Giraffe Gives Dying Zoo Worker A Kiss Goodbye

Get ready to sob

What better way to celebrate the end of the week than with some pure, unadulterated sob-fuel? Witness Mario--just Mario--a 54-year-old man who spent most of his life working at Holland's Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdamn. Dying of terminal cancer, Mario requested that his hospital bed be wheeled into the giraffe enclosure. What happened next is...well, just look at the pictures.

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Soon after Mario was brought into the enclosure, one giraffe approached to give him a kiss goodbye.

"These animals recognized him, and felt that [things aren't] going well with him," Kees Veldboer, founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. Veldboer's charity, which grants dying wishes to the terminally ill, transported Mario to the zoo.

"[It was] a very special moment. You saw him beaming."

> Find a job working with animals

Daily Mail reported that after meeting with the giraffes, Mario, who is mentally disabled, requested a moment to say goodbye to his colleagues at the zoo where he worked for most of his adult life.

All right, fine. The cynics out there might be saying that the giraffe wasn't really giving him a kiss, that it was only looking for food, or performing some kind of giraffe greeting behavior. To which we say, pah! This giraffe was giving his beloved companion a goodbye kiss. If there's a world where a giraffe kiss is not a giraffe kiss, that's not a world we want to live in.

Now would be a great time to check out some of the other animal jobs out there.

Filed under: Employment News
Mack Gelber

Mack Gelber

Associate Programming Manager

Mack Gelber is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who has covered entertainment for AOL TV, and contributed fiction to Joyland Magazine and the Bushwick Review. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he studied creative writing. Twitter: @mackgelber

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Of course I cried...

July 10 2014 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


July 09 2014 at 8:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok,this very touching story about the giraffe that tugged at my heart strings,and like Guy Cenname ,that sentiment that even the largest creatures of God show such love and it is obvious to me that the giraffe felt both love AND compassion for this human who had difficulties with his mental health before the cancer even made him ill.See,this is why humans who harm animals must change their ways.Every sentient being-giraffe,dog ,cat ,bird...etc, deserves respect,compassion and love.When I dont have any extra money to donate towards animal shelters and rescue groups, I try to help animals daily by signing petitions and calling congress or legislature about things such as giving more prison time to those convicted of crimes against animals(neglect,abuse,dog fighting,etc) to make an example of them and show that our society will not stand for abuse of helpless,innocent animals.But equally as touching was the KINDNESS and CARING shown by GUY CENNAME -not only about the giraffe but for his FELLOW MAN.What a sweet,kind hearted GENTLEMAN.God bless YOU ,Guy Cenname...Hearing your words restores my faith in the human race.If the majority of people on this planet were as kind,we'd be in a much better place.

March 26 2014 at 10:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

When my neighbor suddenly passed away my Husky laid down in the middle of the road. He never did it before and never did it again.

March 26 2014 at 1:34 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Me too !!! I'm at work reading this... not a dry eye. That is pure.
Animals know more then you think.
I agree with you Guy Genname !!

March 26 2014 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Guy Cenname

That's it!!! I finally broke down!!!!!

March 23 2014 at 9:23 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Guy Cenname

When and after I saw and heard about this SPECIAL report on my local news station, my heart sank with sadness. knowing that MARIO has such a RELATIONSHIP with his zoo animals, and seeing that even large creatures from God, can also show LOVE and Compasion for a man that they knew over the many years of working at the zoo. Even when I see these remarkable photos, I can't help mysel but to hold back tears, and a very tight grip of emotion just so that I won't cry. It's difficult not to feel any emotions regarding this story!!! I'm sorry that MARIO has this incurable cancer, and when he goes to Heaven, maybe he can have his job back in Heaven caring for all the animals that have passed on from earth into Heaven. I love you Mario and God bless you my dear friend.

March 23 2014 at 9:20 AM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

Animals always know when you love & respect them and when you do, they return the love & kindness right back to you....all animals, domestic and wild! And they know when you don't.

March 23 2014 at 1:28 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

What a beautiful picture.

March 22 2014 at 4:46 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

I have a German Shepherd who has a noble soul, without a doubt. He always comes over to give me affection after I've fed him, as if to say Thank you. He sees me to the front door when I'm off to work, and greets me with wagging tail when I come home. He accepted my little daughter, as well as the stray cat I brought home, as part of his 'pack,' and is their protector should anyone ever raise a hand to them. Even though I've wronged him in the past, he still loves me unconditionally.
I will cry when he goes.
If I could bet on whether he will make it into Heaven, or I will, my money's on him.

March 22 2014 at 6:51 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

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