Giraffe nuzzles terminally ill zookeeper during final make-a-wish visit to zoo (video)

This is really touching. A Dutch make-a-wish organization arranged to have Mario, a terminally-ill zookeeper, visit his animals one last time at the Rotterdam Zoo.

The other zookeepers do their best to lure the giraffes over with some food, and finally one giraffe decides it wants to check out Marios and appears to nuzzle and lick him severeal times.


Courtesy of Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland.

Courtesy of Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland.

The group is called the Ambulance Wish Foundation (Stichting Ambulance Wens Nederland), and they apparently arrange these last wishes for people in extremely comfortable ambulances.  I’m not sure if they actually help make the wish come true, or if their speciality is handling terminally ill patients “who aren’t mobile,” according to their Facebook page. Thus, the patient wouldn’t normally be able to do this one last thing they want to do, without the help of the ambulance volunteers and their special ambulances with big windows all around, and a special comfortable mattress.

They’ve quite a daily agenda of these visits. Oh my god, I just went through their Web site. The stories are so sad. But at the same time, as Mark wrote yesterday (and someone else I think noted in the comments, or maybe that was Mark too), don’t focus on the sadness, focus on the heroes.  I’m posting a few of the images they put up – the descriptions are beneath each image.  Just wow.

wish-6 wish-5 wiosj-4

wosj-3 wish-12



(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)

And here’s the video of Mario visiting the zoo:


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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9 Responses to “Giraffe nuzzles terminally ill zookeeper during final make-a-wish visit to zoo (video)”

  1. heimaey says:

    You’re right. I can be a bit quick to judge because I don’t like the concept of zoos, but it’s not that black and white.

  2. 2karmanot says:

    Dying with a tender moment. Beautiful.

  3. St Martyr says:

    I was arrogantly and naively not a fan of zoos until I read about how many of them save animals from being extinct in the wild. Big issues in places like Congo where monkeys can fetch a lot of money for a poor large family or Indonesia where the fur of a monkey can help a family live for months. And what about fishing? Small villages whose fishing livelihood is eroding therefore so is money thus they finish EVEN more for very little money then before?

    This is an intelligent website. Enough with the histrionics.

    It reminds me of straight homophobes who go ON and ON about a child needing a mum and dad but you’ll be damned if they even give $$ to childrens homes or foster children!

    Thanks for posting this.

  4. Oh I’m not convinced he didn’t show the animals compassion. What was he supposed to do, let them loose?

    I’m not a fan of circuses. Went to Ringling Brothers once as an adult and it totally creeped me out. But zoos, if they’re run well, I think are wonderful things. And they can build a lasting love for animals to counter the whole hunting thing.

  5. FatRat says:

    Touching video.

  6. Indigo says:

    It’s all so sad.

  7. cole3244 says:

    i have boycotted zoos, circuses, ant place that holds animals for viewing, pleasure, profit for 45 years or more.

    by the way the american make a wish foundation made it possible for a young man who was terminally ill to go and hunt and kill a bear out west as his last request, i don’t support those kind or organizations either no matter how touching they seem to us especially if they inflict pain and suffering on other species.

    we need to be more enlightened to the horrible things we do to other creatures in the name of being humane to ourselves.

  8. heimaey says:

    So the animals he imprisoned are showing a compassion for him that he never likely showed them?

  9. Jason Terblanche says:

    This group is really doing great things. I wish them all the best with what they are doing ans thank you.

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