A 2-month-old gorilla named Ndakasi was rescued by Virunga National Park rangers in the Congolese wilderness in 2007. Her mother’s life had been cut short by poachers, and she had been discovered holding her mother’s body.
However, Ndakasi’s narrative is one of kindness and love despite her unfortunate origins.
Ndakasi soon met Andre Bauma, the keeper of the gorilla orphanage in the park, after she had been rescued from the wild. Bauma never left the little gorilla’s side throughout her vulnerable first night away from her mother.
The park workers reported that “Andre held baby Ndakasi tightly to his bare chest to keep her warm and give her comfort through a torrential rainstorm that lasted all night.”
However, Ndakasi not only survived the night because of Bauma and the other staff members at the orphanage. She would eventually have a happy and healthy childhood.
Ndakasi was seen with her loved ones in a sweet selfie that the park released in 2019.
Each day of Ndakasi’s existence was a gift given the circumstances surrounding her rescue as a helpless child. But regrettably, it was cut short too soon.
Ndakasi died of a disease at the age of 14 this week, according to the gorilla’s keepers. Her final moments showed a legacy of love, despite the terrible fact that she was lost at such a young age.
According to the park, “Ndakasi took her last breath in the loving arms of her caregiver and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma.”
Even if Ndakasi is no longer with us, her memory will live on. And those who gave her a second chance at happiness will keep working to give orphaned gorillas like her hope.
The guardians at the sanctuary in Virunga National Park wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are connected by a bond, Bauma remarked. The guardians and the gorillas have “a very, very close relationship.”