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Giraffe licks dying zoo worker

Published: Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:42 p.m. CDT
Caption
(AP photo)
This photo released Saturday 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. 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.

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 done odd jobs for 25 years.

Mario Eijs, who is mentally disabled, 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.

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

Several giraffes became curious when Eijs 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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