all at the same time. This is why there have been trusts created, and organizations begun to save animals before there are none left.

So please, the next time that you are solicited for a donation from these organizations, remember that these animals really are on the verge of extinction and once they are gone, it is over. We will never see them again to experience their beauty, for they have lost their freedom forever. We must be grateful that we have ours, for it is the humans that run the planet.


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      So true, Aspen, so true. Thanks so much.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Ah, i see. Well th'ats not too tricky at all!"

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, Peg! There are so many animal pioneers out there, trying to get people to recognize their value. It is up to us to continue their work in whatever way that we can. Thanks for reading and your continued support.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      5 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Aviannovice. The story is one I'll never forget. It is heartwrenching to see the injustice and cruelty against a species as close to our form in nature and family values as the gorilla. Bravo to you for an enlightening review on this important topic and of the work of Dian Fossey.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That sounds wonderful, Letitia. I will find it, you can bet on that.

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      6 years ago from Paris via California

      What a groundbreaker she was. I was lucky enough a few years ago to organize a retrospective tour of France of Bob Campbell's National Geographic photographs from those years and spend a little time with him. A warm, delightful man, I can understand how she fell for him. His book, The Taming of the Gorillas--if you can get a hold of it--offers additional insights into the animals, the woman, and the events.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Billy, you will get a LOT out of the book. It is written on a scientific note, but the love and tenderness is there.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      She truly was a remarkable and loving woman; the movie was beautiful; I have never read her book but may have to do that shortly. Great hub! As a former science and geography teacher, this subject is dear to me.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      gamby, yo are so right. Some people out there don't care about too much, which doesn't make them good members of society.

    • gamby79 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great review. I have seen the film but definitely need to read the book now. I truly believe it's true that you can tell the character of a person by the way they treat animals. When I hear of the senseless cruelty humans inflict on not only their own species but other species too...leads me to wonder if we're not in fact at the bottom of the food chain. Senseless acts against animals cause me so much anger but unless I do something about's just wasted emotion.

      Great information here too. Thanks aviannovice!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thank YOU, daydreamer, as well as for sharing that story with me.

    • daydreamer032 profile image


      6 years ago from Texas

      I watched the movie as a young girl with my grandmother and I will never forget it. What a moving story and what amazing service and works she did for the gorillas. Thank you for your wonderfully written review; I think I will watch the movie again and possibly now read the book!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Kashmir. It is always good to see you. Sigourney Weaver did a great job in the role of Dian Fossey. I saw the movie, too.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      I have not read the book but enjoyed your review of it. I have seen some documentary about her and the work she had done.

      Vote up and more !!!

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Pollyannalana. We can all work on good causes, and "the power of one," can really make a difference, as each one of us adds up to so many.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Mhatter, yes, it did have an effect on me. To see animals killed just for the sake of killing, it's criminal. Sounds like you read it?

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      6 years ago from US

      Though I haven't read the book I am familiar with this story and cause too. A heartbreaking story and a very good cause. Up and sharing.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Boy, did this excellent book have an effect on you. Still I agree with you. (such a passionate book review)

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, xstatic. I read the book once, saw the movie, and had to re-read the book again. Cherrio!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      I remember seeing that movie years ago, and some documentary about her work too. She was important and her work is worthwhile to remember and carry on.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I appreciate your comment, whonunuwho. We are all in this together.

    • whonunuwho profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      A wonderful work and very important to us all. The loss of our species of large animals and small is a great loss to us as human kind. We all depend upon each other in the chain of life. Thank you for your great hub work.


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