Giraffe Gave Dying Zookeeper a Final Kiss Goodbye | 22 Words

Zoos may be controversial - but one heartbreaking video depicts the truly amazing bond animals can share with their keepers...

Zoos sometimes get a bad rep.

With many viewing keeping any animal in captivity as inherently cruel.

And it's true, zoos of the past have been controversial.

But that doesn't mean exotic animals can't be cared for in a safe and humane way.

Zoos have come a long way!

Many of them are amazing educational tools - plus make an effort in conservation.

On top of that, the bond between animals and their keepers can be real.

As this story proves.

A heartbreaking video from Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp Zoo has gone viral.

via: Facebook

And it's equal parts adorable and tragic.

Over the years, zoos have become more and more controversial...

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And today, many perceive them as inhumane and cruel. But things weren't always like this.

Zoos were once a very popular family attraction...

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And the excitement of seeing exotic animals in enclosures completely overrode the concept of cruelty.

Of course, there are many zoos out there that work as animal sanctuaries and reserves...

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And these sanctuaries take care of wild animals who are endangered or cannot survive alone in the wild.

But the majority of zoos are considered inhumane and inappropriate.

PETA, which is one of the world's biggest animal activist groups, campaigns strongly against zoos and keeping animals in "makeshift prisons" and they work tirelessly to allow these animals to live in their natural habitats.

Cages are no places for animals...

But sadly, zoos all around the world are now banking in millions of dollars and they are vital to numerous economies worldwide - especially in big countries such as here in the United States.

Activists have been working tirelessly for years now to try and rescue animals in captivity...

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But it's worth noting that not all zoos are exploitative or bad for animals - as this story proves.

The bond between a keeper and an animal can be truly special.

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And Rotterdam’s Diergaarde Blijdorp zoo in the Netherlands has one of the most amazing stories of this special relationship.

As one dying zookeeper returned to the zoo for a final time.

via: Facebook

And not only did the animals remember him...

They came over to give him a goodbye kiss.

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It was too cute for words.

Mario Ejis had worked at the zoo for 25 years.

via: Facebook

And, primarily interacted with the giraffes there.

He was battling terminal cancer and had a dying wish.

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To go and visit the giraffes he loved one final time.

And as he was brought into the enclosure, something incredible happened.

via: Facebook

Not only did the giraffes remember him, but they sensed his pain, too.

One by one, they approached him.

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Sticking their heads through the window, they gave him a final goodbye.

It was absolutely amazing to see.

via: Facebook

Those watching also knew they were witnessing a very special moment.

Here's the incredible video.

And if you want a slightly different zoo story, scroll on ...