The gorilla who went viral after she posed for a selfie with a ranger has sadly passed away...
Orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, died in the arms of the man who rescued her when she was a baby.
Beautiful pictures of André Bauma with Ndakasi in Virunga. The pictures are by James Gifford, Winner of Human/Natu… https://t.co/4cwmGqfzEX— Sheilah Birgen (@Sheilah Birgen) 1633495152.0
Aged fourteen, Ndakasi died with her caretaker Andre Bauma by her side at the Virunga National Park in eastern Congo.
At just 2 months old, Ndakasi was found clinging to her mom's body who had been shot.
Sad News: Virunga Park announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, under care of Park’s Senk… https://t.co/xgVhu5KliK— Ali Vazir (@Ali Vazir) 1633458152.0
Rangers at the Virunga National Park, including Bauma, rescued Ndakasi and took her to safety.
She was later moved to the Senkwekwe Center at the park where she lived with a fellow gorilla, Ndeze.
In 2019, the internet fell in love with the pair and they went viral after they posed for a selfie with park ranger, Mathieu Shamavu.
The Virunga National Park announced the sad news of Ndakasi passing on their website.
In a statement they explained that she passed "on the evening of 26th September, following a prolonged illness in which her condition rapidly deteriorated, Ndakasi took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma."
Bauman, who was pictured holding Ndakasi as she passed, added that it had been a "privilege to support and care for such a loving creature."
It is with heartfelt sadness that Virunga announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi. C’es… https://t.co/ryojwpuqj2— Virunga NationalPark (@Virunga NationalPark) 1633440212.0
"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," he said.
"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."
Rest in peace, Ndakasi.