Animals are special beings, and they can exhibit their love for humans in heartbreaking ways.
The story of Maria Ejis, a 54-year-old zoo worker, warmed the hearts of many. Namely, he has dedicated 25 years of his life caring for the animals in the Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in the Netherlands.
Yet, he suffers from a mental disability and had battled terminal brain cancer, so he was unable to continue working there. As he spent almost half of his life cleaning the cages and making friends with the confined animals, his last wish was to see the zoo again.
His condition aggravated, and he was permanently confined to the bed and had speaking difficulties.
Yet, with the help of a charity organization known as the Ambulance Wish Foundation, he was transported to the hospital in a specially designed ambulance so he could meet his friends again.
When he was brought to the giraffe section, everyone witnessed a heartbreaking scene. Several giraffes became curious when Eijs was brought to their inside enclosure on March 19.
They sensed his pain and suffering, so they started sticking their heads one after the other through the window, nuzzled him, kissed and comforted him with sad expressions in their eyes.
Mario got a lick on his nose after a lot of snuffles,” Foundation worker Olaf Exoo, in a written summary of the day, informed that Mario got a lick on the nose after many snuffles, and it was the last greeting to each other that gave everybody watching goosebumps.
Kees Veldboer, the founder of the Ambulance Wish Foundation, later explained that they recognized him and felt he was not well. As he explained in the interview for the Rotterdam newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, these moments were special for everyone present, and Mario was totally light up.
Even though he couldn’t express himself with words, his face spoke volumes. Veldboer added that Mario, beaming, also said goodbye to his coworkers.
When The Ambulance Wish foundation uploaded the story on their Facebook page in 2014, it quickly went viral. This charity transports terminally ill patients to a place of personal significance as their last wish.
Several media companies, as well as popular websites and Twitter, shared the story, and it left numerous people heartbroken.
Animals are truly amazing, and their unconditional love brings great joy, just like these grateful giraffes made Mario happy once again.