PHOTO: Giraffe gives dying zoo worker ‘goodbye kiss’

Posted at 1:57 PM, Mar 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-21 14:05:44-04

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (WTVR) – It is a moving photo that has stirred emotions around the world. A zoo worker with cancer gets one of his dying wishes granted thanks to the Ambulance Wish Foundation.

The foundation is made up of volunteers who help move immobile and terminally ill patients so they can see or experience things for the last time.

A Rotterdam Zoo worker named Mario wanted to see the animals in the zoo where he once worked, according to the group’s Facebook post.

“Mario is largely paralyzed and speaking was very difficult,” an Ambulance Wish Foundation volunteer posted.

The volunteer said many co-workers greeted Mario as he made his way through the park that he cleaned for 25 years as a maintenance worker.

At one point Mario asked to see the giraffes.

“After much sniffing, one of the giraffes licked Mario on the nose,” the volunteer posted. “A final salute to each other. All bystanders got goosebumps.”