Two-month-old Ndakasi was rescued from the Congolese bush by Virunga National Park rangers in 2007. When she was rescued, she was found cradling the body of her mother, who had been killed by poachers in the wild.
Although Ndakasi’s life started out in tragedy, her tale is one of generosity and compassion.
Andre Bauma, a keeper at the park’s gorilla nursery, met Ndakasi not long after she had been rescued from the bush. Bauma never left the orphaned gorilla’s side during her first night apart from her mother.
“To keep her warm and soothe her, Andre carried baby Ndakasi close to his bare chest through a rainstorm that lasted all night,” the park personnel stated.
That night, though, Ndakasi was saved by Bauma and the other members of the orphanage’s staff. She would eventually grow up to be a happy and healthy young lady.
Ndakasi’s beloved friends and family were recorded in a heartwarming photo taken at the park in 2019.
Each day of Ndakasi’s life was a privilege, given the circumstances surrounding her rescue as a struggling infant. However, it ended prematurely.
This week, the gorilla’s caregivers informed us that Ndakasi had died at the age of 14 due to an illness. While it is painful to lose her at such a young age, her final moments represent a legacy of love.
According to a statement released by the park following her death, “Ndakasi took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma.”
Ndakasi may have passed away, but she will not be forgotten. And those who gave her a second chance at happiness will continue to work to provide hope for other orphaned gorillas like her.
The sanctuary staff at Virunga National Park would want it this way.
Bauma stated, “There is a thread that connects us.” “A close relationship between the gorillas and their caregivers.”
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H/T: The DoDo