Franklin Park Zoo Lion Undergoes Medical Procedure To Save Brother

Photo: Courtesy of Franklin Park Zoo

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Lions helping lions — That's the goal behind Dinari the lion's medical procedure on Thursday.

Dinari, a 14-year-old lion, is set to undergo a procedure with the hope it can help his brother Kamaia, who has been experiencing serious health problems, a spokesperson for Franklin Park Zoo said.

Franklin Park Zoo's veterinary team will be drawing blood from Dinari to see if it's a match with Kamaia, who is severely anemic. If it's a match, the veterinarians will be able to perform a blood transfusion and give Kamaia the "best chance of survival."

The zoo said while there is a risk since Dinari will be going under anesthesia, the medical team believes the risk is minimal as Dinari is in good health.

“Dinari and Kamaia were born in the same litter, and are an incredibly close, tightly-bonded pair. These decisions are being carefully considered with both of their best interests in mind,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England president and CEO. “The Animal Care and veterinary teams have been working extraordinarily hard to care for Kamaia, and I would like to commend them for their dedication, care and professionalism during this challenging time.”

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On Friday, the veterinary team said they are planning to perform "exploratory surgery" on Kamaia to try and find the cause of his health issues. If the blood is a match, the blood transfusion will also be performed that day.

 “We remain very concerned about Kamaia and his ongoing serious health issues. These procedures are approached with great thought and consideration, and while there is risk and many unknowns as to what we could find, this is the best course of action to try and treat Kamaia,” said Dr. Chris Bonar, Zoo New England director of animal health.

Dinari and Kamaia have been at Franklin Park Zoo since 2015.

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