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Thursday, 9 February 2012
Recent guests at a tented campsite in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Park had a major surprise when they got up early for breakfast. Rather than having to go trekking through the mountainous jungle to look for a family of gorillas, the gorillas had come to visit them in their camp.
The picture shows a whole family of mountain gorillas, including a silverback and several youngsters, wandering through the camp. They then decide to check out one of the guests who, much to his credit, sits stock still while several gorillas 'groom' his hair with a 400lb silverback sitting just a metre behind him.
The key activity that has helped preserve the Mountain gorillas is tourism. The money that they bring into the local communities is by far and away their largest source of income, which in turn means that they instantly have a very large interest in preserving these animals. Every visitor, apart from the park fees, stays in hotels, eats and drinks, and tips the guides (well most anyway).
So how can you help protect them? Easy; visit the mountain gorillas; they need visitors, and the experience never short-changes.
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