Sad Farewell Visit From Giraffe At Friend's Deathbed [Video]

After a full career at Rotterdams's Diergaarde Blijdorp Zoo, Mario, a 54-year old grounds keeper asked to be transported back to see his beloved giraffes one more time. Suffering from terminal cancer, it was his dying wish that he reconnect with his friends before passing on.

Upon arrival, in a heartbreaking scene, one of the giraffes approached Mario and gave him what appeared to be a good-bye kiss. Mario who was mentally challenged made a special connection with these giraffes that spanned his 25 years of service, where his duties included daily cleanings of the giraffes' enclosure.

It seemed as if the animal was trying to thank Mario for all of his years of dedicated work.

"These animals recognized him, and felt that (things weren't) going well with him," said Kees Veldboer, founder of the Dutch Ambulance Wish Foundation who transported Mario to the zoo. In an interview, he told the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that the animal definitely recognized that Mario's health was failing. "You could see Mario totally light up - it was a special moment - you saw him smile,"added Veldboer.

Photos of the moment have since gone viral on both Reddit and the Ambulance Wish Foundation’s Facebook page, where more 800 users shared the photo as of Friday morning. Others have taken to Twitter to comment on the moving image.

From research, we know that giraffes are non-territorial animals who travel in social groups- where it's been shown that they can form special bonds with others in their herd.

At the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, it's common to see giraffes connecting with humans as well. Famous for its resident herd of endangered Rothschild giraffes that live on  the extensive grounds of the manor house -- every day shortly before 9am, the mammoth beasts stroll up to the house and poke their heads through the windows and doors in search of morning treats.

This is one of the very few places in the world where staff and their guests can share breakfast with the world’s tallest animals. Guests can feed the giraffes from their breakfast table, photograph them and interact with this graceful animal through the open windows or on the grounds.

Ron Callari
Fun Pet and Animal Stories

Mar 24, 2014
by sindhubreon (not verified)
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This is a touching story--

This is a touching story-- of the Giraffes'- they are soo beautiful, gentle, and amazing animalsl!!!

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