Ariel was struck down by a virus that left him unable to walk. Since then he has had to rely on his owner Raquel for everything.
She said: “He was a perfectly normal and docile lion that slept with me until he was 10 months old.”
But, last year, after spending hours leaping and chasing balloons, Ariel started limping. He slowly got worse and, even though he had an operation, soon he was unable to move his legs.
Ariel had to leave Raquel and move into vet Livia Pereira’s house so she could look after him.
When a model in New York heard about Ariel she paid for a team of vets from Israel to go and visit him.
Each month it costs more than £7,000 to care for Ariel so Raquel has launched a campaign on Facebook to raise the money. So far more than 35,000 people have joined the Facebook page.
The campaign has brought in so much money, it could also pay for life-changing treatment.
Raquel explained that she will not give up helping her lion. “One thing we will never lose is our hope that Ariel will recover and start walking again,” she added.