6. Dian Fossey – 1985
A champion of mountain gorilla conservation in Rwanda, American zoologist Dian Fossey was found murdered in her cabin in late December 1985. She’d been cut down with a machete she’d once seized from a poacher. Fossey was a one-woman army against gorilla poachers, earning her many enemies. Her death remains officially unsolved. She was buried beside her beloved gorillas in Rwanda’s Ruhengeri Province. Her story became a book and a major motion picture called “Gorillas in the Mist.”
7. Prajob Nao-opas – 2013
Thai environmentalist Projob Nao-opas spent months in 2013 investigating the illegal dumping of toxic waste in Chacheongsao province, near Bangkok, Thailand. His well-publicized efforts caused police to warn Prajob that he was in danger in December 2012. He was gunned down in February 2013 while waiting at a garage for repairs to his pickup truck.
8. George Adamson – 1989
If you watched the movie or read the book “Born Free” about Elsa the lioness, you know who George Adamson is. Adamson spent many years rehabilitating captive and orphaned big cats so they could be reintroduced to their natural habitat. He was killed in Kenya in 1989 trying to save his assistant and a tourist from attacking poachers. Sadly, his wife, Joy Adamson, was also murdered. It happened 9 years earlier, apparently by an employee she had fired.
9. Jill Phipps – 1995
British animal rights activist Jill Phipps, 31, attended a protest against exporting live calves to Amsterdam at Coventry Airport in February 1995. She and 10 others tried to stop a truckload of calves by chaining themselves together and sitting in front of it. The driver, who some say was apparently distracted by the tumult, drove right over her, breaking her spine and killing her.
10. Joan Root – 2006
Conservationist and activist Joan Root actively battled poaching and illegal fishing in Kenya for many years. Despite mounting threats against her, she refused to leave Kenya. She was shot and killed by four gunmen in her home in January 2006. Who hired those killers remains a mystery.
Take a moment to think about and remember these and so many other activists who’ve lost their lives standing up for the causes they believed in.
Read more: animal activism, animal activists, big cats, deforestation, elsa, environmental activism, environmental activists, gorillas, growth hormones, illegal logging, kenya, lions, murder, organized crime, rainforest, sea turtles
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