Gorilla tourism important to Uganda

13th Feb 2013

Ugandans are warming to the idea that gorillas boost the country's economy, with the World Wildlife Fund claiming each animal is worth around $1 million (£640,000).

Tourism is behind such a lofty figure. Experts say it ensure the safety of critically endangered gorillas as well as providing financial support to local communities.

Each local community receives 20% of every $500 (£318) permit fee, while gorilla tourism also sees rangers, porters, trackers, drivers and hospitality staff benefit from regular work.

While gorilla numbers are on the up in the wake of efforts by conservationists, Dr Fred, a field vet with Gorilla Doctors, has urged caution.

"They're still considered critically endangered," he told the South China Morning Post.

Holidaymakers heading to Africa can view gorillas in the Bwindi Forest National Park under the supervision of expert guides.

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