Ndakasi was just 2 months old when rangers from Virunga National Park found her in a heartbreaking state in the Congolese wilderness back in 2007.
Illegal activities by merciless poachers tragically leave many animals orphaned and that's exactly what happened to the family of a gorilla named Ndakasi. She was just 2 months old when rangers from Virunga National Park found her in a heartbreaking state in the Congolese wilderness back in 2007. A terrified Ndakasi was clutching onto the dead body of her mother, whose life was claimed by poachers. Although the beginning of life had nothing but pain and suffering, she was about to be introduced to some human friends who would prove that there's still kindness and love left in this world.
After being rescued from the forest, Ndakasi was brought into the park's gorilla orphanage, according to The Dodo. This is where she met a caretaker named Andre Bauma who stayed by the fragile gorilla's side on the first night apart from her mom. "Through a torrential rainstorm that lasted all night, Andre held baby Ndakasi tightly to his bare chest to keep her warm and give her comfort," revealed the park in a post. It was the love of Bauma and the orphanage's other staff members that not only helped the baby survive the night but also grow up happy and healthy.
The park uploaded a sweet selfie captured in 2019 which shows Ndakasi in the company of those who loved her immensely. The heartbreaking circumstances surrounding Ndakasi's rescue meant that every day was a struggle for her as an infant. Slowly but surely, she began trusting those around her and sharing her immense love with them. Life quickly became a gift for Ndakasi but sadly it came to an early end. Last week, her caretakers announced that Ndakasi had passed away due to an illness at the tender age of 14 on September 26. Although the fact that she lost her life so young is extremely painful, it's comforting to know that her last moments reflected a legacy of love.
Even her final moments were spent with someone who was dear to her. "Ndakasi took her final breath in the loving arms of her caretaker and lifelong friend, Andre Bauma," wrote the park in an emotional post. Ndakasi is no longer in this world but she will remain alive in the memories of those who cherished her. Her story makes us hopeful that there are people whose efforts would give other orphaned gorillas like her a second chance at a happy life. And caretakers at Virunga National Park's sanctuary have sworn to make sure that happens. "There is a bond that ties us together," said Bauma explaining the special friendship. "A relationship that is very, very close between the guardians and the gorillas."
Wildlife poaching, a crime powered by the lucrative black market trade of animal parts, has an adverse effect on both animals and the environment. Leading animal rights and environmental groups have been fighting to end wildlife poaching, per One Green Planet. This includes The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and The International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF). In addition to gorillas, elephants, rhinos, tigers, sea turtles, and lemurs are animals that are endangered due to poaching activities. Currently, poachers are the biggest threat to elephants as they hunt them down for their ivory tusk, which is known as "white gold."
Tigers are some of the most majestic creatures on the planet. However, they're also one of the most endangered animals due to poaching and loss of habitat. But there is hope! Look at these gorgeous Amur Tiger cubs born at @HighlandWPark this May. #TigerDayhttps://t.co/AsiwW0z0jx— The Reverend Vet (@TheReverendVet) July 29, 2021
Even Rhinos suffer due to their external protrusion which is insanely expensive. In 2012, rhino horn was sold for $65,000 per kilo, which is more expensive than gold, cocaine, or diamonds, per reports. As for Tigers, less than 2,500 mature tigers exist in the wild currently and it's all due to humans. Their skin, bones, teeth, tails, claws, and even whiskers are in high demand in the black market. Poachers target the tropical turtle hawksbill for its shell which is used to make jewelry, glasses, ornaments, instruments, and other items.
Lemurs are the most endangered mammals on the earth and it's mostly because of deforestation and climate change. But the recent increase in demand for their meat has decreased their already tiny population. Finally, gorillas are killed for their body parts that are used in folk remedies or just as trophies. It's a shame what we have done to other fellow Earth-inhabitant which whom we were supposed to share this world. If these illicit activities don't stop, we are heading for a grim future, which has already begun.
Cover image source: Facebook | Virunga National Park