This is a repost from early October, 2021, just after the death of Ndakasi was announced.

André and Ndakasi at Senkwekwe in 2021.

It is with great sadness that we learned of mountain gorilla Ndakasi’s death at Senkwekwe Gorilla Center in Virunga National Park, DRC. She drifted off in André Bauma’s loving arms on September 26th, 2021. André, who rescued her over a decade ago when she was a recently orphaned infant and with whom she remained incredibly close her whole life, always speaks of the center’s orphan gorillas as family. Watching them interact with André and the other caregivers, it was impossible to doubt the truth of those words.

There is much we have to answer for regarding our treatment of one another and our non-human friends and relatives, but the love and care given to Ndakasi and other rescued gorillas and chimpanzees at sanctuaries like Senkwekwe and Lwiro fills me with warmth and hope. Perhaps not of our overall impact, since without us there would be no need for such centers in the first place, but at least for the kindness and compassion we are capable of.