50th Anniversary Video

Our Foundation

In September 1967, Dian Fossey founded the Karisoke Research Center with the goal of monitoring and protecting mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Karisoke originally was just two tents that Dr. Fossey set up near the forest, and today includes multiple buildings used by gorilla trackers, scientists, and other field staff.

Fossey’s original goal was to study the gorillas’ behavior and ecology, but she soon saw they were in dire need of protection as well. Her prediction at the time was that the species would be extinct within a decade. Fifty years later, mountain gorillas are thriving, thanks to the daily protection that is now provided. Using the techniques of intense conservation that Dian Fossey developed and promoted, we have so far prevented extinction of the mountain gorilla.

Karisoke Then
Karisoke Now

Saving Gorillas: 50 Years and Forever

We celebrate 50 years of making a difference, of being in the forests with the gorillas no matter what, and of following through on the ideals of Dr. Fossey. We celebrate her spirit, her bravery, and her intuition.  We celebrate saving a species.

Though much progress has been made in 50 years, we know that there is still much more to do. The Grauer’s gorilla population in nearby eastern Congo is rapidly declining, and we are taking our monitoring and protection knowledge and methods there to try to prevent extinction again.

Our scientists and partners are utilizing the database of information about gorillas that we have collected for research and insights to share with the world. We are working with people in the local communities to train the next generation of conservations who will ensure our progress continues.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s integrated conservation programs are making a difference.

50th Anniversary Commemorative Items

Purchase your 50th Anniversary commemorative items today. Visit our store to see our selection of items.

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