Dutch foundation lets Giraffe kiss dying caretaker goodbye

Dutch foundation lets Giraffe kiss dying caretaker goodbye
All About Animals

POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 3:22pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 24, 2014 - 3:23pm

Just a forewarning: You're about to cry all over your keyboard. We did when we saw the photo above, which shows a giraffe nuzzling a man through an enclosure window.

The man, Mario (patient last name withheld), is a 54-year-old volunteer who worked with the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands for years. He has been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and had one wish: To say goodbye to the animals he had cared for.

Thanks to a Dutch organization called the Ambulance Wish Foundation, Mario is one of a few lucky people that are granted a final wish when they are terminally ill. The photo, which was shared on the AWF Facebook page Thursday morning, shot to the front page of Reddit only a few hours later. Much like the American organization Make-A-Wish, AWF operates thanks to the kindness of volunteers that work together to bring people's dreams to fruition.

HLN reached out to the organization Thursday morning but has not yet heard back.

The organization was founded by Kees Veldboer, who also gets behind the wheel of the company's ambulances to lend his own helping hand in the wish-fulfillment process. The ambulances were specifically designed with long windows so patients could watch the world go by while they were being transported.

This isn't the first time AWF has played the hero to human and animal love. They've been at it since 2007, and they also helped a man say goodbye to his ponies back in January.

Once again, we apologize for making you sob all over your own lap, but it was too good not to tell, you know?

Mario, 54, volunteered at the Rotterdam Zoo, Netherlands, for years. Diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, his one last wish was to say goodbye to the animals he cared for. Dutch organization Ambulance Wish Foundation granted the wish and captured this photo of a giraffe nuzzling Mario through an enclosure window. Tweeted out (translation from Dutch): "Because it is so special again 'The Kiss' but from another side."

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