Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lion Returns To Zoo After Unique Medical Procedure At Hebrew University Veterinary Hospital

Date:
April 4, 2005
Source:
Hebrew University Of Jerusalem
Summary:
Samson the lion from the Hai-Kef zoo in Rishon Lezion, Israel, who had undergone a brain operation – unique in the world – at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has recuperated and has returned to his cage and to his sister, Delilah.

Samson the lion, showing some of his old feistiness after his operation.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Hebrew University Of Jerusalem

Samson the lion from the Hai-Kef zoo in Rishon Lezion, Israel, who had undergone a brain operation – unique in the world – at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has recuperated and has returned to his cage and to his sister, Delilah.

“The meeting between Samson and his sister Delilah was joyous and emotional,” said the director of the zoo, Bezalel Porath. “Samson now has many visitors. We also received letters from kindergartens and telephone calls from many who inquired about his welfare. I want to thank the entire staff of the veterinary Hospital of the Hebrew University for their wonderful work.

Dr. Merav Shamir, a specialist in veterinary neurology and neurosurgery, who diagnosed Samson’s medical problem and operated on him, said: “Samson’s illness was brought to my attention after symptoms of damage to his nervous system appeared. I was asked to carry out a neurological examination. I saw that he stood on his legs with difficulty. When he tried to walk, he fell after a few steps. He also had no appetite and appeared generally to be in poor condition. I diagnosed that Samson was suffering from damage to the posterior portion of his skull, which applied pressure on his cerebellum and the upper sector of the spinal cord.

This type of damage is known to occur in lions living in captivity and is expressed in abnormal skull growth, exerting pressure on the rear portion of the brain, said Dr. Shamir. A CT exam confirmed that the lion was indeed suffering from a serious distortion of the rear portion of his skull and subsequent brain pressure.

According to veterinary medicine literature, this situation is caused due to a vitamin A deficiency. Even though lions in captivity, (including those at the Rishon Lezion zoo) receive vitamin supplements in their food daily, the symptoms that Samson suffered appear, although rarely, among these animals. In all of the previous cases of this type, the animal died due to the disease, either because of the lack of proper medical treatment or because of imprecise diagnosis. In most of the cases, the nature of the problem was revealed with certainty only after death.

“We decided to carry out this operation that had never before been performed anywhere,” said Dr. Shamir, “and in doing so we removed part of the thickened skull tissue, thus freeing the tremendous pressure on the rear portion of the brain." The operation lasted six hours.

After the operation, the lion was taken for recovery to his heated enclosure in the Rishon Lezion zoo. Under the care of the zoo’s veterinarian, Dr. Limor Miara, and the animal’s caretaker, he was able to again stand on his legs. Even on the first day after the operation one could already see an observable improvement in his situation. Samson began to walk steadily, without stumbling, and one could hardy see traces of his previous illness. During the following ten days he received intensive care from the zoo staff, which included special food, antibiotic medicine, vitamin supplements and other “special treatment.

“The results as they look today are more than we could have expected,” said Dr. Shamir. “Samson is walking around as a fully healthy lion, and our final worry is that the impressive mane which covered his head before the operation will return and cover any traces of our surgical work.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. "Lion Returns To Zoo After Unique Medical Procedure At Hebrew University Veterinary Hospital." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325143119.htm>.
Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. (2005, April 4). Lion Returns To Zoo After Unique Medical Procedure At Hebrew University Veterinary Hospital. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325143119.htm
Hebrew University Of Jerusalem. "Lion Returns To Zoo After Unique Medical Procedure At Hebrew University Veterinary Hospital." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050325143119.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins