Ndakasi, a mountain gorilla, who went viral after photobombing a keeper's selfie, died. Virunga National Park shared a post detailing that she died of illness at the age of 14.
"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. 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," they wrote. They also shared a moving image of the animal with her caretaker.
Take a look at the post:
The post, since being shared, has received various comments. There were many who offered their condolences.
"She will be missed so so hard," wrote an Instagram user. "Oh no. I'm so very sorry. I'm glad she had her person there to comfort her and tell her she was loved," posted another. "Such an impactful image. Thank you for your work and my condolences," commented a third.
The photobomb selfie went viral in 2019 after being shared on Instagram by Virunga National Park. It shows caretakers Mathieu and Patrick along with mountain gorillas Ndakazi and Ndeze.
"It was a privilege to support and care for such a loving creature, especially knowing the trauma Ndakasi suffered at a very young age. It was Ndakasi's sweet nature and intelligence that helped me to understand the connection between humans and Great Apes and why we should do everything in our power to protect them," Bauma said in a statement issued by the national park, reports CNN.
"I am proud to have called Ndakasi my friend. I loved her like a child and her cheerful personality brought a smile to my face every time I interacted with her. She will be missed by all of us at Virunga but we are forever grateful for the richness Ndakasi brought to our lives during her time at Senkwekwe," he added.
Ndakasi also featured in several TV shows and films.