The orphaned mountain Gorilla Ndakasi whose selfie went viral in the year 2019 passed away at the age of 14 in the arms of a ranger who rescued her. Ndakasi surrendered to a prolonged sickness last month, as indicated by a statement from the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday. Ndakazi took her last breath in the caring arms of her guardian and deep rooted companion, Andre Bauma. She passed away in the park where she had lived for over 10 years. Bauma had taken care of Ndakasi since the time she was found sticking to her dead mother's body by public park officers and taken to the middle which is known for dealing with stranded mountain gorillas.
The statement by the officials read, "It is with heartfelt sadness that Virunga announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, who had been under the care of the Park's Senkwekwe Center for more than a decade. Ndakasi took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma."
Ndakasi's life was well reported and her endearing character was highlighted in a few shows and movies, including the narrative Virunga, where she can be seen devoured in giggling while at the same time being tickled by an overseer.
Not only this but her selfie on the occasion of Earth Day became an internet sensation. The photograph highlights Ndakasi and her sidekick, Ndeze, both standing loose on two feet, stomaches out with saucy smiles.
Andre, while speaking about his late friend said, "It was a privilege to support and care for such a loving creature, especially knowing the trauma Ndakasi suffered at a very young age. One could say that she took after her mother, Nyiransekuye, whose name means “someone happy to welcome others.” It was Ndakasi’s sweet nature and intelligence that helped me to understand the connection between humans and Great Apes and why we should do everything in our power to protect them.
I am proud to have called Ndakasi my friend. I loved her like a child and her cheerful personality brought a smile to my face every time I interacted with her. She will be missed by all of us at Virunga but we are forever grateful for the richness Ndakasi brought to our lives during her time at Senkwekwe.”
The statement added, that over the course of her life, the species of the animal grew by 47 percent–from 720 individuals in 2007 to an estimated 1,063 in 2021.