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   Carruthers  Saturday Mar 22 03:13 AM

March 22, 2014: Giraffe says goodbye to dying man

You'd have to have a heart of granite not to be touched by this...

A dying man who was taken on a final visit to the zoo where he worked for more than 30 years was rewarded with a goodbye kiss — from a giraffe.

The 54-year-old, identified only as Mario, had worked for 25 years at Rotterdam Zoo, where he would help clean out the animals’ enclosures.

Mario, who was mentally ill and stricken by cancer, asked the Ambulance Wish Foundation to take him back to the zoo one last time, to see the animals and say goodbye to his former colleagues.

The visit was originally planned for Mario’s birthday next month but was brought forward to Wednesday because his condition deteriorated.

The charity, which specialises in fulfilling the last wishes of the terminally ill, was founded seven years ago by Kees Veldboer, who said that Mario had asked to visit the oceanarium — which he had cleaned for years — the elephant enclosure and the apes.

He was also taken into the giraffe enclosure where, after much sniffing, one of the animals licked him on the nose.

“These animals recognised him and could feel that all was not going well with him,” Mr Veldboer said.

“Mario is largely paralysed and finds it hard to speak but his face spoke volumes. You could see him light up.”

SPUCK  Saturday Mar 22 06:47 AM

Later in the day they killed that giraffe because of concerns about inbreeding.

Sundae  Saturday Mar 22 12:07 PM

That's beautiful.
Thanks, Carr.

Coign  Sunday Mar 23 06:45 PM

Originally Posted by SPUCK View Post
Later in the day they killed that giraffe because of concerns about inbreeding.
That's beautiful, thanks Spuck.

orthodoc  Sunday Mar 23 06:54 PM

Thanks, Carr. This is a beautiful story.

Carruthers  Monday Mar 24 04:28 PM

I understand that the gentleman died yesterday, 23rd March.

SPUCK  Wednesday Mar 26 07:22 AM

It was really nice the zoo set that up.. Really nice.

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