Sunday, June 11, 2006


Nearly 20 years later, the star of GORILLAS IN THE MIST gets re-acquainted with Rwanda′s majestic gorillas and witnesses Dian Fossey′s legacy.

The film GORILLAS IN THE MIST immortalized the life of the courageous and passionate gorilla conservationist Dian Fossey. Nearly twenty years since her death and since the movie was filmed, Sigourney Weaver, who played Fossey in the movie travels back to visit the magnificent gorillas for the first time in GORILLAS REVISITED WITH SIGOURNEY WEAVER, airing tonight (June 11th) on Animal Planet at 8PM (ET/PT). Narrated by Weaver herself, the one-hour special recounts the extraordinary tale of Fossey and her mountain gorillas and the endeavor of those who continue to save these charismatic animals from extinction.

Weaver′s involvement in GORILLAS IN THE MIST profoundly affected her life. To this day she is passionately involved in gorilla conservation and represents the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International as their honorary chair. She has always wanted to revisit the gorillas, but has never had the opportunity, until now. GORILLAS REVISITED WITH SIGOURNEY WEAVER travels to the mountains of central Africa where Animal Planet cameras join Weaver on a personal and emotional journey to update the gorillas′ tale. What has happened to them in the intervening years? What new understanding do scientists have about their behavior? With the help of archive footage and expert interviews, Weaver reveals how the fabled mountain gorilla has fought its way back from the brink of extinction.

Throughout the journey, contributions from gorilla experts and conservationists build a detailed picture of how this species is being protected in the wild. Interviewees include: Dr. Katie Fawcett, the current head of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International Karisoke Research Center, which continues to do Dr. Fossey′s work; Primatologist Dr. Alecia Lilly whom Weaver interviews about taking care of a baby gorilla named Maisha, who was kidnapped and then later rescued; Ros Carr, a friend of Fossey′s who now runs a children′s orphanage in Rwanda (Weaver visits and talks to the children about gorillas); and finally Rosette Chantal, director of tourism and national parks for Rwanda, speaks about how gorilla tourism has helped to save the gorillas.

GORILLAS REVISITED WITH SIGOURNEY WEAVER also tells the story of Fossey′s life and how in the end, she ultimately gave her life for the gorillas she loved so much. Her murder remains a mystery, but twenty years since her death her legacy lives on through the survival of the gorillas that still inhabit the mountains of Rwanda and the ongoing gorilla conservation work of the Fossey Fund. It is truly one of the world′s greatest conservation success stories. Throughout the program, Weaver reflects on Fossey′s life and the incredible legacy she left behind.

GORILLAS REVISITED WITH SIGOURNEY WEAVER is produced by the BBC Natural History Unit for Animal Planet. Vyv Simson is the executive producer and Ingrid Kvale is producer for BBC. Jeanie Vink is the executive producer for Animal Planet. Animal-friendly companies such as Anheuser Busch and Local Dodge Dealers are sponsoring the special.