The orphaned gorilla named Ndakasi was found by rangers in 2007 after her mother was reportedly killed by militias. The struggling infant at the time was rescued by the rangers and later sent to a shelter where her caretaker Andre Bauma took her.
Ndakasi slowly recovered as Bauma, 49, took care of her. However, she wasn’t returned to the wild reportedly due to the traumatic events she had witnessed as an infant.
Ndakasi lived peacefully with other orphaned gorillas at Senkwekwecentre under the watchful eyes of Bauma.
She was however no ordinary gorilla as one of her “selfies” along with her another gorilla Ndeze went viral on Earth Day two years ago.
The Senkwekwe centre said Ndakasi died after “prolonged illness in which her condition rapidly deteriorated”.
Bauma who was tormented at losing his favourite friend said, “It was a privilege to support and care for such a loving creature, especially knowing the trauma Ndakasi suffered.”
Several users on the internet sent their heartfelt condolences at the sad demise of the beloved gorilla.
Bauma recalled Ndakasi’s “sweet nature” and “intelligence” adding that she helped him to understand the “connection between humans and the great Apes”.
The emotional caretaker said he was “proud to have called Ndakasi my friend” while adding that he “loved her like a child”.
(With inputs from Agencies)