Female Gorilla In Viral 2019 Selfie Dies In The Arms Of The Man Who Saved Her Life As Baby

A mountain gorilla who became famous on the web when she posed for a selfie has passed away in the arms of the man who saved her life as a baby.

An image shared by Virunga National Park shows ranger Andre Bauma holding Ndakasi as she drew her last breath, saying “it is with heartfelt sadness that Virunga announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi”.

Ndakasi was just two months old when she was found holding on to her mother’s dead body in Congo after she had been shot by militants.

She was then taken to Virunga National Park – Africa’s oldest national park – where she met  Andre, who took care of her like she was his own.

Andre called Ndakasi his friend who he “loved like a child”.

Ndakasi. Image: Virunga National Park

Ndakasi quickly became viral in 2019 after posing for a selfie with another orphaned gorilla, Andre, and another anti-poacher.

Female mountain gorillas Ndakasi (left) and Ndeze being carried to their new home after becoming orphans. Image: Reuters/Finbarr O’Reilly

The photo showed Ndakasi standing on two feet, and posing for the camera.

The heartbroken ranger said it was a “privilege to support and care for such a loving creature,” especially after the soul-crushing experience she had gone through when she was a baby.

“One could say that she took after her mother, Nyiransekuye, whose name means ‘someone happy to welcome others’,” Andre added.

“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.

Ndakasi. Image: Virunga National Park

“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.”

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