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A beloved orphaned mountain gorilla died in the arms of his caretaker and lifelong friend.

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Nadakashi died in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Park officials say it came “after a prolonged illness in which his condition rapidly deteriorated.”

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Nadkasi breathed his last in the loving arms of Andre Bauma. The moment was captured in an emotional picture shared by Park.

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Born in April 2007 to the Kabirizi group, Nadakasi was only two months old when Virunga Rangers found her clinging to the lifeless body of her mother, who had been gunned down by armed militia hours earlier.

With no other family members present, rangers quickly recovered the baby gorilla and transferred him to a rescue center in Goma, where he was first introduced to Andre.

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Throughout the night, Andre held the baby to himself, his tiny body tightly against his bare chest for warmth and comfort. she survived; However, the trauma of losing his family coupled with a long period of rehabilitation meant that Nadakashi was too weak to return to the wilderness.

Along with fellow orphaned gorilla Ndeze, Ndakasi was transferred to the Senkwekwe Center after its construction in 2009, where she lived a peaceful life with her caretakers and other orphaned mountain gorillas for more than 11 years. Went.

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She also rose to internet fame in 2019, when a Her ‘selfie’ went viral on Earth Day. The photo shows Nadakasi and his partner-in-crime, Nadez, both standing comfortably on two legs, walking out with cheeky grins.

Virunga National Park asks for donations for its conservation work. To make a donation, click here