TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – August is Asian Elephant Awareness month and the Topeka Zoo is home to an Asian elephant that was a movie star in a previous life.
Cora is 62 years old, but when she was much younger she starred alongside legendary actors Burt Reynolds and Sally Field. Cora played “Charlotte” in “Smokey and the Bandit II” in 1980.
Today, she spends her days at the Topeka Zoo with an African elephant named Tembo. However, Elephant Keeper Braxton Hornick said she’d rather spend her time with people.
“She is very people oriented,” Hornick said. “She’ll pick us over hanging out with Tembo pretty much any day and any time of the day.”
Hornick said Cora has been in human care most of her life. This helps when it comes to things like health care.
“If she was to get any problems, we can touch her all over her body,” Hornick said. “We can do blood draws, injections, pretty much anything we would need to do to help her out.”
People can visit Cora and Tembo everyday at the Topeka Zoo from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The elephant exhibit is located on the southeast end of the zoo, near Camp Cowabunga.