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Animals Touching Stories

Zoo Worker Received Last Kisses From His Giraffe Friends Before Leaving This World

This reminds me of the book named “Who cry when you die?” by Sharma R. that I read two years ago. Who will stay beside us at the time we’re gonna leave this world? Family and friends, of course. There is nothing to regret when having these people stay with us in the last stage of life.

But there are friends, or even family members who can not say a word. A dog that you’ve raised for years. An animal that you’ve cared for at work. This story will touch the heart of millions. A heartbreaking moment when a dying zoo worker received final kisses from giraffes.

Mario Ejis worked at the Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in the Netherlands as maintenance staff for 25 years. The 54-year-old man who suffers from a mental disability was responsible for caring for some of the most amazing creatures in confinement.

He spent almost half of his life cleaning the animal cages and making friends with beasts of the wild. But Mario battled terminal cancer and was unable to go to work for some time. In 2014, the zoo worker knew that he didn’t have much time left, so he made one last request – he wanted to see the zoo again.

Mario’s condition was greatly advanced and he was permanently confined to the bed, according to the Independent. He struggled deeply with speech and was finding it difficult to make coherent sentences.

However, the longing on his face was all the words anyone would have needed to be convinced. A charity organization named Ambulance Wish Foundation came to his service. Mario was transported to the hospital in a specially designed ambulance so he could his friends again.

Something incredible happened when Mario was taken to the giraffe section.

It was a heartbreaking sight to watch as the giraffes moved close to the ambulance carrying Mario, sticking their heads one after the other through the window. They could sense that he was in a lot of pain and was suffering greatly. They nuzzled him, kissed and comforted him with sad expressions in their eyes.

“These animals recognized him, and felt that (things aren’t) going well with him,” said Kees Veldboer, the founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation.

The experience had a great impact on Mario. “(It was) a very special moment. You saw him beaming,” said Veldboer.

The dying zoo worker had the opportunity to see the zoo that used to be his home one last time. He also got a chance to say goodbye to his co-workers.

The Ambulance Wish foundation is a charity that transports terminally ill patients to a place of personal significance as their last wish. Originated in the Netherlands, the charity has already been established in the UK, with over 1506 volunteers.

When shared on Facebook in 2014, Mario’s story went viral on social media. It was picked up by several media companies and shared on popular websites and Twitter. It left a lot of people heartbroken and awed at the giraffes’ ability to sense Mario’s pain.

One intuitive comment on Buzz Nick read:

“Animals are the most beautiful and ethereal beings. They see, feel and touch our souls in unimaginable ways. The depth of their senses is a gift to those who unconditionally love and respect these amazing creatures gifted to us by our magnificent Creator. Rest In Eternal Peace, Mario. You were their Hero.”

The giraffes may not have been able to detect cancer in their long-term friend’s body, but they could certainly sense his pain and suffering. Like the pets and many other animals that we care for, they’re truly true friends of ours.

See the clip here.

Please share this moving story with your loved ones!

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