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A giraffe kissed a dying zoo worker goodbye in a heartbreaking moment that has gone viral.

Mario Eijs, 54, had spent 25 years cleaning the animal's enclosure and doing odd jobs at a Dutch zoo. His last wish was to be taken to the Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to pay a final visit to the co-workers and animals he loved.

The visit was organized by the Ambulance Wish Foundation, which offers free transport to terminally ill patients.

Wijs was wheeled around the zoo in his hospital bed and several giraffes became curious when he was brought to their inside enclosure.

''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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