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This photo released Saturday March 22, 2014 by Stichting Ambulance Wens or Ambulance Wish Foundation shows a giraffe at Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam giving a lick to terminally ill Mario Eijs on Wednesday March 19, 2014 . The Stichting Ambulancewens "Ambulance Wish Foundation" offers transport for terminally ill patients who cannot walk to help fulfill a last wish, in Eijs' case to be taken to the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam where he worked doing odd jobs for 25 years. Eijs, who has a mental handicap, is dying of a brain tumor and has difficulty walking or speaking. (AP Photo/Stichting Ambulance Wens)
Dying zoo worker visits giraffes, gets a farewell lick
First Published Mar 22 2014 10:48 am • Last Updated Mar 22 2014 11:21 am

Amsterdam • A giraffe gave a lick to a dying man who asked as a last wish to be taken to Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he had worked doing odd jobs for 25 years.

Mario Eijs had developed a brain tumor and had difficulty walking or speaking. He wanted to pay a final visit to the co-workers and animals he loved.

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The Stichting Ambulance Wens offers free transport to terminally ill patients.

Several giraffes became curious when Mario was brought to their inside enclosure on March 19.

"Mario got a lick on his nose after a lot of snuffles," Foundation worker Olaf Exoo said in a written summary of the day.

Exoo said it was "a last greeting to each other that gave everybody watching goose bumps."




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