Through an organization that transports terminally-ill patients to carry out their last wish, he was able to say goodbye to the animals he cared for.
The 54-year-old man named Mario was taken to the Rotterdam Zoo in an ambulance, and was able to spend some time at several exhibits. But while he was in the giraffe enclosure, one of the zoo's giraffes reached down to nuzzle him for a goodbye kiss.
Someone who was there says it was a special moment, and Mario smiled when it happened.
Mario worked as a cleaner at the zoo for 25 years.