A moving photo shows the famous selfie photo bomb gorilla Ndakasi taking his last breath as he is rocked by caretaker Andre Bauma, who risks his life to save the endangered animals
A mountain gorilla who became an internet star when she photo bombed her caretaker’s selfie has died at the age of 14.
A photo of Ndakasi taking her last breath while cradling her by Andre Bauma, who rescued her as an infant, shows the connection between the critically endangered monkeys and those who risked their lives to guard them.
She died on September 26th after a long illness in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“It is with sincere sadness that Virunga announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla Ndakasi, who has been under the care of the park’s Senkwekwe Center for more than a decade,” the park said.
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Virunga National Park / Facebook)
“Ndakasi took her last breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend Andre Bauma.”
Ndakasi and Ndeze, who were shown in the selfie, were the first orphans to be cared for at the Senkwekwe center for orphaned gorillas by Andre Bauma, 49, in Virunga National Park.
Ndakasi considered Andre to be her surrogate mother after lifting her from the bottom of the largest rainforest in Africa in 2007 when she was weeks old.
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He found the baby attached to her dead mother, who had been shot in the back of the head. She weighed 2.4 kg and was 18 inches long.
Few thought she would survive, but she grew to a healthy 65kg and always considered Bauma to be her parents.
“When she sees me, she climbs on my back like she would with her mother,” he said.
More than 200 park rangers have been killed in Virunga in the past 20 years to protect the dwindling monkey population in the war-torn east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.