Many institutions and people have tried to help preserve gorillas and their natural habitats in their countries of origin, since many years ago. One of the most famous gorilla conservationists, Dian Fossey, lost her life, presumibly killed by poachers, back in 1985. Thanks to her efforts, Mountain gorillas are nowadays recovering in their conservation status, being today considered as endangered, according to the Red List of the IUCN.
In 1977, Fossey's favorite gorilla, Digit, was killed by poachers. He
defended his group against six poachers and their dogs. Digit took five
spear wounds in self defense and managed to kill one of the dogs,
allowing the other members of his group to escape. He was decapitated,
and his hands cut off for an ashtray. Fossey's group captured one of the
hunters, who revealed the names of his accomplices, three of him were
imprisoned. Fossey created the Digit Fund (Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
International) to raise money for anti poaching patrols and a consortium
of international gorilla funds arose to accept donations in light of
Digit's death and increased attention on poaching. Fossey opposed the
efforts of the international organizations, which she felt inefficiently
directed their funds towards more equipment for Rwandan park officials.
Disclaimer: Gorillas Land is not linked to Dian Fossey or her Foundation.