A mountain gorilla died in her caretaker’s arms

mountain gorilla

Mountain gorilla Ndakasi, who famously took a picture with a park ranger at Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, died after a protracted illness, the park announced. He was 14 years old.

Ndakasi, the park’s beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, died after more than a decade in the Senkwekwe Center, according to a statement released by the park this week.

Ndakasi died on Sept. 26 after a long illness during which her condition progressively deteriorated, according to a statement released by her caretaker and close friend, Andre Bauma.

Ndakasi was just two months old when armed militia assassinated her mother and found her clinging to her dead body. That first night, Bauma calmed her by keeping her close to his naked chest, and he has taken good care of her ever since. Following its establishment in 2009, she went to live with other orphaned mountain gorillas deemed too vulnerable to be released back into the wild.

While her story has been told in shows and documentaries like “Virunga,” the mountain gorilla acquired notoriety in 2019 when she was photographed with another gorilla, Ndeze, and a ranger taking a selfie in the foreground.

Bauma said in a statement that caring for the lovely beast was a privilege. We should do everything we can to safeguard great apes because of Ndakasi’s gentle disposition as well as her brilliance.

Bauma expressed his pride at having been able to call Ndakasi a friend.

Her “cheerful demeanor” made him grin every time he saw her, he added in the statement he released.

Mountain gorillas are found only in Virunga National Park in eastern Congo. Mountain gorillas can be found in Rwanda and Uganda, where a combined population of more than 1,000 of the primates lives there.

Virunga park’s nearly 700 rangers put their lives on the line to protect the park’s species in an area that has suffered from conflict and instability for more than two decades.

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