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Mountain Gorilla Who Posed For Selfie With Rangers Dies Aged 14

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Mountain Gorilla Who Posed For Selfie With Rangers Dies Aged 14

The mountain gorilla that became a global sensation after posing in a selfie with a park ranger has sadly died.

In a heartbreaking scene, the orphaned Ndakasi, 14, can be seen lying in the arms of her friend and carer Andre Bauma, who also appeared in the famous photo.

The harrowing image was shared on Instagram by Virunga National Park in eastern Congo.

The emotive post reads: "It is with heartfelt sadness that Virunga announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi, who had been under the care of the Park's Senkwekwe Center for more than a decade.

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"On the evening of 26 September, following a prolonged illness in which her condition rapidly deteriorated, Ndakasi took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma."

Since it was shared yesterday (5 October), the picture has been liked over 31,000 times, with people piling into the comments to share their condolences with Mr Bauma and the rest of the team at the park.

One user said: "So so sorry to hear your tragic news of the loss of Ndakasi. Thank you so much Andre for looking after her & loving her so much. You are an Angel."

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Echoing this, another commented: "More than friendship. Love. She will be missed by many. My sincere condolences."

"So sorry. What a beautiful photo of a loving friendship," put a third.

While another added: "I'm so sorry to know she's gone and passed. May she rest in God's loving hands."

Credit: The Elite AntiPoaching Units And Combat Trackers/Facebook
Credit: The Elite AntiPoaching Units And Combat Trackers/Facebook
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Ndakasi hit the headlines back in 2019 when an anti-poaching unit shared a snap of her and another gorilla being rescued.

At the time, the park's website explained that the site had been 'deeply' impacted by war and armed conflict over the last two decades.

"Virunga is protected by a dedicated team of over 600 rangers," the website stated.

"These local men and women go through intensive training, risking their lives on a daily basis to safeguard the park's exceptional wildlife, including the last of the world's critically endangered mountain gorillas."

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In the photo shared to social media at the time, which was captioned 'Another Day at the Office', a ranger takes a selfie with two of the park's gorillas, Ndakasi and Matabishi - who are standing behind him, puffing out their chests.

Rest in peace, Ndakasi.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@virunganationalpark

Topics: photo, Africa, Gorilla, Wildlife

Dominic Smithers

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