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Giraffe 'kisses' goodbye dying zoo worker in touching photograph

Giraffe and cancer patient.jpg

Ambulance Wish Foundation/Facebook

A touching moment between a zoo worker and one of his favorite animals has gone viral.

According to a report by Dutch News, 54-year-old Mario, who worked for the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands for many years, was recently diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.  But before he died, he had one wish: to say goodbye to the animals he cared for.

Thanks to a Dutch organization called the Ambulance Wish Foundation, Mario was transported from his hospital to the zoo and wheeled around the giraffe enclosure. That’s when one of the giraffes came up to Mario to give him a kiss goodbye.

“It was a very special moment. You saw him smile," said Kees Veldboer, director of Ambulance Wish. ‘It was special that the animals knew him and could sense all was not well with him.”

According to Dutch News, Mario has spent most of his adult life cleaning the animal enclosures at the zoo.

Click for more from Dutch News.