A dying man was given a farewell kiss by a giraffe at the zoo where he worked his entire life. The man, known only as Mario, was brought to the zoo where he was able to say goodbye to the animals he had worked alongside for his whole career as one of the zoo caretakers.
The heart-warming moment took place at the Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in the Netherlands and was captured by a photographer.
The 54-year-old man, who was mentally disabled, was taken into an enclosure in the zoo in his hospital bed and there he waited for his animal friends to bid him farewell.
“You could see him totally light up,” said Kees Veldboer, founder and director of Ambulance Wish Foundation - which organised the visit - to Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
“It’s very special to see that those animals recognise him, and sense that he isn’t doing well,” he said.
Mario worked at the zoo for most of his life and bid his colleagues goodbye after the meeting with the animals.