Giraffe gives man final kiss goodbye

Giraffe gives man final kiss goodbye
TOUCHING: A giraffe the Rotterdam zoo bidding farewell to its keeper, known as Mr Mario.

It was a heartbreaking moment.

A giraffe in a zoo in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, bid a final farewell to their keeper, who had spent his entire adult life cleaning the animal's enclosure.

The man, known as Mr Mario, 54, has terminal cancer and asked to be taken to the animal's enclosure, Mail Online reported.

He was wheeled into the enclosure on his hospital bed last week.

Within minutes, the giraffes approached him and began to nuzzle and kiss him.

The Ambulance Wish Foundation, which transported him to the zoo, said Mr Mario cannot walk and finds talking very difficult.

"But his face spoke volumes," foundation officials told the Irish Independent.

Mr Kees Veldboer, founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation, told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad: "These animals recognised him and felt that (things aren't) going well with him.

"(It was) a very special moment. You saw him beaming."

Mr Mario, who is mentally disabled, had asked for a moment to say goodbye to his colleagues at the zoo, where he spent the vast majority of his adult life.

It was very nice that they were able to work on the last wish of this man, Mr Veldboer said.

The Ambulance Wish Foundation is a charity whose volunteers specialise in helping non-mobile terminally ill patients fulfil their dying wishes.

The organisation was founded in 2007 by Mr Veldboer, who also drives the company's fleet of ambulances to take patients wherever they wish to go.


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