Ndakasi, the mountain gorilla who went viral after posing for a relaxed selfie with rangers in 2019, has died after a long illness at the age of 14. Picture: Virunga National Park/Facebook
Ndakasi, the mountain gorilla who went viral after posing for a relaxed selfie with rangers in 2019, has died after a long illness at the age of 14. Picture: Virunga National Park/Facebook

Famous gorilla who went viral for selfie with rangers dies

By Chad Williams Time of article published Oct 7, 2021

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Cape Town – Ndakasi, the mountain gorilla who went viral after posing for a relaxed selfie with rangers in 2019, has died after a long illness at the age of 14.

According to BBC News Africa, pictures show Ndakasi with her caretaker Andre Bauma in which the gorilla looks frail days before her death.

She died in the arms of Bauma, who rescued her when she was a baby, at a gorilla orphanage at Virunga National Park, Africa's oldest national park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to Metro.co.uk, Bauma found her as an infant clinging to the lifeless body of her mother after a militia wiped out her family while hunting for bushmeat.

With no other family members present, rangers transferred her to a rescue centre in Goma, where she was first introduced to Bauma, wrote Virunga National Park on their website.

“All night long, Andre held the baby close to him, keeping her tiny body tightly against his bare chest for warmth and comfort. She survived; however, the trauma of losing her family coupled with a long period of rehabilitation meant that Ndakasi was too vulnerable to return to the wild. Along with fellow orphaned gorilla Ndeze, Ndakasi was transferred to the Senkwekwe Center after its creation in 2009, where she went on to live a peaceful life with her caretakers and other orphaned mountain gorillas for over 11 years.”

The Gorilla Organization said in a Facebook post on Thursday that they were deeply saddened by the news of Ndakasi’s death.

“At the age of 14, following a prolonged illness, Ndakasi’s condition deteriorated on September 26, and she took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma,” they wrote.

Gorilla Organization director Jillian Miller said: “It is truly heartbreaking that we have lost this precious gorilla. We are grateful to all the rangers in Virunga National Park, and in particular Andre who provided Ndakasi comfort and care and offered her a second chance. We will continue to do all we can to ensure a future for the last remaining gorillas.”

Ndakasi shot to global fame in 2019 when she and another female mountain gorilla, Ndeze, photobombed a selfie taken by a ranger.

African News Agency (ANA)

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