Video: Heartbreaking moment a giraffe gives dying zoo worker a kiss goodbye

Heart-breaking pictures have emerged of the moment a giraffe said goodbye to a terminally ill zoo worker, who had spent most of his adult life cleaning the animal's enclosures.

The 54-year-old maintenance worker, who has terminal cancer, asked that his hospital bed be wheeled into the giraffe enclosure at Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo.

In a heartbreaking scene, one of the giraffes then approached the man, known only as Mario, and gave him a tender kiss goodbye.

‘These animals recognised him, and felt that (things aren’t) going well with him,’ Kees Veldboer, founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation - which transported Mario to the zoo - told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.

‘(It was) a very special moment. You saw him beaming.’

Mario, who's mentally disabled, then asked for a moment to say goodbye to his colleagues at the zoo, where he spent the vast majority of his adult life.

Mario, who has a mental disability, was also given the chance to say goodbye to his colleagues at the zoo, where had had worked for almost 25 years.

The AWF relies on 200 volunteers and helps to make the last wishes of terminally ill patients come true by transporting them in specially designed ambulances.

 Watch the video below

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