Jun 05

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“When you realise the value of all life”…

She was born in San Francisco in 1932. She had a sad childhood because of her father´s alcoholism.

She had a degree in Ocupational Therapy and worked at a children’s hospital for several years.

In 1963 she travelled to Congo and then to Rwanda. There, she observed and studied mountain gorilla groups trying to understand the human evolution.

In 1967 she established the Karisoke Research Foundation in Rwanda to facilitate the study of mountain gorillas. She had a lot of patience observing gorillas and copied their movements, sounds and their way of eating. She thought gorillas weren’t violent and she used to lie down next to them and touched them. Her best friend was the gorilla Digit, which was killed by furtive hunters.

In 1983 she published the book ¨Gorillas in the Mist¨ in which she wrote her observations about gorillas. Three years later a movie was filmed. Its title was the same.

She always confronted with illegal hunters who were exterminating gorillas. In 1985 she appeared killed in her cabin in Karisoke. Perhaps illegal hunters killed her. However the case remains open. She was buried with Digit, her best friend.

The last thing she wrote in her diary was:

¨When you realize the value of all life, you worry less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future¨

Who is she?

Rosa Oliva

English for Fun 4A – 2017


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