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VIRAL: Dying zookeeper gets sweet goodbye from beloved giraffe

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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)
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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.

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