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Congo's famous mountain gorilla dies at 14 following a prolonged illness

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Posted at 2:56 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 17:04:41-04

A gorilla made famous after her selfie with a ranger at Congo's Virunga National Park has died.

Park officials said Ndakasi died on Sept. 26 at the age of 14 "following a prolonged illness in which her condition rapidly deteriorated."

"It is with heartfelt sadness that Virunga announces the death of beloved orphaned mountain gorilla, Ndakasi," the park announced on social media.

The park said that the gorilla "took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma."

Ndakasi was only two months old when park rangers found her in 2017 clinging to the lifeless body of her mother, who had been gunned down by armed militia hours earlier.

Bauma comforted the baby, holding her tiny body tightly against his bare chest, and he continued to care for her since then.

Ndakasi went viral in 2019 when a “selfie” of her posed for a picture with park ranger Mathieu Shamavu at the Senkwekwe Center for Orphaned Mountain Gorillas.