The rains of Rwanda had let up last December when Dian Fossey was murdered in her cabin in the mountains, but by the time I arrived, a few months later, they were coming down hard, twice a day. The airport at Kigali, the capital, was socked in. Through the clouds I caught glimpses of long ridges and deep valleys terraced with rows of bananas, beans, sweet potato. Rwanda is one of the smallest, poorest, and most densely populated countries in Africa. There are 5. Almost every available patch of land is under cultivation, and 23, new families need land each year.
Connecting with the Great Apes: Dian Fossey as Feminine Scientist | Prized Writing
Grooming is an excellent way for gorillas to clean themselves and others, but in primate societies it is also a great way to form and strengthen social bonds between individuals. You can think of it as the equivalent to human holding hands. Gorillas tend to groom less than most primates, with most grooming between observed between mother and infant and males and females. On the social interaction scale, gorillas score pretty low.
Rebecca Ham was gored by a wild buffalo, twice through her breast and once in her ankle. Jo Thompson caught the last boat out of the Congo when the region degenerated into civil war. Dian Fossey was kidnapped, raped repeatedly and urinated upon before being locked in a cage with 18 dead men. Studying wild primates is fraught with difficulty and hardship: field work is frequently arduous and carried out in war-torn areas; it can take months for the animals to grow accustomed to a human presence; and the subjects can be violent - orang-utans, for instance, sometimes rape women.
History and Philosophy of Science , Gender and Science, was one of the five classes that comprised my emphasis, Interdisciplinary Analysis of Gender. Having a range of paper topics from which to choose, I decided to integrate my knowledge of feminine science, feminist science, and ecofeminism with my personal fascination with the primate researcher Dian Fossey. Writing this paper was much more than a fulfillment of a course requirement: it was an analytic journey through my own interests, beliefs, and life tenets.