Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters

 

Giraffe kisses dying zookeeper in final goodbye

March 21, 2014 CTV News

Dutch zookeeper Mario, 54, is dying of cancer and only has weeks to live. He has spent the majority of his life cleaning the giraffe enclosure at the Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam, Holland. But before he passed away he wanted to say a very special goodbye. So he asked for his hospital bed to be wheeled into the same enclosure he spent so many years cleaning.

The Ambulance Wish Foundation, which grants such wishes, found out about Mario’s request and got to work. The group posted these images to their Facebook page yesterday. As you can see in the video below, the giraffes go about their business for a while and then begin to gather around Mario before one leans in, sniffs the zookeeper and then gives him a kiss. “These animals recognized him, and felt that (things aren’t) going well with him,” says Kees Veldboer, founder of the Ambulance Foundation to Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. It was “a very special moment. You saw him beaming.”

After saying goodbye to the giraffes, Mario, who is mentally disabled, took a moment to say goodbye to his fellow coworkers.

Comment: It’s no surprise that animals are emotional and sensitive beings. This touching moment has captured the hearts of millions. And to think we treat them so abysmally, and without thought. It brings to mind the immoral and tragic outcome for Marius, the young, healthy giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo, who was callously slaughtered, dismembered and fed to the lions to prevent inbreeding. He was ‘surplus.’ A lesson in eugenics for everybody.

We have much to learn from the nonhuman species. Enlightenment, compassion, and wisdom will bring us closer to the goal of animal liberation. Their liberation is our liberation.

Read more: Edinburgh Zoo kills rare piglets; Copenhagen Zoo executes young giraffe deemed ‘surplus’