Ndakasi’s world revolves almost entirely around play. She keenly observes the actions of her caretakers, from the completion of menial tasks to the driving of vehicles, impersonating wherever possible. So strong is her propensity to imitate, it’s as though Ndakasi truly believes she’s human.
But it hasn’t always been fun and games for Ndakasi. In early 2007, her mother and father were killed in an attack on the Rugendo mountain gorilla family. Only two months old was Ndakasi when she was found clutching at the fur of her murdered mother, in the hope that she might eventually awaken and express some much needed milk or motherly love.