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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Thousands help paralysed lion

Thousands help paralysed lion

Thousands help paralysed lion

13:30 AEST Thu Jul 14 2011
By ninemsn staff
Veterinarian Livia Pereira kisses Ariel. (AAP)
Veterinarian Livia Pereira kisses Ariel. (AAP)
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FALLEN STAR

A 140kg lion suffering from paralysis in all four of its legs is receiving treatment thanks to tens of thousands of dollars worth of donations from internet supporters.

PHOTOS: Campaign to help paralysed lion

Three-year-old Ariel suffers from a degenerative disease which affects its motor functions, leaving it unable to walk, Associated Press reported.

The lion was born healthy in an animal shelter in the Brazilian city of Maringa, but started showing symptoms of paralysis and pain when it was 10 months old.

"He was a perfectly normal and docile lion that slept with me until he was 10 months old," owner Raquel Borges said.

But Ariel started limping one day, before rapidly becoming unable to move its hind legs.

Surgery to remove a herniated disc left the feline paralysed in its front legs as well.

Donations from more than 35,000 people, who found out about the lion online, have allowed Mrs Borges to continue Ariel's $12,500-a-month treatment in the city of Sao Paulo.

Veterinary neurologists from Israel travelled to Ariel's home in an effort to discover the cause of its paralysis.

Despite a grim prognosis, Mrs Borges is optimistic Ariel will be able to walk again one day.