Kora's Story

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.

Kora's Story

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 50kms 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, but what was evident after his jaw was X-rayed was that a piece of bone has been displaced, with additional fragments around it were causing the deep-seated sepsis that we had to deal with. Fortunately after a couple of weeks of antibiotics and daily cleaning of the wound the large bone chip passed from his mouth along with huge amounts of puss. This was not the end of Kora's troubles as still plenty of small bone fragments remained, but slowly over the months, with daily cleaning, his septic jaw began to heal, and his body slowly absorbed the small bone fragments.

Extreme starvation and dehydration in a baby elephant is always life threatening, as is anesthesia, and it was for that reason we delayed putting his story on our web-page for so long. Kora was such a brave little chap, and despite his injury, he fed well, becoming stronger by the day. He was an endearing little calf with some of the biggest ears we had ever seen on one so small, making him look just like the legendary “Dumbo”!
Kora is now a wild bull living free in Tsavo East National Park having been reintroduced to the wild from the Ithumba Reintegration Unit.

Adopt Kora for yourself or as a gift.

Important Note: Thank you for considering an adoption. Each orphan needs more than one foster parent: your adoption donation will be processed by the SWT UK and Kenya to help all the orphans in our care.

Adopt Kora for yourself or as a gift.

Important Note: Thank you for considering an adoption. Each orphan needs more than one foster parent: your adoption donation will be processed by the SWT UK and Kenya to help all the orphans in our care.

Current Age

18 years old



Rescued date

21 April 2005

Rescue Location

Tana River Region, Kora National Park

Date of Birth (approximate)

23 September 2004

Reason Orphaned


Age at Rescue

6 months old (approx)

Current Location

Living Wild

Kora's featured photos

Our digital adoption programme includes the following:

Personalised adoption certificate.

Monthly email update on your orphan and the project.

Monthly watercolour by Angela Sheldrick.

Access to special content; latest Keepers' Diaries, videos and photos

Give Kora the gift of life by adopting today.

Latest updates featuring Kora

Boromoko, Sirimon and Sokotei head to the Ithumba Unit

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The Harambee 2015 Gala Dinner - a resounding success for wildlife!

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Kora's latest photos

Kora plays with Rapsu

Rapsu and Kora


Kora at the mudbath

Teleki and Kora

Kenze pushing with Kora

Kamboyo and Kora strength testing

Kora pays a visit