Donations from a Facebook campaign are helping save the life of a baby lion in Brazil suffering from paralysis and a degenerative disease that costs $11,500 per month to treat.
Ariel, a three-year-old Sao Paulo lion not only suffers from paralysis of all its legs but it is also battling an unknown degenerative brain disease.
A portion of Ariel’s brain that controls his motor functions is affected by the disease and is causing his white blood cells to attack healthier ones. The disease is quite similar to multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome and Parkinson’s disease that can also contribute to paralysis.
When the Facebook campaign took shape in May of this year, veterinarian Livia Pereira (pictured with lion) and Ariel’s owner, Raquel Borges saw they had less than five people who were interested in following Ariel’s case.
After Ariel’s caregivers began to ask for donations in order to pay for the $11,500 monthly treatments for the 310-pound, sick animal’s continued medical care, the number of Facebook users soared to a present 37,261 supporters.
Recently, a team of Israeli veterinary neurologists gave Ariel a battery of tests that Pereira and Borges hope will give them more information about the disease that is attacking Ariel’s body. Results are expected toward the end of this month.
The onset of Ariel’s medical problems began about a year ago, when after frolicking about the little lion suddenly began to limp. After just a few days, he was unable to move his hind legs, then surgery to remove a herniated disc, resulted in immobility of his front legs.
Ariel was moved to Sao Paulo in late June because the veterinary clinics there are better equipped.
Meanwhile the lion’s caregivers are keeping hope alive with regards to his baffling condition.Borges told the Associated Press, “One thing we will never lose is our hope that Ariel will recover and start walking again.”
Would you donate money to a cause you learned about through Facebook?