American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday
Dian Fossey sits with mountain gorillas in the Virunga mountains in Rwanda in 1982. Photograph: Associated Press
Dian Fossey, the American zoologist who was murdered in Rwanda in 1985 after a long battle to protect mountain gorillas, has been celebrated in a Google doodle.
Fossey, who would have been 82 on Thursday, was born in San Francisco on January 1932 and educated at the University of California.
The doodle features the African mountains and gorillas that featured strongly in her life. Fossey studied mountain gorillas for 18 years and her work and experience contributed to her 1983 book Gorillas in the Mist. The book was made into a film with Sigourney Weaver taking the role of Fossey.
Fossey was inspired to study in Africa by Louis and Mary Leakey. While studying the gorillas, she had a constant battle with poachers, many of whom she helped jail. Some of the gorillas she studied, in particular Digit in 1978, died in trying to protect their relatives from poachers.
Fossey was murdered in her cabin in a mountain reserve in Rwanda; the case remains open.