A dying zookeeper received a loving goodbye kiss from a giraffe he used to take care of.
The zookeeper’s last wish was to visit his friends at the zoo one last time, Healthy Food House reveals.
Mario Eijs was working at the Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam for 25 years. During that time, while taking care of the animals by making sure their cages are clean, Mr. Eijs was also making friends with them. Sadly, in his last years, he was struggling with both mental disability and terminal cancer.
At one point, when his condition got worse, Mr. Eijs wasn’t able to go to work. It was in 2014 when the then 54-year-old man had one last wish to make. All he wanted to do before leaving this world was to visit the zoo and see his friends for one last time.
Even though he was confined to a bed, and he had speech difficulties, his former co-workers were happy to help him make his last wish come true. With the help of the charity Ambulance Wish Foundation, his friends at the zoo transported him in a specially designed ambulance.
When Mr. Eijs approached the giraffes, something incredible happened!
The giraffes were curious to see their visitor. As he approached them, they went closer to him and started giving him snuffles. One of them even kissed the zookeeper goodbye in a heartbreaking moment.
Image credits: YouTube
As per USA Today, in a written summary, foundation worker Olaf Exoo said that the touching moment was “gave everybody watching goosebumps”. In addition, Kees Veldboer, the founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation, said:
“These animals recognized him and felt that (things aren’t) going well with him. (It was) a very special moment. You saw him beaming.”