Ndakasi was two months old when Andre found her lying on the lifeless body of her mother after the militia wiped out her family in Congo, Africa. As Ndakasi was too young to be released back into the wild, Andre Bauma – the ranger, rescued her and took her to the Senkwekwe Center in Virunga National Park, to be rehabilitated and live with fellow orphaned gorilla Ndeze.
Regrettably, Ndakasi – the beloved gorilla passed away aged 14 last week in the arms of her rescuer, caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre. She was suffering from a prolonged illness that rapidly deteriorated.
Although suffering from the trauma at a very young age she lived a decent life and made incredible relationships with the people who cared for her.
A photo shows Ndakasi’s last moments wherein Andre is seen sitting on a blanket on the floor and Ndakasi laying her head on his chest.
Ndakasi in light
In 2007, a photo of Ndakasi mimicking Mathieu Shamavu, who along with Andre Bauma rescued her, went viral. The viral photo had left Netizens in stitches.
Ndakasi was also featured in the documentary ‘Virunga’ – a documentation of the brave individuals risking their lives to protect the last mountain gorillas.
The mountain gorillas are listed as endangered, who are struggling to survive due to poaching, ongoing habitat loss and the spread of diseases such as Ebola.
Virunga National Park, located in Congo, is one of the last parks that is trying to conserve the population of mountain gorillas. But it relies on donations from visitors and tourists.