The rescue of Kora

The secret to nurturing a sense of compassion is the ability to visualise oneself in someone else’s circumstances, and interpret how one would feel coping with such a situation

The secret to nurturing a sense of compassion is the ability to visualise oneself in someone else’s circumstances, and interpret how one would feel coping with such a situation.

Imagine being a six month old elephant baby, (and although you duplicate a human of that age, because you are an elephant, you are born with the ability to walk – and walk – and walk). But when you do so you are always alongside, or beneath a very loving mother, and at all times surrounded and touched by a very caring and loving elephant family – in other words, a cherished little treasure amongst some very gentle and caring adults. Imagine being the centre of a tragedy, the likes of which you are unable to understand – your entire family either killed, or running for their lives, dispersed far and wide in every direction, and yourself suffering a deep wound in the right hand jaw, so deep and serious that part of your jawbone breaks away. You find yourself alone, suddenly so alone that there is no-one to care for you. You walk – and walk – and walk, becoming more and more thirsty because the place which was once home to George and Joy Adamson, namely KORA NATIONAL PARK is a semi desert environment, a stretch of extremely arid and hostile, thorny bush-land in the far Northern Frontier of Kenya.

Your wound very soon becomes so infected that the pain is intense, and this combined with ever increasing thirst and hunger saps the moisture and strength from your small body. You are terrified; a vulnerable target for the lions and hyaenas who could tear you to pieces at any moment. Suddenly you encounter some very Big Strangers, all adult bulls, moving rapidly, in a hurry to cover this waterless stretch of country as soon as possible, like you fearful of dreaded humans. You try to join them, but soon you understand that you cannot keep up, and they cannot wait for you, so you peel off in a search for water to quench your burning thirst. You are alone once again, and you find a sandy riverbed, but it is dry, although the scent of water beneath the surface is tantalising. You climb wearily up the opposite bank, and walk – and walk – and walk, this time along a man-made road, terrified, lonely and wounded, becoming weaker and more dehydrated with every step.

This is the story of little “Kora”, a calf aged about 6 months, found wandering all alone, with no elephants anywhere near, along a remote road in Kora National Park on Thursday 21st April, the erstwhile home of George Adamson and his famous lions. He was found by Rangers on patrol from Meru National Park, about 50 kms from the nearest source of water, extremely emaciated and weak. What damaged his jaw is a mystery. It could have perhaps been the result of a bullet, or possibly a spear injury, or it may have been as a result of a fall on a sharp stump but what is evident from the initial examination is that there is a dent in the jawbone, and possibly a piece of bone has been displaced and could be causing the deep-seated sepsis that we now have to deal with and which calls for urgent attention. So far,Kora has been too weak to face sedation,but, when he is a little stronger, the jaw will be X-rayed using a mobile unit, and any piece of dead bone, or foreign body will be detectable and will need to be surgically removed under anaesthesia.

Extreme starvation and dehydration in a baby elephant is always life threatening, as is anaesthesia, and it is for this reason that we have delayed putting his story on our web-page. However, he is such a brave little chap, and despite his injury,and a bout of bloat, (which needed a Buscopan injection during the night), he is feeding well, and becoming stronger by the day. He is a very endearing little calf with some of the biggest ears we have ever seen on one so small which makes him look just like the legendary “Dumbo”so we now share the story of this gallant little bull elephant with our supporters, knowing that he will then have an extended family that will care, and pray for his full recovery in the fullness of time.