Scientist of the Rainforest
Directions: Read the passage below. On a separate piece of
paper, define each of the words in bold. Then answer the
questions that follow.
Dian Fossey was a famous researcher. She studied
mountain gorillas from the rainforest habitat of Central
Africa. By observing gorillas, She has helped people understand how they live in
the environment and how to help to save them.
Dian Fossey was born on January 16, 1932. As a little girl, Dian always liked
to be with animals. Even though, long ago, many women did not go to college, Dian
went to college and studied hard. After college, Dian wanted to travel and see the
world. She really wanted to see the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes of
Central Africa in their natural habitat. She learned from people who had studied
gorillas before like Louis Leakey, and George Schaller. Once, she went on an
expedition and climbed a 10,000-foot volcano to get a first look of a giant ape.
She learned that gorillas were not monstrous apes, but friendly vegetarians
that lived in small groups called “families.” With the help and education of Dr.
Leakey, she devoted her life to studying and protecting the giant ape.
She lived in many different countries to study the gorillas: Rwanda, Uganda,
and the Congo. There was over sixty-seven inches of rain each year and the
elevation is over 10,000-feet high. She also had to have two African companions
that spoke the language of that area.
In six short months, she was able to get within thirty feet of the apes to really
study them. She used the observation method, which meant she wrote down what
she saw in detail with pencil and paper.
What was difficult about this area is that the gorillas had never been close
to a human, like in other areas that Dian had been. These gorillas were much more
cautious. Dian had to allow the gorillas to get used to her. She often used ape-like
behavior when working with the giant apes. It took time, but the gorillas grew to