Having mountain gorillas in your backyard can, in many ways, be seen as a curse. They occasionally raid the gardens you depend on and work so hard to cultivate. And each and every day you see foreigners coming and going and spending money that never seems to benefit your family.
Now, though, people who live in close proximity with mountain gorillas are slowly changing the way they view the gorillas and the tourism that they bring. Conversations in communities have, of late, been centered on how Gorilla Levy funds can help directly improve household livelihoods.
In 2008, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) decreed that 5 USD from mountain gorilla tracking permit sold go back to the communities surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the only two protected areas where mountain gorillas live in Uganda.