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Dying Zookeeper Gets A Goodbye Kiss From A Giraffe That He Cared For! This Photo Will Break Your Heart!

| Filed under: Sad SadPhotos!ZooAwwwwwGiraffeHeartwarming

mario with giraffe 1 watermark

ZOMG. The feels. All of the feels.

The photo above is of a Holland zoo worker named Mario saying one final goodbye to the giraffes that he spent his entire life caring for!

Mario, 54, has terminal cancer and doctors expect him to live for only a few more weeks.

But before he passes, he requested that his hospital bed be rolled to the giraffe enclosure that he's worked in for so long in order to say farewell to his long-necked friends.

As if that wasn’t tear-enducing enough, during his visit, one of the giraffes approached Mario, leaned down and kissed him!

Nope. We can’t even. Sobs on sobs on sobs.

Such a BEAUTIFUL photograph! Such a BEAUTIFUL bond!

Ambulance Wish Foundation granted Mario his dying wish and transported him to and from the zoo that day. Organization founder Kees Veldboer recalled just how AH-Mazing the moment was, explaining:

"These animals recognized him, and felt that [things aren’t] going well with him. [It was] a very special moment. You saw him beaming.”

It sort of amazes us that a story like this can come out just one month after another zoo a few hundred miles away SHOT AND KILLED one of their giraffes on purpose!

We like it better when zookeepers kiss the animals they’re in charge of caring for, instead of putting a bullet in their head!

You’re amazing, Mario! And you won’t soon be forgotten by these guys!

[Image via Facebook.]

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9 comments to “Dying Zookeeper Gets A Goodbye Kiss From A Giraffe That He Cared For! This Photo Will Break Your Heart!”

  1. grg says – reply to this


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  2. The Buster Ruster says – reply to this


    Why does mother nature shoot and kill humans with cancer? Why does mother nature allow a pride of lions to take down and gobble a newly born giraffe? If mother nature was loving, she'd have designed us to live off of dirt as food and shit dirt back. If I was her and was capable of anything, we'd all be eating dirt and we'd think its yummy as hell. She's evil though. But she is kind enough to give us oxygen to breathe inbetween her torment of us. This kiss proves that giraffes are not unhappy in zoos. They love their handlers. Maybe this is the wakeup call that anti zoo activists need. Animals dont hate their carekeepers. Just because one rogue KILLER whale goes killer on its handler doesnt mean a kissy giraffe is unhappy being human handled.

  3. Natt says – reply to this


    I'm now sitting on a midtown bus, crying my eyed out ;(

  4. Teresa Andrews says – reply to this


    Re: Natt – I know! Very touching picture and story.

  5. 5

    Beautiful story, thanks.

  6. Virle says – reply to this


    Mario was an employee at the Diergaarde Blijdorp in Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland in the Netherlands. It's a Dutch Zoo, not a "Holland" Zoo.

  7. 7

    Re: Virle – Unfortunately, for many non-Dutch people, the Netherlands are still "Holland". Even though that was changed centuries ago…

  8. Alii says – reply to this


    This was just heart breaking and beautiful all at the same time. The love and innocence that animals bring into our lives (even wild ones) is a gift from God. I'm SO glad you brought up those morons that shot and killed their own giraffe (I think his name was Mario) as that was just so sad and so stunning and in such bad taste.

    I'm glad these giraffes are cherished and loved and cared for.

    This was such a sad story. :(

  9. @v@ says – reply to this


    Sweet. Bless the beasts.