The mountain gorilla that once went viral for a selfie has died at the age of 14.
According to one, Nadakashi died on September 26 after battling a prolonged illness and in the arms of his caretaker. Statement from Virunga National Park.
She was clinging to the lifeless body of her mother at the age of 2 months by Virunga Rangers in 2007, who was killed by armed militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Rangers decide to rescue the gorilla after determining that no members of his family are in the area. That evening she met Andre Bauma, who would become her caretaker and lifelong friend, according to the statement.
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“It was a privilege to support and care for such a loving creature, especially knowing that Nadakashi suffered a stroke at a very young age,” Bauma said in the statement.
After the death of her mother, it was determined that she was too vulnerable in the wild and was transferred to the Senquekwue Center, an orphanage for mountain gorillas in the park, where she lived for 11 years until her death.
According to the statement, Nadakasi was featured in films and documentaries before it went viral on Earth Day in 2019, when she and another gorilla photobombed a photo of Bauma, which garnered nearly 100,000 likes on Instagram.
Nadaksai and another orphaned gorilla, Nadez, stood on their feet behind Bauma and looked directly into the camera lens “with a twitching grin.”
Virunga National Park said his life was once a symbol of the existence of an endangered species. According to Park, the population of mountain gorillas at the time she was born was 720.
This number is projected to increase to over 1,000 in 2021.
“It was Nadakashi’s sweet nature and intelligence that helped me understand the connection between humans and the great apes and why we should do everything in our power to protect them,” Bauma said in a statement.
“I loved her like a child and her cheerful personality brought a smile to my face every time.”
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalsha. Email: [email protected]