After further thought and consultation with many Veterinarians, including the Southern African experts, everyone came to the conclusion that surgery on Kora’s infected jawbone was not an option for two reasons. Firstly, the sensitivity test done on the pus revealed that the bacteria was resistant to the antibiotic of choice that was to be surgically inserted as slow-release “beads”, along the jawbone, under anaesthesia and also, from previous experience, we were pretty certain that he would simply pull out the stitches, making the wound difficult to heal, and risking further infection and additional complications. Secondly, not only would this procedure would involve a second operation to remove the beading involving yet another anaesthetic, assuming the wound managed to heal, but not being able to X-Ray the jaw to really know the exact area to target with would mean operating blind which usually does not yield the best results. It was therefore decided to take the conservative approach and administer a long course of injectible Penicillin, to which the bacteria is sensitive, and even if this did not actually cure what we think could be osteomyelitis, hopefully it would weaken the bacteria, which might then succumb to ongoing and intensive homeopathic treatment, which has no serious adverse side affects.
Kora is a very docile and brave little elephant, who has always understood that the humans that have to tamper with his jaw, do it in order to help him. At all times, and even now that he has tiny tusks, he has been resigned and compliant whenever his wound has to be treated, and likewise he has stalwartly accepted the ordeal of the long course of very painful injections administered into the muscles of his back legs, which has left them painful and caused him to limp and walk painfully way behind the others. His injections have been taking place at 4.30 p.m. daily, when he is escorted back to his Stockade, accompanied by two Keepers, to meet the dreaded Vet!. After a few days, Lualeni became curious as to why he was being removed daily, and decided to come and investigate, bringing with her the rest of the entourage, including Zurura, who is Kora’s best friend, and who took great exception to seeing him obviously suffering! Little Sian has also shown enormous compassion, and deliberately hangs back to keep Kora company as he painfully limps way behind the others.
Kora’s injections were completed on the 29th July, and now he is undergoing the homeopathic de-tox, and having supplements of Vitamin B, C, Calcium Magnesium and Acidophilus to restore the health of his stomach flora which will have been affected by the antibiotic. The jaw is still exuding ever so slight droplets of pus, but in greatly reduced daily quantity, and the problem seems not to cause him any undue discomfort at this stage so we are hopeful that given exposure to a drier climate in Tsavo, and the correct natural minerals in the water, the soil, and the vegetation in the prime elephant country of the Northern Reintegration Centre, our precious Kora will heal completely, and live to enjoy the quality of life for which he has so bravely striven, overcoming enormous hardship and ordeals. Kora, as an orphan of just 6 months old, was found wandering all alone on a remote track in Kora National Reserve in the far-off Northern Frontier of Kenya, with a jaw broken by a ricochet bullet fired probably during the killing of his mother by poachers, 50 kms from the nearest source of water – that, in itself, is testimony to his courage, and determination to live.