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LOOK: Dying zoo worker gets sweet goodbye from giraffe

Mario Eijs had done odd jobs at zoo for 25 years

A giraffe gave a lick to a dying man who asked as a last wish to be taken to Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he had done odd jobs for 25 years.

Mario Eijs, who is mentally disabled, had developed a brain tumour and had difficulty walking or speaking. He wanted to pay a final visit to the co-workers and animals he loved.

The Stichting Ambulance Wens offers free transport to terminally ill patients.

Several giraffes became curious when Eijs was brought to their inside enclosure on March 19.

"Mario got a lick on his nose after a lot of snuffles," Foundation worker Olaf Exoo said in a written summary of the day.

Exoo said it was "a last greeting to each other that gave everybody watching goose bumps."

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  1. Maggi posted on 03/22/2014 10:00 PM
    Beautiful, animals are so compassionate !
  2. Olivia posted on 03/22/2014 11:41 PM
    So sweet, so lovely.! Their spirits connected in pure love. Animals are so compassionate indeed. So pleased to see Mario's wish granted, we all benefitted from seeing this gesture.
  3. Karl Burgin posted on 03/24/2014 10:29 AM
    Well done by everybody here to make this happen...and my condolences to Mario and his family.
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