Orphaned Gorilla Dies In The Arms Of Her Caretaker Of 14 Years

Ndakasi the mountain gorilla became known the world over after being rescued in the Congo in 2007.

CNN reports she was just two months old when she was found clinging to the lifeless body of her mother who was shot by armed militia as part of a series of massacres of gorilla families.

Such massacres led to institutional and security reforms at the park that “significantly strengthened the protection of Virunga’s mountain gorillas,” according to the statement.

Too vulnerable to be released back into the wild, Ndakasi was taken to the Senkwekwe Center in Virunga National Park to live and be cared for, according to Metro.

She became famous when a photo (above)of her mimicking a park ranger went viral.

For years, she lived a good life and made remarkable connections with the people who cared for her.

Sadly, at the age of 14, Ndakasi passed away in the arms of her lifelong friend and caretaker Andre Bauma after a prolonged illness which rapidly deteriorated.

A tearful photo released by the park shows Bauma sitting on a blanket on the floor while Ndakasi rests her head on his chest.

The duo were apparently accustomed to being this close, as Bauma would hold her against his body to keep her warm when she was first rescued.

“It was a privilege to support and care for such a loving creature, especially knowing the trauma Ndakasi suffered at a very young age,” said Bauma in a statement.

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.”

(source: Metro)