Made famous after a selfie with a ranger in 2019, the gorilla Ndakasi went extinct at the age of 14 in Virunga National Park, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Following a long illness, it is in the loving arms of his guardian and lifelong friend, André Bauma that Ndakasi breathed his last on the evening of September 26,” announced in a statement. Virunga National Park.
Born in April 2007, Ndakasi was only 2 months old when she was orphaned. The rangers of the Virunga park had made her discovery, while she was clinging to the lifeless body of her mother who had been coldly shot a few hours earlier by armed militias.
It is with heartfelt sadness that Virunga announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi.
– Virunga NationalPark (@gorillacd) October 5, 2021
Transferred to a relief center in Goma, it was there that she had met André Bauma for the first time. Along with Ndeze, another gorilla, she had been transferred to the Senkwekwe center where she lived for over eleven years.
“It is the gentle nature and intelligence of Ndakasi that helped me understand the connection between humans and great apes and why we should do everything in our power to protect them. I loved her like a child, and her cheerful personality made me smile every time I interacted with her. She will be missed by all of us in Virunga, but we are eternally grateful for the wealth that Ndakasi brought to our lives during his stay in Senkwekwe ”, shared his faithful friend, André Bauma.
In 2019, alongside Ndeze, she naturally took the full length standing pose staring at the lens, when the ranger, Mathieu Shamavu, improvised a selfie during a walk. This photo, both funny and touching, had quickly gone around the world.
Thanks to the protection actions put in place in recent years by the Congolese authorities, the gorilla species has increased by 47%, from 720 in 2007 to 1,063 individuals in 2021.