Adrien Deschryver

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Adrien Deschryver
Born(1939-05-11)May 11, 1939[1]
DiedMarch 23, 1989(1989-03-23) (aged 49)
OccupationConservationist, photographer
Spouse(s)Agnes Bujiriri M'Rwankuba

Adrien Deschryver (died 1989) was a Belgian photographer and conservationist, who established and was chief warden of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park near the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border in 1970,[3] and acted as a one-man force for law and order within the park during a civil war around Bukavu.[4]

In the 1960s, Deschryver and Dian Fossey gained much prominence in their approach of two subspecies of gorillas in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The former had started approaching gorillas during the mid-1960s for tourism, accompanied by two trackers of the Pygmy tribe, Pili Pili Purusi and Mishebere Patrice.[5][6]

Today, Deschryver might be best recognized from a sequence out of the 1974 documentary Gorilla, which shows him bringing an abandoned baby gorilla into the forest to help it adjust to its natural habitat. The baby gorilla begins to scream when it hears other gorillas, and is subsequently snatched from Deschryver by the dominant silverback. The silverback attempts to either attack or intimidate Deschryver, but ultimately backs away when Deschryver refuses to move or flinch. The clip of Deschryver resisting the silverback's charge has since gone viral, with some memes joking that Deschryver's courageousness was the result of "balls of steel", while others have analyzed that the clip is an excellent demonstration of how someone's demeanor and fearlessness establishes dominance over size and strength.[7]

Deschryver died of a heart attack and is buried at the Tshivanga headquarters.


  1. ^ "Kahuzi Biega National Park Homepage". Kahuzi Biega National Park. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Personal data Adrien Deschryver". Genealogie Online. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  3. ^ "Kahuzi Biega National Park". Mammoth Safaris. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  4. ^ In the Kingdom of Gorillas. Simon & Schuster. 2001. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  5. ^ The Wandering Gorillas. New Scientist. 14 June 1979. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  6. ^ "The Story of Two Pioneers in the Habituation of Eastern Gorillas". Berggorilla and Regenwald. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Why Photographing Gorillas in the Wild Takes a Huge Amount of Guts". PetaPixel. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2018.

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