VIRAL: Dying zookeeper gets sweet goodbye from beloved giraffe - KPTV - FOX 12

VIRAL: Dying zookeeper gets sweet goodbye from beloved giraffe

Posted: Updated:
A zoo employee dying from a terminal brain tumor was not only granted his final wish, but given a sweet final goodbye from one of the animals he loved. (Source: J.A.A van Dam/YouTube) A zoo employee dying from a terminal brain tumor was not only granted his final wish, but given a sweet final goodbye from one of the animals he loved. (Source: J.A.A van Dam/YouTube)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Pakistan protesters march on PM's residence

    Pakistan protesters march on PM's residence

    Saturday, August 30 2014 6:23 PM EDT2014-08-30 22:23:18 GMT
    Pakistani police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters as they tried to march toward the prime minister's home in the capital on Saturday, blanketing the route with clouds of white smoke and scattering...More >
    Pakistani police charged with batons and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of protesters marching toward the prime minister's official residence and the adjacent parliament building in Islamabad on...More >
  • Silva surges ahead of Brazil's presidential vote

    Silva surges ahead of Brazil's presidential vote

    Saturday, August 30 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-30 22:00:43 GMT
    Brazil's once humdrum presidential race now resembles one of the country's famed soap operas, with a newcomer thrust into the spotlight by a plane crash and the longtime favorite reeling from a one-two...More >
    Brazil's once humdrum presidential race now resembles one of the country's famed soap operas, with a newcomer thrust into the spotlight by a plane crash and the longtime favorite reeling from a one-two punch of bad...More >
  • 22 trapped gold miners rescued in Nicaragua

    22 trapped gold miners rescued in Nicaragua

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:13 PM EDT2014-08-30 21:13:15 GMT
    Rescuers using long ladders tried to get food and water to freelance miners trapped in a Nicaraguan gold mine, as the effort to reach the 24 men entered its second day.More >
    Rescue workers and trapped miners alike frantically dug away at opposite sides of rock and mud that blocked a Nicaragua gold mine, finally succeeding in freeing at least 20 men. Efforts to reach five miners still missing...More >

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (RNN) – A man dying from a terminal illness was not only granted his final wish, but given a sweet farewell from one of the animals he loved. The video of the reunion has gone viral.

On March 20, the last wish of Mario, a 54-year-old zoo employee was to visit the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he worked for nearly 25 years despite a mental disability. He is now dying of a brain tumor.

According to the Dutch News, the Dutch Ambulance Wish Foundation granted his wish by taking him from the hospital to the zoo where he could rest comfortably in his hospital bed and watch the giraffes, his favorite animals.

During the visit, one of the giraffes came up to Mario and nuzzled him as he rested, a touching moment that was photographed and gone viral. The foundation also caught the tender moment on video and posted it to their Facebook page, helping spread the touching tribute.

The Ambulance Wish Foundation's director Kees Veldoer told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that "It was special that the animals knew him and could sense all was not well with him."

The foundation caters to immobile terminal patients by transporting them to the one place they'd like to go as their final wish.

Do you like to tweet? I do – follow me on Twitter @TanitaG_RNN.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.