Published: Jul 13, 2011 8:40 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 13, 2011 7:40 PM EDT

SAO PAULO (AP) - Two Brazilian women are fighting to save the life of Ariel the lion.

The 3-year-old lion has been paralyzed over the past year because a degenerative disease has immobilized his legs. So the 310-pound (140 kilogram) beast he has been sleeping on a mattress in the Sao Paulo house of veterinarian Livia Pereira. She says the lion's white blood cells are attacking his healthy cells.

The animal's owner is Raquel Borges, who runs a shelter in southern Brazil for sick and abandoned animals.

She has been the paying lion's monthly $11,500 medical bill through donations from some of the 34,250 people who have clicked the "like" button on Ariel's Facebook page.

(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)