- Kids Nonfiction
- Unforgotten: The Wild Life of Dian Fossey and Her Relentless Quest to Save Mountain Gorillas
Unforgotten: The Wild Life of Dian Fossey and Her Relentless Quest to Save Mountain Gorillas
Sadly, Fossey was murdered at her camp in 1985, and to this day, her death remains a mystery. But her legacy lives on through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund: In 1973 Fossey recorded only 275 gorillas living in Volcanoes National Park; there are about twice that many today. Fossey's story is one of tragedy, but also passion, science, and preservation. As Jane Goodall, once said, "If Dian had not been there, there might be no mountain gorillas in Rwanda today." Unforgotten is the dramatic conclusion to Silvey's trilogy of biographies on Leakey's "Trimates." With unparalleled storytelling, sidebars, maps, and an award-winning design, Unforgotten will inspire the next generation of budding scientists and conservationists.
After a brief chapter about her childhood and life before going to Africa, we are swept away to Kenya where Fossey trained with Louis Leakey and later spent much time on her own living in the wilds and observing mountain gorillas. There is great supporting material as well, such as a chart of other animals found in the Virungas and overviews of gorilla species. Maps help to place where she lived and studied.
It's interesting to see how Fossey spent her days, and the details of what went in to her studies. The book does not shy away from her struggles with mental health and alcoholism, but treats those parts of her life briefly and in a matter of fact manner. Her violent death in 1985 is explained by not sensationalized, and it's good that the book ended with her continuing legacy.
Readers who want to find out more about scientists, primatology, or groundbreaking women scientists will enjoy this pictorial biography of a devoted scientist gone too soon.