A few days ago my friend Mary Ann Mollenkamp sent me a link to a blog post written by Innocent Uwizeye from the Art of Conservation. He described a hike to Karisoke Research Center, the former site of gorilla expert Dian Fossey’s 18-year research study of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Although our friendship with Dian spanned 2 short years before her death, it was a relationship that redefined our purpose and eventually led us to establish our own private nature reserves in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica and a life among its primates. What follows is our blog posts.
When you got to the Karisoke site was there an engraved marker on Dian’s grave? It reads in part, “No one loved gorillas more. Rest in peace dear friend…” I wrote the inscription on the marker and sent it to Rwanda through the US Embassy to be installed in 1986. We later learned it had been removed during the war for safekeeping but we don’t know if it was ever reinstalled. Can you let us know?
April 8, 2011
Thank you for contacting us with your questions and concerns. Yes, the engraved marker is indeed on Dian’s grave. So you wrote the inscription? Wow, that is interesting. If you don’t mind, please share more with us and our readers of your connection with Dian. Again, thank you for contacting us. Please stay in touch.
April 10, 2011
Thank you for the photos of Dian’s grave marker. My husband David and I are so happy to see it back in its rightful place. Dian invited us to Karisoke in August of 1985. We spent 2 amazing weeks among the gorillas of Group 5 and Peanut’s Group helping Dian with photos, videos, observations, etc. Our friendship with Dian and our experiences among the mountain gorillas of Rwanda enriched and changed the course of our lives for the better.
Evelyn & David