ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands -

Before he died, a terminally ill zoo worker just wanted to say goodbye to the animals.

54-year-old Mario had worked as a cleaner at the Diergaade Blijdorp Zoo in Rotterdam for almost 25 years before being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

ABC.com said Mario, who is mentally handicapped, was brought to the zoo to say farewell to the animals, especially the giraffes whom he had worked closely with.

After his arrival, one of the giraffes bent down, nuzzled next to his face and gave Mario a goodbye kiss.

According to The Daily Mirror, the trip was organized by a Dutch charity called the Ambulance Wish Foundation.

Charity founder Kees Veldboer, said: “These animals recognised him, and felt that things weren’t going well with him. It was a very special moment. You saw him beaming.”