VIRAL: Dying zookeeper gets sweet goodbye from beloved giraffe - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

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>>

  • W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

    W. Africa Ebola outbreak tops 700 deaths

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:08:02 GMT
    The president of Sierra Leone has declared a public health emergency as the Ebola crisis deepens across West Africa.More >>
    Security forces went house-to-house in Sierra Leone's capital Thursday looking for Ebola patients and others exposed to the disease as the death toll from the worst recorded outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West...More >>
  • Gas explosions kill 15, injure 228 in Taiwan

    Gas explosions kill 15, injure 228 in Taiwan

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:59 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:59:51 GMT
    Taiwan's National Fire Agency says 15 people were killed and 228 were injured a series of gas leak explosions in a southwestern city.More >>
    Taiwan's National Fire Agency says 15 people were killed and 228 were injured a series of gas leak explosions in a southwestern city.More >>
  • Dutch retrieve DNA of some Ukraine crash victims

    Dutch retrieve DNA of some Ukraine crash victims

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:33:19 GMT
    The head of the Dutch-led international team investigating the Malaysian Airline Flight 17 disaster says his group has retrieved additional DNA samples from 25 victims at a mortuary in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.More >>
    The head of the Dutch-led international team investigating the Malaysian Airline Flight 17 disaster says his group has retrieved additional DNA samples from 25 victims at a mortuary in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.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.