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Lion brothers undergo successful medical procedures at Franklin Park Zoo


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    BOSTON (WBZ) — Veterinarians at the Franklin Park Zoo hope one of their lions “will be feeling better very soon” – thanks to his brother.

The medical team performed successful splenectomy surgery Friday on 14-year-old Kamaia. His brother Dinari, who is the same age, also underwent a short procedure to give Kamaia a blood transfusion.

“Blood transfusions are not often performed in zoological settings because it can difficult to find a suitable donor,” Zoo New England animal health director Dr. Chris Bonar said in a statement. “Because Kamaia and his brother were littermates, Dinari was the perfect donor for this much needed transfusion.”

Kamaia’s surgery lasted about three hours, and the team discovered that his spleen was massively enlarged to at least twice its normal size. But nothing else abnormal was found and “we are hopeful that he will be feeling better very soon,” Bonar said.

The lion brothers have been at the zoo since 2015. Kamaia is anemic and was treated for severe pneumonia earlier in the spring. He’ll be out of the public eye for a few weeks while he recovers.

“We have been so touched by the tremendous outpouring of support for the lion brothers and our incredible team who works so hard to care for them,” Zoo New England CEO John Linehan said. “The work done over the past two days has been extraordinary, and I couldn’t be prouder of the team. We remain hopeful that Kamaia has a smooth recovery.”

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