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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index F > Dian Fossey Quotes

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Dian Fossey
(16 Jan 1932 - 26 Dec 1985)

American zoologist who spent years studying and protecting the mountain forest gorillas of Rwanda, central Africa, about which she wrote in Gorillas in the Mist (1983).


Science Quotes by Dian Fossey (7 quotes)


[About gorillas] You take these fine, regal animals. How many (human) fathers have the same sense of paternity? How many human mothers are more caring? The family structure is unbelievably strong.
— Dian Fossey
As quoted in article from Times Wire Services, 'Naturalist Dian Fossey Slain at Camp in Rwanda: American Was Expert on Mountain Gorillas; Assailants Hunted', Los Angeles Times (29 Dec 1985).
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Care (73)  |  Family (37)  |  Father (44)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Human (445)  |  Mother (59)  |  Paternity (2)  |  Structure (191)

Active conservation [of gorillas] involves simply going out into the forest, on foot, day after day after day, attempting to capture poachers, killing—regretfully—poacher dogs, which spread rabies within the park, and cutting down traps.
— Dian Fossey
Interview at her camp in Rwanda (May 1985). As quoted in article from Times Wire Services, 'Naturalist Dian Fossey Slain at Camp in Rwanda: American Was Expert on Mountain Gorillas; Assailants Hunted', Los Angeles Times (29 Dec 1985). The newspaper states the interview was one of the last she gave, and the report said using “continuous anti-poaching surveillance…only her patrols adequately protected the apes.”
Science quotes on:  |  Active (17)  |  Attempt (94)  |  Capture (8)  |  Conservation (139)  |  Day (38)  |  Foot (39)  |  Forest (88)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Trap (3)

Gorillas are almost altruistic in nature. There's very little if any ‘me-itis.’ When I get back to civilization I'm always appalled by ‘me, me, me.’
— Dian Fossey
As quoted in article from Times Wire Services, 'Naturalist Dian Fossey Slain at Camp in Rwanda: American Was Expert on Mountain Gorillas; Assailants Hunted', Los Angeles Times (29 Dec 1985).
Science quotes on:  |  Appalling (4)  |  Civilization (155)  |  Gorilla (16)

I feel more comfortable with gorillas than people. I can anticipate what a gorilla's going to do, and they're purely motivated.
— Dian Fossey
Preferring the “silence of the forest” to the noise of a cocktail party while participating in a symposium, 'What We Can Learn About Humankind From the Apes' at Sweet Briar College campus. As quoted by Nan Robertson in 'Three Who Have Chosen a Life in the Wild', New York Times (1 May 1981), B36.
Science quotes on:  |  Anticipate (8)  |  Comfort (42)  |  Feel (93)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Motivation (21)  |  Person (114)  |  Pure (62)

I have no friends. The more you learn about the dignity of the gorilla, the more you want to avoid people.
— Dian Fossey
From article about interview (May 1985) with Associated Press East Africa Correspondent, Barry Shlachter, at her Karisoke Research Station. Syndicated in Summer 1985. Seen, for example, in Barry Shlachter, 'Woman Fierce Protector of Gorilla Friends', Lawrence Journal-World (29 Jul 1985), 7.
Science quotes on:  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Human Nature (51)

I shall never forget my first encounter with gorillas. Sound preceded sight. Odor preceded sound in the form of an overwhelming, musky-barnyard, humanlike scent. The air was suddenly rent by a high-pitched series of screams followed by the rhythmic rondo of sharp pok-pok chestbeats from a great silverbacked male obscured behind what seemed an impenetrable wall of vegetation.
— Dian Fossey
Describing her 1963 trip to Kabara in Gorillas in the Mist (1983), 3. (The screams and chest-beating were of alarm, not ferocity.)
Science quotes on:  |  Barnyard (2)  |  Encounter (14)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Impenetrable (5)  |  Musk (2)  |  Obscure (19)  |  Odor (7)  |  Overwhelming (18)  |  Rhythm (12)  |  Scent (4)  |  Scream (4)  |  Sharp (12)  |  Sight (25)  |  Silverback (2)  |  Sound (59)  |  Vegetation (16)

It was their individuality combined with the shyness of their behavior that remained the most captivating impression of this first encounter with the greatest of the great apes.
— Dian Fossey
In Gorillas in the Mist (1983), 4
Science quotes on:  |  Behavior (49)  |  Gorilla (16)  |  Impression (51)  |  Individuality (12)


See also:
  • 16 Jan - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Fossey's birth.
  • Dian Fossey - context of quote The dignity of the gorilla - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Dian Fossey - context of quote The dignity of the gorilla - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Dian Fossey - context of quote I feel more comfortable with gorillas - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Dian Fossey - context of quote I feel more comfortable with gorillas - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Dian Fossey - context of quote My first encounter with gorillas - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Dian Fossey - context of quote My first encounter with gorillas - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Gorillas in the Mist, by Dian Fossey. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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