The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Interview With Jack Hanna

Aired December 31, 2003 - 21:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, GUEST HOST: Tonight: It's all about tigers -- white tigers, the same type tiger that nearly killed Roy of Siegfried and Roy. What's it like to deal with magnificent but deadly creatures? World-renowned animal expert Jack Hanna is here for the hour with white tigers and all sorts of other wild cats -- lions, cheetahs, cougars and more. Jack Hanna, plus cats, cats and more cats on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry King tonight. Joining me is a very, special guest. You know him well, TV's Jack Hanna. He is from "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," the No. 1 syndicated animal show in the world. He's also director emeritus at Columbus Zoo.

Thank you for being with us.

JACK HANNA, HOST, "ANIMAL ADVENTURES": It's great to be here. Yes. Got a lot of animals.

GRACE: Jack, this is a beautiful animal. Tell me about it.

HANNA: Well, this is something. This is the cheetah, the fastest land mammal in the world. This cat is clocked at over 70 miles per hour. So next time you're on the interstate down in Georgia, wherever you are, and this cat starts moving -- you're at 60 miles an hour. Think of something passing you at 70 miles per hour.

We just got back, as a matter of fact, last week from East Africa, where I filmed the cheetah in the wild, and it's an incredible sight to see. It's nature. You know, no one likes to see a kill, really, in Africa, but that's what nature does. And this cat goes running down through there and hits its prey. And one thing it does, by the way, it hits them. It's a solitary hunter, not like a lion, for example, that hunts in prides.

And if you notice the cheetah, if you look at the eyes here -- you see the black marks underneath the eyes? See that?


HANNA: All right. That allows the cheetah to hunt in direct sunlight. Most of your predators...

GRACE: You mean, right...

HANNA: Exactly. GRACE: These right under the eyes.

HANNA: You know how a football player, a baseball player wear chalk under their eyes?

GRACE: Right.

HANNA: All right. Think about why the cheetah does that. Nature gave them those black marks to hunt in direct sunlight. And so when the cheetah's looking and hunting in direct sunlight, it catches the prey off guard because most cats hunt in the night or in the morning. This cat will hunt in the middle of the day. And they hit their prey, and they grab the esophagus.


HANNA: You know, they kill by choking. In other words, the lion kills by breaking the neck.

GRACE: But this animal kills by choking?

HANNA: Exactly. They grab the prey and they grab the esophagus because...

GRACE: Well, wait a minute. With a set of teeth like that, and they strangle to death?

HANNA: Exactly. But remember something. The cheetah's not as powerful as the tiger or like the African lion. This cat hits, its prey, startles it, and then grabs the neck immediately and then holds on for about five minutes. Doesn't move a muscle, except for right -- every energy -- every bit of energy's put right into the choking.

GRACE: How old is this cat?

HANNA: This cat's about 3 years old, from...

GRACE: Name? Name?

HANNA: ... the Columbus Zoo.

GRACE: What's his name?

HANNA: This -- Kago (ph). And this animal here, it was raised by Susie Rapp (ph) and the two handlers down here. And this animal represents a species survival plan for all cheetahs worldwide. The cheetah is very endangered. Remember, I was just saying to you...

GRACE: Right. All spotted cats or all striped cats...

HANNA: Exactly.

GRACE: ... which one?

HANNA: Are endangered. Both. All spotted, all striped cats throughout the world are endangered. GRACE: I think he wants me to pet him.

HANNA: Yes, he -- he's...


GRACE: Is that not good?

HANNA: Well, what you can do is -- Susie, is that OK?


HANNA: Reach over...

RAPP: Can you reach over?


HANNA: Just reach over there. That's it. Come around here.

RAPP: Come her.

HANNA: Come here.


GRACE: It's not hungry. Not hungry.

HANNA: Yes. Kind of put your palm out so she doesn't eat your fingers. That's it. Do you hear her purring?

GRACE: Uh-huh.

HANNA: Isn't that...

RAPP: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) petted on the back.

HANNA: Isn't that something?

RAPP: Can you reach the back?

HANNA: Now, you've touched the fastest...

GRACE: Oh. !

HANNA: Isn't that amazing?

GRACE: That is so soft!

HANNA: Yes. And that's why what you just said...

GRACE: I cannot imagine someone would turn that into a coat or a hat.

HANNA: That's exactly why -- that's exactly why the cheetah's on the Endangered Species List because they hunt this cat for its coat. You know what they -- that coat is valued at right there, on the black market?

GRACE: No. No.

HANNA: That coat's valued at about $35,000.

GRACE: I don't think I've...

HANNA: It's $35,000.

GRACE: ... ever felt anything that soft in my life.

HANNA: No. And that animal -- that animal, its feet -- I don't know if -- with the lighting we have -- the feet of the cheetah -- the foot of the cheetah's just like a dog's foot. Look at that. Right there. It's perfect, beautiful shot there. That's got non- retractable claws. Look at the claws on this. It's like your dog's foot, right? All cats have...

GRACE: Speaking of...

HANNA: All cats have retractable claws.

GRACE: Speaking of a cat that you love, let's go live to the Columbus Zoo right now.

HANNA: Right.

GRACE: I think this is somebody you may know very well.

HANNA: Oh, my gosh!

GRACE: You recognize that cat?

HANNA: Yes. I sure do. That was Taj (ph), the white tiger that we raised, the white tiger that we raised at the Columbus Zoo. And it's a magnificent creature, weighing about 450 pounds. And that, of course, is the cat -- the type of cat that -- with Roy and Las Vegas, the tragic accident that happened.

GRACE: Do your cats ever get jealous of each other because you're giving one attention and...

HANNA: Yes. You got to be very careful of that. We try and treat them all the same. But look at the power -- you know, people don't understand. One statement that was made, Nancy -- one statement was made about Roy and what happened...


HANNA: Let me tell you something. If a tiger had wanted to kill him, it would have done it in a split second because this tiger -- I filmed this tiger in India -- not this tiger. I filmed a Bengal tiger. And this is, by the way, a white Bengal tiger. I filmed him in India, and it took down a water buffalo in 10 seconds, a 2,000- pound water buffalo in 10 seconds. Broke his neck. Now, you can imagine what would have happened with Roy if that tiger was hungry or it was aggressive. That tiger -- I really believe to this day that that tiger was there, and something -- somebody made the wrong move. He got alarmed, but was trying to protect Roy. And of course, the tiger took him off. But...

GRACE: 'Bye, kitty cat!


GRACE: I want to introduce to him to my cat, Coco (ph).

HANNA: Yes, he'd love that.

GRACE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) wearing Coco as a hat.

HANNA: And Taj, by the way, is a white tiger. There's only about 140 left in the world. Not many white tigers left.

GRACE: What is the most innocent scenario you can come up with regarding what happened to Roy of Siegfried and Roy?

HANNA: The most innocent scenario, I believe, is that a wrong move was made during that -- during that show by somebody. I don't know whether it was the audience or Roy or somebody. And the cat just got out of line, you know, because it's so systematic every single night.


HANNA: So what happened was, the cat said, Oh, my gosh. And then maybe when the microphone hit his nose, he said, I've got to protect Roy, grabbed him, put him down, and then, of course, drug him off the same way he'd come on.

GRACE: Do you really think that's what happened?

HANNA: You know, I didn't at first, but the more I hear about it -- I've seen that show several times and I know those guys are the best in the world. Those guys treat those tigers like -- like -- like you would a child, you know? And they have the best of care. And by the way, the old saying that Gunther Goebel-Williams (ph) had, A wild animal's like a loaded gun, it can go off at any time. You can usually train a wild animal, never tame a wild animal. You have to remember that. You can never tame one.

GRACE: We've got a very special guest with us now.

HANNA: Oh, my gosh. This is -- this is -- this right here is something -- we had the tiger right there from Columbus. Look at this right here. This is from the Nobby (ph) Zoo in the Quad Cities. This is a baby African lion.

GRACE: Can I pet it? Did you feed?

HANNA: Oh, yes! Isn't this something?

GRACE: Hi, now. HANNA: This is a baby lion cub, about 12 weeks old. Now, you got to remember something. This is...

GRACE: I can't believe I'm getting to touch a lion!

HANNA: This is a...

GRACE: Look at its paws!

HANNA: Yes, that's the king of beasts. Now, the lions, unlike the tiger -- the tiger's a solitary cat, all right?



GRACE: Hey, silly boy!

HANNA: Here you go. Let me give you that bottle.

GRACE: Look at that!

HANNA: Here, take the bottle and hold it up in the air there. Let's see if he'll drink his bottle. Hold it up -- hold it up higher, where the milk comes out and no air. That's it. There we go. Like, up there like this. There we go. That's -- oh, you're good!


HANNA: You want to come to the zoo and work?

GRACE: Yes! Oh, wow. What is this one's name?

HANNA: What's this one's name?


HANNA: Nala.

GRACE: Come here!

HANNA: And remember something.

GRACE: Come here!

HANNA: The African lion, when the female has babies, she has about six or eight babies, and she comes into cycle, in heat, when she sees a male. It's not like a regular animal, where they have a certain time of year where they come...

GRACE: Hey, you smell! Not bad. Not bad. Not bad.

HANNA: But the African lion will come into season. They'll breed. An African lion, by the way, can breed up to 20 times a day when she's in season.

GRACE: This is just like a baby.

HANNA: Oh, yes. Exactly. Hold it up so he doesn't get much air.


HANNA: There we go.

GRACE: This is just like Lion King.

HANNA: Yes. Just as long he doesn't get air in there. That's it.

GRACE: Now, why is it the women do all the work and the men just lay around and get a tan?

HANNA: Well, let me...

GRACE: Why is that?

HANNA: No, that's not what happens.

GRACE: That is what happens.

HANNA: Well, I know, but with the penguin, for example, the female penguin lays the egg and she goes out to sea, and the male sits there for 40 days, and he loses all of his weight. But the African lion, you're right, though. The females do all the hunting, and then the male sits back and eats the kill. But the African...

GRACE: Why is that?

HANNA: Well, it's just nature. The females are more patient, probably. Now, the lions are a social cat, unlike that tiger that you saw in Columbus. And we'll go back to that in a little bit. But the tiger is...

GRACE: Can he have the whole bottle?

HANNA: About -- about another -- about another 30 seconds, yes. And hold it up in the air. That's it. That's it. Remember, the lion has these -- this coloration until about a year old. They'll stay with their mother up to 2 years, and they'll form a pride. Then they'll be kicked out and they go...

GRACE: Kicked out! By who?

HANNA: By their parents.


HANNA: And they go out and have to form their own pride. That's enough milk. That's good.

GRACE: I'm sorry. It's his decision.

HANNA: That's good.

GRACE: It's not my decision.

HANNA: That's good. Isn't that a neat creature, though?

GRACE: Look at these paws! Let's take one quick look back with Taj before we go to break.

HANNA: All right. All right. And again, this right here is not a social animal. The lion is. The tiger's a solitary animal. The tiger's an excellent swimmer. They're one of the few cats in the world that can actually swim under water and kill. Most cats don't like water, not the tiger. This, by the way...

GRACE: He can swim under water?

HANNA: Oh, yes. Remember something...


HANNA: ... the tiger -- there are about probably 4,000 left in India. They say at the present rate, that the tiger still declines, it could be extinct in the wild by the year 2015.

GRACE: I want to take this cat home with me.

HANNA: No, you don't. No.

GRACE: I will take good care of him. He can tear up the sofa.

HANNA: You saw -- you saw what happened in New York City...

GRACE: Oh, I know! I know!

Everybody, we are taking a quick break. Stay with us.


GRACE: With me, everyone, is Jack Hanna from "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures." It's the No. 1 syndicated animal show in the world. And we have a very special guest with us. Who?

HANNA: We sure do. This is the largest cat in the North American continent. This is the mountain lion, the puma, the cougar. I'm sure you've heard of all three names.

GRACE: It's all -- it's the same thing?

HANNA: It's the same thing. A lot of people don't know that.

GRACE: Will he be mad if I touch his tail?

HANNA: No. Go ahead.

GRACE: You know, a lot of cats don't like that.

HANNA: No, no.


HANNA: You can see this cat's very young, about 6 months old. And...

GRACE: Wait a minute. I almost had the tiger by the tail.

HANNA: Yes, but it's a cougar by the tail. This cat has the greatest leaping ability of any cat in the world. This cat can leap up 27 feet in one leap. This is the cat you see in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho. It's coming back very well out West. And also, they still have a hunting season on the cougar to control it. Now, the first question people ask me all the time in Montana, Is it safe to go outside with cougars and mountain lions? The answer is yes. This cat is so elusive...

GRACE: Wait a minute. What about all the stories we hear about...

HANNA: Well...

GRACE: ... poodles and...

HANNA: Well...

GRACE: Nice kitty.

HANNA: ... that's only happened...

GRACE: Nice kitty!

HANNA: There's been probably two people killed by mountain lions in the last four years, and that's because the cat was sick and the people are very small, like yourself, that might be jogging or something. But that's the least of your worries, like getting struck...

GRACE: How big will this get?

HANNA: This cat will get to be about 140 pounds. It lives, again, in the North American continent. it controls elk population, deer populations and that type of thing. Look at the paws. Isn't that amazing? See the paws?

GRACE: Well, can I -- can I -- or will he -- will he scratch?

HANNA: Yes. He might scratch a little bit.



HANNA: But see how big the paws are? Look at that. He likes you. Look at the coloration on the cat, though. The cat is almost camouflaged and... GRACE: Beautiful!

HANNA: Isn't that beautiful eyes?

GRACE: Look at those eyes!

HANNA: Gorgeous eyes.

GRACE: This is named what?

HANNA: What's his...

GRACE: Oh! He hissed. He does not like the microphone.

HANNA: No, no, no. Come here. Come here, kitty, kitty, kitty. Come here.

GRACE: It's his toy.

HANNA: Kitty, kitty, kitty! But this cat here will go back into a breeding situation. And this cat can leap just about on anything it wants to, like that cameraman right there.



GRACE: This one gets to be 140 pounds.

HANNA: Right. And when -- remember something. When the cougar kills, the cougar is somewhat similar to the cheetah in the fact that they also go for the neck when they make their kill. The cougar is a very solitary cat. Remember that. The cougar's not like an African lion. They're a very solitary cat. They live by themselves. And they have a...


GRACE: ... my cat. I brought a picture of Coco, in case any of them -- no. He's so not interested in my cat.

HANNA: Oh, my gosh.

GRACE: Not interested at all.

HANNA: You want to see her cat? Look at her cat. Look at her cat. Oh. He likes your cat.


GRACE: Now we're going to meet a serval. What is a serval?

HANNA: A lot of people have never seen a serval. Servals -- servals are a cat, again, from East Africa. They're a cat...

GRACE: Oh! Oh! HANNA: Aren't they something?


HANNA: Now, look at this little cat.


HANNA: These cats...

GRACE: Hello!

HANNA: These cats are a cat that's also very endangered. The cat is -- this cat...

GRACE: The cat's trying to get away, actually.

HANNA: Oh, you can put him here on the table.

GRACE: He can come down? OK. Here you go.

HANNA: This cat will actually -- will actually catch a bird in free flight. That's how quick they are. The serval cat is hunted mainly for its coat. These cats weigh about 40 pounds when they're full grown. Their eyesight and hearing is some of the best of any cat in the world.

GRACE: What does it eat?

HANNA: Eats -- you won't believe this. This cat eats birds, snakes, insects. They will make a kill of a rabbit and things like that. But actually, they eat just about anything they can. They'll even eat grass.

GRACE: I've never seen -- Are they on the endangered species...

HANNA: Yes. You've never seen them. This is a cat that lives on the plains. They don't live in trees. They live totally on the ground. And they are an animal that very few people see. We happened to see one last week on one of our night game runs. But they're a cat...

GRACE: Are they nocturnal?

HANNA: Well, they'll hunt until about 12:00 or 1:00 in the morning. Yes. They're not -- they don't -- they're not an all-night cat, like a leopard.

GRACE: And then sleep all day.

HANNA: Right. And wait through the heat of the day.

GRACE: So they're not interested in grass or grains. They're on the Atkins diet.


GRACE: Nothing but meat.

HANNA: Yes, but they will -- they will eat insects and things like that, a lot of insects and stuff that they can get ahold of.

GRACE: They can catch a bird in midair?

HANNA: Yes. This is the cat in the Egyptian hieroglyphics. If you look at the cave -- the hieroglyphic paintings in Egypt, this is the cat you'll see. They domesticated this cat in Egypt, the serval cat.

GRACE: Have you heard about the new uma (ph) cat?

HANNA: No. I haven't heard about that.

GRACE: I think -- I heard that it's half wild, half housecat?


GRACE: It's a new breed of cat.

HANNA: Well, speaking of a new breed of cat, let me show you this cat here. This -- let me show you this cat here. Thank you so much, Becky (ph), from the Columbus Zoo.

GRACE: Serval, right?

HANNA: Yes, serval, serval. Now, this guy that's coming in here with this cat...

GRACE: Oh, wow. I know who this is, Joe.

HANNA: This is Joel Slavin (ph).

GRACE: The No. 1...

HANNA: That's right.

GRACE: ... domestic trainer in the world.

HANNA: In the world, right. Joel's...



HANNA: But he does -- he does...

GRACE: Can we touch?

HANNA: ... all the shows...

JOEL SLAVIN, ANIMAL TRAINER: Sure. HANNA: ... at Seaworld and Busch Gardens. All the domesticated animal shows he does, and does a great job with them. Now, this -- you see the difference? Tell them, Joel, about...

SLAVIN: Nancy, this is not a wild cat. You can pet this cat. You can pick this cat up and hold it. This is called a Bengal cat, but...

GRACE: Coco.

SLAVIN: ... how this cat originated is that they breed an American shorthaired cat with an Asian leopard and...

GRACE: So this is half cat, half wild animal.

SLAVIN: Well, this particular one, no. After four generations of that, then you have the Bengal cat, like this, and it's considered to be domesticated then. And this is a very common pet here in the United States. And this is called a marbled...

GRACE: You know what? I've never seen one.

SLAVIN: Oh, well...

GRACE: So they may be common to you.

SLAVIN: You know, part of the reason you never see them is because when people do see these, they think that they're very, very expensive and that they're very rare. And the truth of the matter is, is that if people want to go through the effort and look, you can call rescue societies, and people can adopt these cats for nothing.

GRACE: Wow. Now, is it true that all of your cats have been taken in?

HANNA: Joel's -- all of Joel's cats for all these shows are ones that they rescue at the humane societies throughout the country. And these are cats that are going to be put to sleep. So it's really a neat thing.


SLAVIN: We do the "Pets Ahoy" show at Seaworld of Orlando and "Pets Rule" in...

GRACE: You're sweet!

SLAVIN: ... Seaworld of San Diego. We've adopted over 300 animals that were going to be...

HANNA: Yes. Which is great.

SLAVIN: ... put to sleep for these shows.

GRACE: You know, my question is this. You were telling me that all spotted big cats are on the endangered species list. HANNA: Right.

GRACE: What is being done? I can't imagine someone trying to make a hat out of one of our guests.

HANNA: Well, you got to remember something, that what we deal with are generations of people that have lived their societies that way. In other words, a lot of the tigers, for example, killed for the blood, for the body parts, for the claws.

GRACE: What would you do with a tiger body part?

HANNA: Well, it's all aphrodisiacs. In other words, you've got to -- what we're trying to do is educate, hopefully, societies in the proper way...

GRACE: I think Pfizer has the answer to that. You don't have to kill a tiger anymore.

HANNA: Right. Exactly. Right. Believe it or not, that's why you have no more elk horns and stuff because that was an aphrodisiac, as well. So with Viagra and all these drugs, they're now taking over. And a lot of these animals, by the way, are picking up now because of Pfizer, that has helped a lot with those kind of drugs.

GRACE: I've got a question to you regarding lion prides. But first, let's go to see a friend of yours at the Columbus Zoo.

HANNA: Yes. Yes. We want to go back to see Taj.

GRACE: We want to check in there.

HANNA: I want to go back and see Taj.

GRACE: Remember this guy? Beautiful!

HANNA: Yes. Isn't it? The white tiger -- now, again...

GRACE: I want to...


HANNA: There's 140 left...

GRACE: Look! Look!

HANNA: There's 140 in the world. And you must remember that the last white tiger ever seen in the wild was in 1956. The Maharajah Rewal (ph) was hunting, and he killed -- they hunted tigers then. And they actually killed a mother tiger, not knowing she had a white baby...


HANNA: ... and orange baby. And all white tigers today, even Taj up here, descend from that one white tiger that's never been found in the wild again. Remember, this is not an albino. This cat carries a recessive gene, the white tiger does. So this animal was almost -- well, it was almost on the verge of extinction. There was only one left. And so all white tigers today descend from that one animal.

GRACE: How many do we have now?

HANNA: About 140 or 150, I think, throughout the world.

GRACE: And they're all in captivity?

HANNA: Yes. And Siegfried and Roy, by the way, were, I think, some of the finest breeders of the white tiger of anyone in the world. They had probably one of the largest collections of anyone in the world.

GRACE: Do you think, no matter how much time your animal spends with you in bed -- I understand they sleep with their tigers -- that you can ever actually tame a wild animal?

HANNA: Well, that's the saying that Gunther Goebel-Williams had, that...

GRACE: Do you think it's true they sleep with the tigers?

HANNA: I believe it, yes. I mean, a lot of people -- you know -- I know some people that...

GRACE: I hope they don't want a midnight munchie snack!


HANNA: No. But it's that kind of dedication, the dedication Joel has. Joel at his house -- Joel, by the way, is not married. You know how many animals he has in his house? He has over 55 cats, about 30 dogs. But he -- no, no, no, no, no. Not his house. No, no. He has special enclosures for all of them outside.

GRACE: Do you sleep with an animal?

SLAVIN: Well, I don't. I don't personally, but...

GRACE: I slept with my kitty cat...

SLAVIN: ... a lot of people do.

GRACE: ... before because that's where it wants to be.

SLAVIN: We have special facilities for our animals. Animals that are at my house are ones that are retired or ones that we've adopted...


SLAVIN: ... just to save them.

HANNA: But the point is, all these cats are domesticated cats. You must remember, all descended from the wild cats. And that's why I want -- in the next -- in a few more minutes, I'm going to show you a lot animals that are descended from a lot of wild cats.

GRACE: 'Bye!

SLAVIN: Nancy, also, this is a marble Bengal. They also come spotted Bengals, that look like leopards.

GRACE: Bye, bye, everybody. Stay with us.


GRACE: You are seeing a live shot of Taj, a nearly extinct white Bengal tiger. This is Taj. You raised Taj, right?

HANNA: I raised her, yes. My wife and I raised her. As a matter of fact, you won't believe this...

GRACE: Oh, it's a her?

HANNA: At about 8 months old, we were bottle-feeding Taj, and her engagement ring that she's had many years was popped out of the -- the engagement ring.

GRACE: Ouch.

HANNA: And we looked for a long time. We cut all the grass. And actually, we bagged the grass, like, 15 bags OK? And I was going in the next day to check it, and they fed it to the elephants, the keepers did, because...


HANNA: Yes. I mean, I had to go through all the elephant...

GRACE: Poo-poo.

HANNA: ... dung. And I never found the ring. And they sent me to a psychiatrist, said I was lying to get insurance. Now, who could make up a story like that?

GRACE: What does that have to do with Taj?

HANNA: Because Taj is the one that (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GRACE: It's Taj's fault.

HANNA: Taj is the one that was bottle feeding, jerked the ring out of the...

GRACE: You know, I don't know if you know, but I'm a lawyer. I'll happy to sue Taj.


GRACE: Take her for everything she's got! HANNA: Which is nothing.

GRACE: Who is this?

HANNA: Oh, look at this.

GRACE: I've got to tell you something. This is just a tiny bit ugly.

HANNA: It looks like ET's cat, doesn't it.

GRACE: It looks like ET!

SLAVIN: This is Niles. Niles is a sphinx cat.

GRACE: Is Niles named after Niles on "Frasier"?

SLAVIN: No. That just happens to be his name. But you know, nobody saw a sphinx cat...

HANNA: Look at this.

SLAVIN: ... ever until they came out, you know, in the Austin Powers movie. And then that's the...

GRACE: Hello!

SLAVIN: ... when these cats...

HANNA: Feel that. Feel that.

SLAVIN: ... became so popular.

HANNA: Feel that. Feel that. You got to feel this.


GRACE: Can I hold you? Will you let me hold you?

SLAVIN: Yes, you can pick her up and hold her.

GRACE: It's a her?

SLAVIN: She is very, very gentle. And you see, she really does have hair.

GRACE: Do you think she has a complex for not having any hair?

SLAVIN: She likes you. She wants to be up on your shoulder. And...

GRACE: What a sweetie.

SLAVIN: ... you see, she really does have hair. It's just like a real fine peach fuzz.

GRACE: I see her tail switching back and forth. Is that not a good sign?

SLAVIN: No, that is a good sign. She's fine.

GRACE: OK. Are you happy? I hope you are.

HANNA: Have you ever in your life, Joel, seen something like -- I never have in my entire life seen a cat like that.

SLAVIN: Now, this is another breed of cat, Nancy, that people can get on the Internet or call their local humane society. And they can get the cats, adopt them. There's lots of them that need homes.

GRACE: Oh, it's just trembling!

HANNA: What was the first cat...


HANNA: When was the first cat found on -- when was that first one...

GRACE: Where is the cat's hair?

SLAVIN: Well, I'm not sure when this breed originated.

GRACE: Why doesn't the cat have any hair?

SLAVIN: Well, it started out as a genetic mutation without any hair, or with just that real fine peach fuzz that feels kind of like velvet. And then they bred those cats to make a breed.

GRACE: I kind of feel sorry for it.

HANNA: You know, I do, too, in a way. But that's -- it's a breed of cat. I mean, you just...

GRACE: It doesn't know.

HANNA: You got to put a jacket...

GRACE: It doesn't know.

HANNA: It doesn't know. You're right. I mean, some people are bald.

SLAVIN: And people -- people love...

GRACE: I'm not touching that with a...


GRACE: Let that one go.


GRACE: See, you're not bald. Don't listen to them. SLAVIN: People -- these are one of the most affectionate purebred cats that there are. This cat actually performs in "Pets Ahoy" at Seaworld.

GRACE: You're kidding me!


HANNA: Show another one.

SLAVIN: Here, bring in another one.


HANNA: Look at this cat.

SLAVIN: This is my favorite.

HANNA: This is the biggest cat in the world, the biggest domestic cat in the world.

SLAVIN: This is kind of the opposite...

GRACE: You're beautiful!

SLAVIN: ... of the sphinx cat. This is called a Maine coon cat.

HANNA: Look at this, Nancy.

GRACE: Are these two going to have a cat fight?

SLAVIN: No, they get along great. They're buddies.

HANNA: Look at this...


GRACE: Don't start a fight.

HANNA: Now, this cat, Nancy, can weigh up to 25 pounds, right, Joel?

SLAVIN: That's right. And this one's only 15.

HANNA: Look at this. Is that gorgeous or what?

SLAVIN: So this is just a young cat.

GRACE: Hello! What's this one named?

SLAVIN: They're one of the largest -- largest...

GRACE: Oh! This is soft!

SLAVIN: ... breeds of cat in the world. GRACE: You're soft. You know, this is the thing. If cats were bigger than us, they would not keep us as pets, OK? We would be eaten immediately.

SLAVIN: This is Tommy. And you can see one of the characteristics of the Maine coon cat...


SLAVIN: ... Nancy, is the little tufts at the tip of the ears.

GRACE: Oh, yes. I see that.

SLAVIN: And that's...

GRACE: This is the biggest domesticated cat.

CLINTON: Yes, one of the biggest ones in the world.

HANNA: This next cat -- look at this cat. This...

GRACE: Why is this different from your...

HANNA: You talk about...

SLAVIN: ... regular housecat?

HANNA: Wait. Wait. Look at this cat.

GRACE: You're big!

HANNA: Nancy, this cat...


SLAVIN: Well, that is just a housecat, but it's just a big housecat. That's the breed. And this is something probably haven't seen.


SLAVIN: This is called a Scottish fold.

GRACE: Never seen anything like it.

SLAVIN: And when they're young, their ears will fold forward.

HANNA: Look at that.

SLAVIN: And only about -- only about 50 percent of the kittens will get those folded ears like that. And sometimes when the cats get a little bit overheated or if they're in hot weather, those folds will come out and the ears will actually straighten out. And this is Albert.

GRACE: How close do these -- how similar are these to a big cat? HANNA: Well, very similar, as far as...

GRACE: I mean, like...


GRACE: ... structure, their predatory habits.

HANNA: Yes. They're all in the feline family. So it comes from the same family of cats. Now, look at this cat.

SLAVIN: Now, this is -- look at this one's ears. This is an American curl, and his ears are the opposite.

HANNA: See? The opposite of this cat.

GRACE: Oh, they curl the other way!


HANNA: See there?


SLAVIN: Now, see on Albert, his ears curl forward.

GRACE: Curl down.

SLAVIN: And Curly's curl back.


HANNA: Just hold him right here, Joel, and they can see this.


HANNA: Isn't that an amazing -- how they breed these cats?

SLAVIN: And when they're about three weeks old, their ears start to firm up. And then after that, they start to curl back.

GRACE: Hey, tweety!

SLAVIN: And this is also a breed that people have, and they show these cats in competitions.

GRACE: You want loose? You want loose? OK.

SLAVIN: Here's another one, a breed that a lot of people don't see. Originally, these cats are found in Germany, but then here in the United States. This is a munchkin. And you can see they have little, tiny legs.


HANNA: Look at the legs on this. GRACE: This is like...

HANNA: The shortest legs of any cat in the world. Look at this. Look at this. Look at this cat. Looks he's almost like a dachshund.

GRACE: Oh, my stars! You're right. I thought he was just...

HANNA: See this? No...

GRACE: I thought he was crouched down!

HANNA: No. No, no.

SLAVIN: No, no.

HANNA: That's his legs.

SLAVIN: And only about two inches long in front.

GRACE: Oh, my stars!

HANNA: Isn't that amazing?

SLAVIN: But they're very agile.

GRACE: Stand up straight, please.


SLAVIN: He's standing up straight.

HANNA: What's this cat called?

GRACE: He's standing up straight?

SLAVIN: This is a munchkin.

HANNA: A munchkin.

GRACE: This is him standing up.

SLAVIN: Right.

GRACE: This is -- I never...

SLAVIN: And this is also...

GRACE: You are a munchkin!

SLAVIN: ... a breed that people can find in their local shelters or in rescue societies.

GRACE: I've never seen -- I though the was...

HANNA: I've never seen them, either.

GRACE: ... scared and crouched down.

HANNA: Look at that. Isn't that amazing?

GRACE: Don't fight.

SLAVIN: And they're originally from Germany...

GRACE: Do not fight.

SLAVIN: ... and now getting more and more popular here in the United States.

GRACE: Why...

HANNA: I mean, if you had to have a cat crawl underneath the door, that's the kind of cat to get in your apartment.

GRACE: Is this a genetic mutation of some sort?

SLAVIN: Well, it starts out as...

GRACE: No, no, you don't!

SLAVIN: ... a genetic mutation, then becomes...


SLAVIN: ... a recognized breed.


HANNA: So people -- you know, people ask me, What kind of cat should we get for our house? Obviously, you don't have a Bengal tiger, like the guy in New York City.

GRACE: Oh, yes. Question. How did the tiger live in the apartment and the kitty cat and the alligator lived?

HANNA: You know, I don't know how. Obviously, the tiger didn't -- probably lived in a cage.

GRACE: OK, question to you. Cat v. alligator. Who wins?

HANNA: You won't believe it. I saw an African lion take away from a crocodile a wildebeest last Thursday in Africa.

GRACE: You saw a what?

HANNA: An African lion...

GRACE: Lion take away...

HANNA: A crocodile ate a wildebeest, and the lion jumped in the water, around the edge, and grabbed it and took it away from the crocodile. But I was...

GRACE: So you're telling me lion v. crocodile, lion wins.

HANNA: In the water, the croc would win. But on the land, he would have...

GRACE: Do lions climb trees? Can they get up in trees?

HANNA: Yes. There's only one tree-climbing lion in the world. That's in Lake Minyara (ph), the Lake Minyara tree-climbing lions. And that's basically it. They'll go up on a little limb. But in Lake Minyara, they will climb trees like a leopard, but the only ones that do. And for some reason, that's the only ones that do.

GRACE: So no other lion can climb a tree?

HANNA: No. No. Not way up, no.

GRACE: OK. Hold on. Let's say good-bye. Good-bye! Stay with us.


GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from "COURT TV" in for Larry tonight and with us a very special guest, TV's Jack Hanna. He is with "Animal Adventures," the number one syndicated animal show in the world. He's the Director Emeritus at Columbus Zoo and you have a special guest named Lucky.

HANNA: I do. You know I've got a very fortunate job. I love what I do obviously and I love all the animals and people, you know, say oh this is just an old tortoise.

Well, you know, tortoises are one of the most prehistoric animals in the world but this is Lucky and the reason we call him Lucky is we found him on I-161 a big interstate in Columbus, Ohio going across the highway and we rescued him.

Now what is somebody doing with an African leopard tortoise I really don't know because they live to be over 100 years old. The animal is not endangered yet. It's pretty rare right now in Africa. We only saw one of these in my whole seven weeks over there.

GRACE: This guy came all the way from Africa?


GRACE: And he was in the middle of the interstate?

HANNA: In Ohio.

GRACE: A four lane?

HANNA: Yes. Think about the tiger in New York, the leopard tortoise in Ohio.

GRACE: Do they like to have their feet pet?

HANNA: Yes, go ahead pet his feet. Just don't get salmonella.


HANNA: No, no. You just wash your hands and you get none, that's all. But the tortoise, the leopard tortoise gets about three times as large and we call them leopard tortoise because of the shell. See the shell there? It's thick, almost like a leopard and that's why we call it the leopard tortoise. Sometimes in Africa people make fun of finding the big five which...

GRACE: I think he's shy because when I touch his foot he squeezes back in.

HANNA: Yes, he goes back in his shell, yes. We're going to leave him out here for a while where he can get used to eating this lettuce and I want you to see him a while, eat some lettuce. If you just lay it there he'll come out of his shell. Remember, a tortoise...

GRACE: How the heck did he get from Africa to the middle of a four lane?

HANNA: Somebody bought him as a pet or put him in a suitcase or something. It's something we have to stop because a lot of these animals can't survive in the types of climates and stuff we have here right now.

GRACE: Well certainly not on the interstate.

HANNA: No. No. This animal here is an animal that's also off the continent of Africa and I think you could go over there and you can go next to Nancy. I want to let -- can he go on her shoulder? Let's see. I'll bet you've never had a lemur on your shoulder, have you? Larry -- Larry King loves lemurs.

GRACE: Larry the Lemur.

HANNA: We name them, we name all of our lemurs Larry. Yes, this is from the (unintelligible) zoo.

GRACE: Oh, he's got...

HANNA: Oh, now what I want you to do this animal -- Nancy there are about 30 types of lemur left in -- you know where Madagascar is off the coast of East Africa?


HANNA: Off of that coast. It's an island out there that only the lemur lives there. Now this is the ringtail lemur all right. There are different types of lemurs. There are little teeny lemurs and then there's the red rough lemur, a lot bigger lemurs.

GRACE: Is this Larry 3?

HANNA: Yes, Larry 3, you're right. GRACE: I've seen Larry one and two.

HANNA: Yes. This is called -- this is called a persimion (ph). What does persimion mean? It means pre-monkey and pre-ape. It means that this animal...

GRACE: Is older than...

HANNA: It's older than pre-monkey and pre-ape. We're talking old. If you look down at his hands I don't think you can see those little hands. Look at that. Look at those. It's got like -- it's almost like their hands.

GRACE: They're actually like little hands.

HANNA: Exactly.

GRACE: One, two, three, four, five.

HANNA: Right.

GRACE: Is that a prehensile thing?

HANNA: Exactly and they also have a prehensile tail. You can see.

GRACE: Well, you're not shy.

HANNA: No. This animal...

GRACE: He just grabbed my wrist.

HANNA: He won't hurt it though.

GRACE: He used his thumb like a human would use a thumb.

HANNA: Right, oh yes, and that prehensile tail is used for the trees. The spend a lot of their lives in trees. They also use that tail, I don't know if you can see that tail. Can you hold the tail up there for me. I'm sorry. If you see the tail, that's used to locate its mate.


HANNA: A lot of times when they're in the tall grasses they'll put that tail up to locate each other when they're out running around in the tall grasses.

GRACE: Come here Larry 3, if you are in fact number three.

HANNA: The lemur again is an animal that's almost -- this animal is going into extinction.


HANNA: Rapidly as far as -- there's like 30 different type of lemur because in Madagascar it's an island. There are only so many trees and they're cutting those trees down and it's probably the most...

GRACE: Does he have a special kind of tree that they like to be in?

HANNA: No, most any tree over there but it's obviously trees that have fruit and fruit-bearing trees and leaves that they like to eat but they'll eat insects. They'll eat little snakes. They'll eat all those sorts of things.

GRACE: They can catch a snake?

HANNA: Oh, yes.

GRACE: They're faster than a snake?

HANNA: Yes. It's not their favorite diet but lemur will eat insects, you know, all sorts of leaves, fruits.

GRACE: Fingers?

HANNA: Fingers, yes,.

GRACE: Please say no.

HANNA: That's a good point though. They're not a pet by any means. It's against the law to have one unless you have the proper permits and, of course, this comes from the (unintelligible) zoo in (unintelligible).

GRACE: How sweet.

HANNA: Yes, they're a beautiful animal aren't they? I just -- they're so soft. You feel how soft that fur is?

GRACE: Yes, yes, so they're becoming extinct not because people are taking their pelts but because they're running out of space?

HANNA: Exactly, mainly out of space now because most people over there know better than to hurt the lemur.

GRACE: I think your turtle is tired of salad.

HANNA: Yes, he'd love to get him some worms or something.

GRACE: I think he wants some thousand island dressing, he'll be fine.

HANNA: Yes. Thank you so much for bringing (unintelligible).

GRACE: Ooh, I got one more banana here, ooh here, there.

HANNA: You're good. You should come to the zoo and be a zookeeper for part time.

GRACE: Wait, he's going somewhere. Bye. Look at that tail, oh wow, look at that.

HANNA: Isn't that something?

GRACE: Oh, man.

HANNA: It's beautiful.

GRACE: Don't let anybody see it. They may want to make a scarf out of it.

HANNA: No. Down here, these two animals these are called (unintelligible) and I've never had one of these on TV, never.

GRACE: Oh, they look like deer from here.

HANNA: Yes, they do but...

GRACE: Oh my gosh, they look like kangaroo, no they look like deer.

HANNA: Yes. This is the largest antelope in India, the largest called the (unintelligible) and remember we were talking. I don't know if we can go back to (unintelligible) but this is the number one diet of the Bengal tiger is Asia.

GRACE: Oh, please don't say that.

HANNA: (Unintelligible.)

GRACE: It's hard for me to imagine and then making a hamburger.

HANNA: They're a very, very large animal. This animal the (unintelligible) gets to be like not as big as a -- it's bigger than a deer and a little bit smaller than an elk so they're very, very large antelope.

And, of course, it's very, very easy prey for an animal like certain types of leopards in Asia as well as obviously the Bengal tiger but they're a beautiful -- also, the (unintelligible) the neat thing about the (unintelligible) is also they live around, they live out in the grasslands but they also will go near the swamps and live as well.

GRACE: Now they eat just leaves?

HANNA: Exactly, grasses, they're...

GRACE: And this is the number one snack for a Bengal tiger?

HANNA: Right, right, if they had an opportunity to catch one, yes and that's called the (unintelligible) from Asia. I've never had one on but these are from (unintelligible) zoo as I said.

GRACE: Look how beautiful.

HANNA: Aren't they gorgeous? GRACE: Now are these close to extinction or...

HANNA: No, no, they're pretty -- see the white hooves, you see the white hooves. That's how you know it's a (unintelligible). Look at the white hooves on that animal. That's how you can spot the (unintelligible) and there are a lot of different types of antelope in Asia as well as Africa but the (unintelligible) has that distinct beautiful white hoof there.

GRACE: Well speaking of these being the favorite snack of a white Bengal tiger, let's go to Columbus Zoo.

HANNA: Yes, Taj is sleeping right now as you can see.


HANNA: You know...

GRACE: The question they sleep sitting up like that?

HANNA: Yes. Tigers and lions can sleep up to 20 hours a day. The other four hours...

GRACE: That's because the women are out getting all the food.

HANNA: That's true.

GRACE: They're laying around having a cat nap. It's so wrong.

HANNA: That may be true but you must remember that the tiger, the other four hours it's out hunting for food. Now, a tiger can kill once every three or four days and when they eat they can eat up to 40 to 50 pounds at one sitting.

GRACE: Do they eat the whole thing?


GRACE: The fingernails, the tail, the everything?

HANNA: Yes. They actually, unlike lions a tiger will take its prey and bury it and let it sit there for a week to putrify and go back and eat putrified meat. Most other cats will not do that. Most other cats will eat as much as they can, leave it for the hyenas and the buzzards but not the tiger. The tiger will come back and eat its meat after it buries it.

And remember something, there have been tigers that eat up to 40 to 50 pounds at one time. They're -- actually their stomach explodes. They'll actually die eating so much meat.

GRACE: You know I've got some bad news about your turtle.

HANNA: I know.

GRACE: I think he's got an eating disorder. HANNA: Well, we'll let him go out back.

GRACE: He's shunning the lettuce. We're taking a quick break everybody. (AUDIO GAP) syndicated animal show in the world. Stay with us.


GRACE: Hi everyone, I'm Nancy Grace from "COURT TV" in for Larry tonight. OK now who's that?

HANNA: This is...

GRACE: You told me not to touch. I'm trying not to touch.

HANNA: No, you don't want to touch this one. I've never had one of these on TV before really. It's an African...

GRACE: Do those things shoot?

HANNA: No, they don't shoot. Everybody asks the question about porcupine quills. They do not shoot but what they do is this is the largest porcupine in the world. This porcupine can eat up to 75 pounds. This is a young African porcupine, again from the (unintelligible) zoo.

And remember something it's eating sweet potatoes and...

GRACE: Broccoli.

HANNA: Broccoli but what these quills do and I'm going to be very careful here right now is that they have a barb on the end and when the porcupine gets alarmed it will rattle like a rattlesnake. That means stay away. If you don't do that, like a lion or something tries to eat them because how you eat these animals is they turn them upside down.

Underneath there is a very, very soft part of his belly and that's the only way you can kill a porcupine. On the end of that barb is like a fish hook. You can't see it with the naked eye but once that barb goes in you, you touch that barb it will come right out of the porcupine.

They do not throw them but the minute you touch it, it hooks in your skin. That's how the lions and that's how in this country the North American porcupine kills dogs because the infection that those quills cause.

GRACE: But porcupine do not shoot a quill?

HANNA: No. People think they do. No, they don't.

GRACE: Where did that come from?

HANNA: Who knows, probably because -- probably because...

GRACE: I've never seen one of these before.

HANNA: Be nice. No, I know not many people have. Aren't they beautiful though?


HANNA: These quills are used for hunting instruments by the (unintelligible) people over in Africa, for darts.

GRACE: I'm not going to ask how they get them out.

HANNA: No, I'm not either. But one thing about the porcupine, you would think how is a porcupine born? Wouldn't you think that?


HANNA: How do they come out of the birth canal? That was my first question.

GRACE: My first question is do they shoot?

HANNA: No. How they come out of the birth canal is the porcupine's quills are very soft. Within 24 hours they become hard like an arrow. Now this porcupine stayed on the ground.

GRACE: I think she wants me to touch her.

HANNA: They eat a lot of leaves.

GRACE: Do they eat paper?

HANNA: They like trees, bark. Just don't touch him. I'm serious or you'll have to go to the hospital.

GRACE: I will not touch but I would like to touch but I'm not touching.

HANNA: I know you want to touch it, don't you?

GRACE: Yes, I do actually.

HANNA: It's like a hot stove, you know, but just don't do it.

GRACE: I mean and I didn't realize that the quills were striped.

HANNA: Exactly.

GRACE: They're black and white.

HANNA: Exactly.

GRACE: Striped.

HANNA: Right.

GRACE: I've never seen anything like it. HANNA: They're used in a lot of decoration by a lot of the tribes in East Africa. Our North American porcupine, by the way, is much smaller than the African porcupine -- or the North American porcupine is a little bit bigger than this.

GRACE: This is the African porcupine.

HANNA: Yes. Now there's also the South American porcupine, the prehensile tail porcupine. There's three porcupines in the world, South American, North American and the African porcupine. The prehensile tail porcupine in South American actually lives in the treetops.

GRACE: Oh-oh, oh-oh.

HANNA: What's happening?

GRACE: Turtle alert.

HANNA: No, not turtle alert. See they...

GRACE: Turtle, head out, head out, turtle eating tomato.

HANNA: No way.

GRACE: Tomato fest. We don't have to have an intervention.


GRACE: He has chomped down nearly a whole tomato. There he goes. There he goes.

HANNA: Now see he eats very slowly. I have to take lessons from a turtle.

GRACE: He's grabbed the tomato.

HANNA: I eat too fast.

GRACE: The thing is this, a) I've never seen a turtle poke his head out and eat ever.

HANNA: No, not many people ever do.

GRACE: Much less grab a tomato.

HANNA: No. He likes to eat in private.


HANNA: See there. Do you know that turtles can eat cactus too, real sharp? I don't know how they do it.

GRACE: Who -- he wants me to touch him. He wants me to.

HANNA: I know he wants you to but just... GRACE: Not touching, not touching, not touching, not touching.

HANNA: You see he wants more of the sweet potato (unintelligible).

GRACE: Who could eat this, a lion?

HANNA: A lot of people eat porcupine.

GRACE: No, I mean how would an animal...

HANNA: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry who could eat this? Oh, right.

GRACE: What animal would?

HANNA: Cougars try to the North American porcupine. They try and catch it and turn it over. In Africa, the lions will actually try and eat. They hyenas will try and come after it. A lot of times they'll die because what happens is the porcupine will put the quills all in the animals' faces and it'll become infected and they will die.

GRACE: I think we're about to be guested by a lemur.

HANNA: Oh, no this little animal here, look at this. This animal is from Africa as well. I'll let you get the porcupine, not you.

GRACE: bye.

HANNA: Now she can pick him up underneath, see there?


HANNA: She knows what she's doing.

GRACE: Wow, impressive.

HANNA: Now look at this bird, do you want to hold -- have you heard about the two birds in the hand is worth one in the bush?


HANNA: Or whatever the saying is? Look at that. Now show -- I hope the cameras can pick it -- you don't need to put your hand on top of him I don't think.

GRACE: You don't?

HANNA: No. Show the camera that because I want them to see it. You bring it out a little bit over your table there. Look at the colors in this bird. Now you tell me. I have never, ever had a lilac-breasted roller on a television show.

The (unintelligible) zoo are the only people I know of in the world that actually can have these animals and have worked with them to this stage where they can actually take them and educate people about this bird. This is like what they call the national bird of Kenya. Look at the colors.

GRACE: I've never seen anything like it in my life.

HANNA: I don't think you can see the side. Look at the side. Yes, look at the colors there but look at the side of that bird.

GRACE: I wish the viewers could actually...

HANNA: Look at your monitor.

GRACE: The feathers are just...

HANNA: Look at that though exquisite.

GRACE: They're very delicate and they're so aqua. They look like the ocean.

HANNA: When this -- exactly. When this bird flies, we were filming this last week again in Tanzania. When this bird flies it's called a lilac-breasted roller because it rolls in the sky. You know how -- picture a bird just rolling like this, OK, just tumbling and that's what the bird does to attract the mates as well as to catch bugs. They eat a lot of insects and bugs.

GRACE: You know what's interesting it has eyelashes on the bottom.


GRACE: That stick out, not on the top. Are those -- what are those?

HANNA: I have no idea.

GRACE: They're eyelashes. I'm afraid to move actually, eyelashes down here.

HANNA: But you could always say that you held a lilac-breasted roller. We call them LBRs when we're on safari.

GRACE: Are these rare?

HANNA: Not real rare, no, but they're very difficult to film in the wild because they're on the move all the time but this bird was the egg that fell on the ground. They helped to raise it at the zoo there.

GRACE: It is so gentle but look at that beak.

HANNA: Yes. I think it's one of the prettiest birds in the world as far as coloring.

GRACE: Look at that, beautiful. I'm actually afraid to move. Oh, look the two tail feathers what is that all about?

HANNA: That's like a rudder on a plane. That helps the bird do its tumbling exercises.

GRACE: I hate to switch gears but somebody's awake from their nap. I hope they're not grumpy. Let's go to the Columbus Zoo.


GRACE: Oh, a nice day ahead of licking himself.

HANNA: Yes, now Taj, you see what the cat is doing right here? This is a -- I'm glad she woke up and did this. This is what cats do. They groom themselves constantly. That's how the cat stays so clean.

You know your cat at home, right. Your cat at home does the same exact thing. That's a beautiful shot there of Taj cleaning. That tongue, by the way, see how she's licking that?


HANNA: If that tiger, let's say the tiger killed you OK. That tiger would...

GRACE: Let's don't. Let's say it killed you.

HANNA: But if that tiger did, you see that tongue? That tongue would lick your arm and lick it to the bone in less than 30 minutes.

GRACE: Lick it to the bone?

HANNA: Yes. That tongue is like sandpaper. You know how they have different grades of sandpaper, that tongue is so rough that she could actually lick your arm and the skin right to the bone, the flesh.

We saw an African lion make a kill last week, as I was telling you, and that lion was licking just like the tiger is doing was licking the meat right off the leg of the wildebeest.

GRACE: Like sandpaper.

HANNA: Exactly.

GRACE: Hey before we go to break look at this camera guy. It's letting me pet its tail feathers. I've been doing it for about a minute now. Check it out.

HANNA: I bet you've never petted a bird's tail feathers.

GRACE: Ooh, it's a tiny bit kinky.

HANNA: No but I mean I bet you never have and that's how (unintelligible) with that bird.

GRACE: Look how beautiful.

HANNA: Isn't that beautiful.

GRACE: OK. They're making me go to break but I'm going to keep petting. Everybody stay with us, Jack Hanna and all of his friends.


GRACE: Welcome back. I'm Nancy Grace from "COURT TV" in for Larry. Larry is not with us tonight but a very, very special guest, Jack Hanna, is with us and now the symbol of our country is about to fly in, the American Bald Eagle.

HANNA: Oh, wow.

GRACE: Oh, God.

HANNA: Wasn't that something?



HANNA: Hey, Al. This is Al Cicero (ph) a very close friend of mine. He's the head of the American Eagle Foundation and this is Challenger and I'm going to let Al tell you a little bit about this because this to me is what our country represents.

GRACE: Wait is that -- is that raw meat in your hand?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. He's eating a piece of quail meat. It's one of his favorite treats and Challenger is the first bald eagle in U.S. history trained to free fly during the National Anthem so when you see a bald eagle flying at a major game this is Challenger.

And he was actually blown out of a nest as a baby in a storm and hand raised by the people who rescued him. He became highly human socialized so whenever he was released he would always land near people and beg for food.

GRACE: I brought something special to show him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, he loves American flags.

GRACE: My American flag. I bet you've seen that plenty of times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes. As a matter of fact a lot of times when we fly him in big ballrooms and things we have an American flag up on a platform and he flies to the flag so, yes.

HANNA: You talk about a bird. What Al is doing is nothing short of phenomenal. I've known Al for about 15 years. He has probably released more bald eagles back into the wild than any person that I know of, number one. Number two, his foundation does a great deal for protecting the bald eagle.

This animal here, look at the talons, look at the talons on Al's hand there. Now if he did not have -- if Al did not have that glove on those talons would go right through his... GRACE: You know what's amazing, I wish the viewers could be sitting right here when he did his wing, the wind he generated is very powerful. I'm dying to touch but I'm not going to touch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As Jack was saying these are 1,000 pounds of (unintelligible) in each foot. They're very, very powerful.

GRACE: And his talons, his hands I guess what would you -- are yellow, bright yellow.

HANNA: Now this animal's eyesight is some of the greatest eyesight of any animal in the world. This animal can see and spot its prey a mile or two up as it's soaring around. A lot of eagles people think they eat fish. They'll also eat animals that are dead, like a buzzard will. But they'll come down and catch a rabbit or an animal at will.

GRACE: Where do they live?

HANNA: Well the bald eagle now thanks to Al and his foundation the bald eagle now is found all over Florida. It's coming in Alaska. It's taken off the endangered species list. This is a perfect example of how the endangered species list works because the animals now come back. I'll tell you in Lake Erie in Ohio in 1978 we had three nesting pairs of bald eagles all gone almost and today we have 140.

GRACE: What does he eat?

HANNA: Mostly fish, rabbits.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They eat mostly fish. They're a fish-eating bird.

GRACE: You feed him fish?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do, you're right. We try to mimick...

GRACE: What's his favorite fish?


GRACE: Trout.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, and he gets quail meat, beef heart and also rats and mice so it's very similar to what he'd eat in the wild.

GRACE: But what about the hearing?

HANNA: The hearing is good too but it's mainly the eyesight is what the animal relies on but the white head, this is what's important. The white head and the white tail don't develop until the animal is over three years old, three to five years old.

GRACE: Look at that tail. How many tail feathers are back there like 20?


GRACE: OK, you're saying I can't touch, no touch.

HANNA: What do you think Al, could she?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably not a good idea.


GRACE: He kind of looks a little upset.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very sharp beak.

HANNA: But the white head...

GRACE: He's very upset.

HANNA: Yes. The white head and tail doesn't develop until three to five years old. That's why the bald eagles had also a tough time because people think they're buzzards and they shoot the bald eagle not knowing that this is our country's national bird. By the way it's against the law. It's a federal offense to kill a bald eagle.

GRACE: Beautiful and a very big chest.

HANNA: Right. It's also a federal offense to have bald eagle feathers. Only some Native American tribes can do that.

GRACE: How do you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's just talking. Because he was hand raised by people he's an imprinted bird. They basically use the same talk that they use when they were a baby and he never really learned how to be a real eagle in the wild.

GRACE: Don't tell him he's not a real eagle, OK. I don't think he would like it. Does he have a tongue? I (unintelligible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he does. Yes, he sure does.

GRACE: Wow, how often a day does he eat? I think he's (unintelligible).


GRACE: OK, question to you...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's basically telling me I want to fly again.

GRACE: Or maybe you would know this. How did he get to be the symbol for America?

HANNA: Al would know that probably.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course the founding fathers were trying to decide, you know, what to symbolize the nation. They were at war with the British. They didn't want to use any symbol that the British could have in their country.

GRACE: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bald eagles are unique to North America and of course there was a big debate. Franklin wanted the turkey and they told him to go fly a kite and we got the national bird.

GRACE: And he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he did, right.

GRACE: You know I've never been this close up to a bald eagle. They're huge across the chest. They're very different than anything I would ever have imagined. What a beak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he's actually a smaller eagle. He's a southern male and in eagles and birds of prey males are smaller than females and southern birds are smaller than northern birds.

GRACE: Very quickly, how quickly can he fly?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He could probably fly about 65 miles an hour in level flight, maybe 150 miles an hour in a dive.

GRACE: You're going to get a speeding ticket. We've got to go to break everybody.


GRACE: What a fantastic group of friends you have.

HANNA: I really do. I'm very lucky. It's great working with animals.

GRACE: And what a great guy to end the show with.


GRACE: Jack thank you.

HANNA: Thank you very much.

GRACE: Thank you Challenger. Everybody stay with us. We'll be right back.


GRACE: I'm Nancy Grace signing off for tonight. A big thank you to Jack Hanna and good evening everyone. Stay tuned for Aaron Brown with "NEWSNIGHT."


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.