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Interview with Jack Hanna

Aired December 23, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Jack's back. It's going to be wild. The one and only Jack Hanna, the renowned animal expert and his exotic friends. They've got four feet, webbed feet, and no feet. There's even a Koala making his television debut. Jack Hanna, the fur and the feathers are going to fly next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: It's always a great pleasure to welcome Jack Hanna to these shores and screens and the like. Jack Hanna is the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," the longest running and the most syndicated wildlife show in the world. He's director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. He always brings a bunch of great animals. Our two little boys will be with us latter to entertain us in the closing. But we have special surprise tonight to begin things. We have a first, right?

JACK HANNA, DIRECTOR EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: A first, Larry, that I've ever done in 28 years of television, and that's a koala from the San Diego Zoo. And I'd like to let you meet the koala right now, because it's an interesting animal. I heard you say koala bear. A lot of people think it's a bear. It's not a bear. Look at this. Isn't this gorgeous?

KING: A koala. Is it a he or a her?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a he. He's an 8-year-old male Queensland koala.

HANNA: He's a Queensland koala, from the San Diego Zoo, which by the way is one of the fineness zoos in the entire world. They've had koalas since 1925. They do a tremendous job of not only breeding the koala, but also helping others zoos through out this country, raise awareness about the koala. Because this one -- how old is this one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Takira (ph) is about 8 years of age.

KING: And it's name? His name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's Takira, and it's an Aboriginal word that means marshmallow.

HANNA: You know, Larry, a lot of people don't realize this, koalas can swim very well. They also can bite. It's not just some cute little cuddly creatures.

KING: I heard that.

HANNA: It's an amazing creature. It really is. They obviously eat only one thing and, eucalyptus. You can see this. Without the eucalyptus, the koala does not exist. And the Australian Koala Foundation, which is very important, Larry, Australian Koala Foundation are the ones, since 1986, that have helped raise moneys to save the koala. Right now, the Koala has lost over 80 percent of the rain forest in Australia, 80 percent is now gone. And these animals have to live in trees, obviously. They're marsupials which means the baby looks like a worm when it comes out. It goes into the pouch. And Chris, how long does it stay in the pouch, the baby before it comes out?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Usually the baby's in the pouch six to seven months before we even know that it's there.

HANNA: Golly day. Isn't that neat? Watch him. Look at him eat that.

KING: I like the way he eats.

HANNA: And only this can they eat. When I filmed this in Australia, it was amazing thing to see how agile they were. They can jump three to four feet from limb to limb in the treetops there. They're very, very fast in trees as well. The animal is hit -- they lose about 4,000 to 5,000 a year by cars. Because, if you lose 80 percent of the rain forest, that's very bad.

KING: Are they becoming extinct?

HANNA: Not extinct. They're rare in many parts of Australia. The Australian Koala Foundation, if people want to help, you can actually adopt a koala. My daughter Julie (ph) adopted one of the first koala's in 1999 for 15 dollars. They can send what they want. You actually get a certificate about the koala, and all those monies, 100 percent go to providing habitat for the koala.

KING: Do we have a

HANNA: Exactly,, and just call them. And this way, you can help the koala in the wild. And of course, the San Diego Zoo does a great job of preaching about the koala to everybody through out the world with their habitat there. I don't know if I've covered everything about the koala, but I covered...

KING: In all the years you've been with us, this is the first.

HANNA: Any show I've ever done, because the koala is an animal we don't take to a lot of shows. They're very difficult. A lot of work goes into it. A lot of permit from Australia. This animal is so protected in Australia, you could get gold out of Fort Knox before you get koala out of Australia.

KING: I love them. HANNA: The San Diego Zoo...

KING: Lets keep him around, and we'll have him on at the end too.

HANNA: Oh, we've got to keep him around.

KING: Keep him around.

HANNA: Look at him eating there, just like "National Geographics."

KING: Stay there. Stay there.

HANNA: I don't think he wants to say there. Was he alright right now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He might hang out there for a little bit.

KING: OK, you stay that.

Matt, what's next?

HANNA: Do you think he'll like the birds.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I think he's not going to like the birds.

HANNA: OK, lets take the koala. Lets take the koala.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That I can tell you.

KING: And who would be in trouble, him or the birds?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It might be a toss-up.

KING: Boy, he loves that tree. Boy (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

What are you taking me away from the tree for? OK, oh a toucan, right?

HANNA: A toucans right. Toucan -- toucan, the Fruit Loops birds. And these are birds...

KING: Fruit Loops.

HANNA: Yes, Central/South America. I'm sure your little boys love Fruit Loops.

KING: They do.

HANNA: Now see, if you throw a grape, this animal should catch this grape midair. Let's see. Well, almost. I'm a bad throw aren't I. You're better -- here you're better at baseball throw this one. Oh, that one?


HANNA: There you good. Now, Larry, look how beautiful...

KING: Don't flash.

HANNA: Look how beautiful these animals are. Look at the color. You'd think that beak, Larry, would weigh like a lot. That thing doesn't weigh not even an ounce. It's very, very light. They're fruit eaters. Some people say they'd a toucan as a pet. You do not want one of these as a pet.

KING: Because?

HANNA: Where that grape goes in, that grape comes out in about one hour out the other way. And not only that, they're very difficult to raise from the standpoint of temperature and that type of thing. The toucan is one of the most beautiful birds, I think, in the entire world. These animals fly in flocks over in Central and South America. They're also used for the pet trade way back, which now thank goodness has been stopped with the loss of the rain forest

KING: Wow. And next we have a tagu.

HANNA: Also, we have not only a tagu, we have both lizards here.

KING: A capybara (ph)?

HANNA: Well, this is a Tagu and this is an iguana. Look at the size of these.

KING: Iguana. Night of the iguana.

HANNA: Exactly, look at this iguana here. This is a tagu lizard. And tagu is an animal that eats a lot of eggs. And this is from Australia, isn't it, the tagu. From Australia, I think, right? No, no. Where is that tagu from?


HANNA: Well, I'm close then.

KING: It's south where.

HANNA: Right. But the animal eats a lot of eggs and those type of things. And this animal here, we see quite a bit in Central and South America. Look at the iguana. The iguana, Larry, was something that people had about four years ago as a real craze to have an iguana as a pet. It was causing salmonella. Plus it's tail is very, very sharp. You feel the ridges on his tail. I want to show you what can happen. Go -- it's like saw. But go up like this on the back of your hand. See there? It's like saw. The animal lives in the top of trees. They lay eggs...

KING: They are, let's be frank, Jack. HANNA: What?

KING: They're not pretty.

HANNA: Well, everything in nature is pretty in its own way, you know what I mean. If you see this in the wild, Larry, it's beautiful to see them in the big, bright green they get in the trees, they almost change colors at times. Look at the big pouch here. Look at that big flap, what is it the flap right? Look at that thing.

KING: He's kind of friendly.

HANNA: The tagu lizard here loves eggs, I know what for a fact. They'll raid birds nests to get eggs and those types of things. But these are lizards. And lizards, you can tell Larry, different from a snake in that they have eye lids and also ear openings, which a snake doesn't have.

And so you can feel -- feel that, see you can feel the difference in the skin, Larry. Feel that. And they have powerful jaw muscles too. And that tongue sees just like a snake's tongue, feeling heat. Thank you so much for bringing these beautiful lizards out.

KING: We can get one more in this segment. And this is a capybara.

HANNA: Now Larry, we've never had one of these on. This the capybara, the worlds largest rodent. We just left Brazil.

KING: This is a rodent?

HANNA: Yes, the world's largest. This animal can get to be over 300 pounds, Larry, this rodent. Yes, that's big.

KING: A rodent -- a rat is a rodent.

HANNA: Yes, exactly.

KING: A mouse is a rodent.

HANNA: That's correct. And capybara is the world's largest rodent from Central and South America. We've actually seen these, Larry. They live in the water. They have webbed feet. They spend about 90 percent of their life in the water. They eat vegetation from the water. And people hunt these, just like -- like people hunt deer for food. This is main source of food for the people in Central and South America. Again, they live around even where cayman alligators live. And they're very, very fast in the water. They can actually go underwater as well. But isn't that a neat creature. Look at the head of that thing. It's called a capybara.

KING: How did you get into animals?

HANNA: I just was raised on a farm in Tennessee as a little boy, and I used go work at a veterinarian and clean cages when I was 15 to 18. And then I loved it. And I said some day I want to be a zoo keeper. You know, some day I think I want to go back to being a zoo keeper, because what I do know is interesting and fun, I travel the world. But the most fun I have are working with people like this from Zoos to you...

KING: What makes a zoo great?

HANNA: What makes a zoo great. A great zoo is educational, whether it's Columbus, San Diego, whatever -- L.A., whatever zoo it might be.

KING: Bronx.

HANNA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). There are so many of them, I shouldn't even start mentioning them. It's your educational programs. To me, education is the number one goal of a zoological park. The American Zoo Association which governs all of our zoos, they're the ones that sets standards of education, conservation, recreation. I mean, where do you go with your entire family, Larry, for an entire day that you can spend less than going to a movie, have fun and learn something at the same time. And that's key to a good zoo. Learning something and having fun at the same time.

KING: Are there still an anti-zoo movements, people against them?

HANNA: There are those. But I think problem is they really don't understand the value of what was we do in zoological parks. Ninety-nine percent of our animals come from other zoos, they don't come from the wild, no. 1. No. 2, the educational value of most people, 99.9 percent of people would never be able to go where I've been to film, so we have to teach people about these animals in the wild. And what better way to do it than on LARRY KING LIVE and shows to show you a living creature, that they're ambassadors to their cousin in the wild. They're there to teach.

KING: We'll take a break, and we'll be back with more, and the koala bear -- the koala -- not the koala bear. Sorry Australia. The koala, can't say bear, will return.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE with Jack Hannah. More surprises to come don't go away.


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. It's always great to have Jack Hanna with us, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. In our next segment, we begin with a great horned owl.

HANNA: This is an animal that's found on every continent in the world except Antarctica. The only animal world that's found on every continent: the owl. There are many different types of owl. The Eurasian eagle owl is the biggest owl, huge owl. This is the great horned owl, right? Great horned owl. Hold him steady right there. They're called the bird of silent flight, Larry. If this bird were to fly over your head six inches, you'd never hear it. If you took a parrot or a bird of prey, you'd hear it flapping its wings. People say the wise old owl. Maybe because it looks wise but the owl's brain is very small. It's just that its eyesight is five or six times better than yours. But its hearing, its echo location...

KING: Can its head turn around?

HANNA: Not all the way. Some people ask that question. David Letterman once wanted me to make it turn all the way around. But it would have fallen off. The owl's echo location and seeing makes it so intelligent from the standpoint of its senses. If you had a mouse in this room in total darkness, that owl would find it in less than an hour.

KING: Does it hoot?

HANNA: Oh, yes. In different ways. Does this one hoot?


KING: He also smashes into lights.

HANNA: Will he hoot?

KING: Hoot!

HANNA: He's not going to hoot. You see the horns up there. The ears aren't there, but look at the talons that hold the animal with its glove because of the talons. The only bird that we know of in the world of animals that's found on every continent except Antarctica. This one was hit by a car so we use it for educational programs. We have to keep your yards with trees because these animals have to adapt to our environment as well.

KING: Now the gray fox. The name of the Bob Griffith who owned the Washington Senators.

HANNA: This is from Animal Ambassadors, Oak Tree Village. This is the gray fox. Where I live in Montana, people don't understand that -- every animal is intelligent in its own way, but this animal is clever and intelligent. I had a chicken pen, my 12 chickens. I have chickens in the summer and the foxes got in this thing. How I don't know. They came over the top and got in the thing and got all my chickens. The fox is an animal that lives in little packs. They can actually take down an elephant when it's first born.

KING: So the term sly fox?

HANNA: Exactly, exactly. It's eating a little meat right now.

KING: OK. Now we're going to meet a baby wallaby. It's somewhere in here, I guess.

HANNA: This is a wallaby from Australia, again a marsupial.

KING: Aah, this is cute.

HANNA: This is from zoo to you. It's a kangaroo. People say it's a wallaby. It's just a different size. 30 different species of wallaby and they're teeny animals when they're born, come out of the birth canal -- we'll put her back in the pouch right there

KING: There was a song about them, wasn't there?

HANNA: Yes, tie me down. The kangaroo can have three babies at one time. One coming out of the pouch, one coming out of the birth canal in the pouch and bred at the same time. All three at one time. These animals get to be about -- Bennett's wallaby gets to be about two and a half, three feet tall. The big red and gray kangaroos get to be six feet tall. They're in a mob, which is what a group of kangaroos is called. They're animals hunted in Australia for food and fur. Not these little wallabies, but the bigger ones.

KING: Beautiful animal. The red rough lemur.

HANNA: The lemurs are from Madagascar.

KING: I know the lemur. Remember Larry the lemur?

HANNA: These are two lemurs, both from Madagascar. This is water, by the way everybody. The lemur is an animal that's endangered. They're only from Madagascar. The forests are being cut down at the greatest rates of any place in the world. The lemurs are pre-monkey and pre-ape. Look at the hands on those animals. Isn't that amazing?

KING: They look like human hands.

HANNA: They spend a lot of time on the ground. They use the tails to locate each other.

KING: Larry would never have done that.

HANNA: They use their tails to locate each other when they're waving their tails, they live in a group, 50 to 100. They're a different-looking creature, aren't they?

KING: They're weird looking.

HANNA: You have lemurs of all different types and sizes. Pre- monkey and pre-ape. Only from Madagascar. It's so tragic if we lose them there, there's no place else in the world you'll find them. Isn't that a gorgeous tail?

KING: So Mrs. John Kerry would know them. She's from Madagascar, isn't she? Or Mozambique.

HANNA: I'll be darned.

KING: Mozambique. HANNA: Both start with an M.

KING: I failed geography, anyway.

HANNA: These are our two lemurs

KING: In this segment, one more, a small alligator, which is much better for my health than a big alligator.

HANNA: These are two alligators, right? Two little ones. This one here has a -- still the same nose. The crocodile has much -- a much thinner snout, more ridge is on the back. Being, the crocodile hunter knows a lot more about these than I do. Alligators hunt with vibration. In Florida, the alligator has come back tremendously. It was almost gone in the '60s. Today, there are tens of thousands.

KING: In the Everglades?

HANNA: All over the place.

KING: Will I see one on the turnpike?

HANNA: You see them all the time along the turnpikes. What you don't want to do is go swimming at night or someplace where there are alligators. They hunt with vibration. The largest crocodile I saw was in Thailand at 22 feet long. These animals get to be 10 to 12 feet long and 1,500 pounds. The alligator has excellent swimming, they lay eggs and are very aggressive when watching the eggs. They put them in a big pile of mulch. They lay 30 at a time. They don't chew, they tear the meat and swallow it whole. And how they kill on land, if you have a golf ball or a dog comes up to smell the alligator, it takes its tail and turns it this way to its head in less time in less than you can snap your fingers. They can outrun any man on land the first 20 yards. You'll never outrun one unless you go more than 20 yards.

KING: What happens after 20 yards?

HANNA: It just lays down and rests. But you know you better just hope you're fast the first 20 yards. But they really are an animal that shows you the Endangered Species Act works. It does work.

KING: Do they grow or are there small alligators and big alligators?

HANNA: This is about a year and a half old. It will grow to be 12 feet long and live to be over 75 years to 100 years

KING: How long?

HANNA: 75 to 100 years. You heard about that alligator in Alabama, remember when the hurricane hit there, George, what was his name?

KING: How old was he?

HANNA: He was old. I think about 30, 40 years old.

KING: OK. We'll take a break and come back with more of Jack Hanna, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures." And more surprises to come. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna, our semi-annual visit. He's usually with us twice a year. Always great to see him and his collection of animals. We start this segment with the North American porcupine. Different from the South American porcupine?

HANNA: There's the African porcupine exactly, and this is the African porcupine

KING: African is over here.

HANNA: This is the North American. See the quills back here? Be careful. A lot of people think they throw their quills. They don't throw them. They'll rattle a lot to warn you to stay away. If that point, if you touch a quill like that there's a barb on the end of that quill you can't see with the naked eye and that quill will come out and it will stay in your hand. For example, a cougar in Montana, where I have seen dead porcupines, the cougar will try to turn that porcupine -- look. They'll try to turn the porcupine over to eat the underside, which is very soft. When a porcupine's born, they're born with the quills soft. In less than 24 hours, they get very very hard. The porcupine eats a lot of wood bark and trees. The African porcupine, this thing, I've seen these in Africa are huge. They're like this big. I mean, I'm talking huge. These quills can be that long. They use them for darts and things in Africa.

KING: That's their protection?

HANNA: Exactly. Hear him rattle? He rattles that tail to tell you to keep away. These can be big. I've seen lions and other animals with the quills in them. They cause infection. They're an animal that we have to have to control a lot of forests, especially in our country out west. Aren't they a neat creature?

The South American porcupine is a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) porcupine that lives in trees.

KING: Let him walk a little.

HANNA: Just don't let him walk on me, though. I was actually stuck with a porcupine quill once and had to go to the hospital to get it out. I couldn't even pull it out. I knew a guy that got six of them in his kneecap and had to have surgery. They're very, very hard to get out. They do not throw their quills. They have an odor that also keeps you away. These are from zoo to you, great educational animals. Thank you so much.

KING: Now the arctic fox which I got a preview of before the show. HANNA: Larry, I've never had one of these on. This is from Sea World in San Diego. If you've ever been there, they have the arctic habitat. It's a beautiful animal. The arctic fox doesn't even start shivering until about minus 70 below zero. Below zero. They can go to 120 below. They develop the white coat. When does it turn brown?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not until the springtime, April or May.

HANNA: What do they eat out there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything. They are scavengers. They'll find small rodents, they'll eat berries if they can find them, and then they follow polar bears around on the ice floes and will eat seal carcasses that are left behind.

KING: Are they smart like the other foxes?

HANNA: I hear they eat the feces of other animals if they can't find food. Right now, see how he's panting? He can take temperatures you can't believe. This animal lives in probably the harshest climate of any animal in the world.

KING: You can put him 20 below zero.

HANNA: 120 below zero. They can go on ice floes, what, 300 miles. Sea World of San Diego is one of the few places in the world that you can see an arctic fox. You really ought to get down there, Larry, because it's a phenomenal park.

KING: I've been there. I'll tell you what happened to me there. Maybe at the end of the segment I'll tell you what happened to me there. Flying squirrel. What's the name of the whale at Sea World.

HANNA: Shamu (ph).

KING: Let me tell you about Shamu, go ahead.

HANNA: This is a sugar glider from Australia.

KING: A flying squirrel?

HANNA: You and I -- well, not you, I think you told me you were raised in New York where you didn't have any animals on the asphalt.

KING: Brooklyn, New York, we never saw a flying squirrel. Lucky if you saw a squirrel.

HANNA: This is a sugar glider. It's like a flying squirrel. They have flaps underneath their arms. They can go 200 feet from tree to tree.

KING: Like Rocky of "Rocky and Bullwinkle."

HANNA: Let him put his head up. He's eating -- see if he can eat that where they can see him. See his eyes? That's nocturnal. See those eyes. Isn't he beautiful? KING: Beautiful.

HANNA: See the flap? The soft -- let Larry touch that. It's almost like...

KING: Wow!

HANNA: Isn't that amazing? It's like a chinchilla. It really is. And they can fly from tree to tree. Again, 200 feet. This is from where?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Animal ambassadors.

HANNA: Isn't that beautiful?

KING: Now we have an ocelot. That fur is amazing.

HANNA: By the way some people are using those as pets. This is an ocelot from Central and South America. It's in the cat family. This was almost hunted to extinction for its coat in eight 50s and 60s. It takes four or five to make a coat. That's now been outlawed. They're on the endangered species list. People call me and say Jack, I want to get an ocelot as a pet. They don't make good pets. You have to have special permits for them. They can rip your house apart and rip you apart. Steve works with these animals, zoo to you. This animal was also confiscated from someone who was not taking care of it. Look at the gorgeous coat. I've only seen these one time in the wild because they're nocturnal. You never see them. The jungle is so thick, the rain forest that you'd never see it. Isn't that a gorgeous coat? That's his demise. A lot of animals, Larry, their demise is because of how beautiful they are. That's the problem. This ocelot would hunt at night, would eat small birds, rodents, rabbits, animals like that. It wouldn't take down a huge deer. They also live in trees too.

KING: When we come back with Jack Hanna, the singing dog. I know a few of those. They don't have four feet. We'll be right back.



AARON BROWN, HOST, "NEWSNIGHT": Good evening, I'm Aaron Brown in New York. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has made a surprise and secretive visit to Mosul in Iraq. Mosul the site of the worst single incident in the Iraq war earlier this week. The secretary has been under attack all week for perceived insensitivity. Insensitivity in the way he handled the question in Kuwait from a soldier about armor. Insensitivity for not personally signing letters to the families of soldiers who have died in Iraq.

So this visit in some ways, is meant to deal with those issues. Again, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has made a surprise visit to Mosul in the northern part of Iraq. We expect, later this morning, quite late tomorrow morning, to have pictures out of it. We should have more details on "NEWSNIGHT" coming up at the top of the hour. We now get you back to LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo and the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures." Another first, I don't remember ever having a singing dog on.

HANNA: No I've never had a singing on.

KING: What's the history of singing...

HANNA: Tell us about the singing dog

KING: Got his own band?



KING: Her name is Cher?


HANNA: But how are in the -- how many are left?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are about 200 left.

KING: Somebody don't like Cher.

HANNA: But Larry, this is one of the rarest dogs in the entire world. This is a dog, tens of thousands of years ago, it was domesticated. Then we didn't even discover the singing dog until 1957, when this dog was discovered.

KING: Where does it live?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New Guinea, the highlands of New Guinea and Australia. And just last year, in '03, they published that this is genetically different -- their genetically significant to their own species, the singing dog is.

KING: Do they sing?


HANNA: Sing some more.


HANNA: Just sing. Two notes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cher. Cher. What else? Good. What else? Good.

HANNA: Does it sing a lot to locate the mates?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of like a cell phone out there in the wild. That's how they communicate.

KING: They're everywhere, aren't they, cell phones?


HANNA: So, right now, how many are zoological parks throughout the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Less than 200. If they don't get conservation attention really quickly, they're facing extinction.

KING: They are beautiful dogs.

HANNA: Thank you so much, Melissa (ph).

KING: Thank you. And now, a harris hawk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Animal Ambassadors, right?


KING: Animal Ambassadors, harris hawk.

HANNA: The harris hawk is a beautiful bird. This is the bird that, Larry, you see in Texas and places like that. This is a bird that will also hunt -- a lot of birds of prey will hunt by themselves. This bird will hunt in groups, five, six in a group. The harris hawk that is an animal that has incredible eyesight, can spot a mouse or rat a mile up in the air. Beautiful talons there you can see. They talons on their feet there, can go right through here glove there if she didn't have that on. Their swing pan is about three to four feet. And again, the animal is protected a lot in Texas and that part of the world.

KING: Beautiful. And now, my favorite. Let's bring them on, because everybody loves them, you'd love them as a pet. We'd love to have them in every home. Yes, here they are, the world's most famous and most formidable and loved animal, the snake.

HANNA: Well, you know Larry, the snake is an animal that does serve a purpose. Even though I've been bitten by a snake, I still like snakes. You like snakes, right? Bring the end of the snake over here so Larry can touch the snake. It won't hurt you, you've got the end of it.

KING: You know I'm Jewish. I don't know what that means.

HANNA: Now this snake here -- Larry, these are pythons. The python has about 220 teeth shaped like fish hooks. They're not poisonous. But once they do bite you, Larry, they cannot let go. So, remember this if you're ever in the jungle. I don't know if you go in the jungle...

KING: Oh, I'm a jungleman.

HANNA: But really in all seriousness, what you want to do is be very, very careful of the snake.

KING: If it bites me, it won't let go.

HANNA: Exactly. It takes about 15 minutes for him to relax its jaw muscles. And then he will let. But he holds on to you, squeezes around its prey and swallows then wholes it's prey whole. That's how this animal survives. Now feel, Larry, this is a cold-blooded animal, which means it cannot control its temperature like you or I. I've seen -- the biggest one I've seen, Larry, was 24 feet long in Africa. You have the African python and the Asian python. This is an albino python right here. This one right here. And this one here is just a regular python.

KING: Ah, so they could kill you?

HANNA: Easy.

KING: They wouldn't poison you, they'd clap you?

HANNA: Right. There was a guy in Pittsburgh four years ago, if you read about, had been drinking, had a pet anaconda in its basement that was 19 feet and had him half swallow the when he found him. He was dead. But this animal, Larry, that can also live a long time. But you don't want these as a pet unless obviously know how to take care of a snake. You notice how these people handle these snakes, with two hands. You never pick up a snake with one hand, you break its back.

KING: Good thinking. Bye. Say good-bye now.

HANNA: You don't like snakes?

KING: Let's say -- well, it's not my favorite.

HANNA: I bet boys -- hey, boys -- Larry's son, when you come up here, I'll get you a snake for Christmas, OK. Your dad will like that.

KING: No, Chance, you don't want a snake.

HANNA: What's this here?

KING: A lorry (sic).

HANNA: No, a loris. This is a slow loris.

KING: Slow loris.

HANNA: From Asia. And this animal, Larry, its saliva is poisonous. If it would bite you, but it won't. They're very -- obviously, it's called a slow loris for some reason.

KING: Pretty.

HANNA: Isn't it gorgeous? It's another animal I've never had on. The slow loris, is an animal -- look at that, look at the hands on this animal. Very, very unique animal.

KING: Wow.

HANNA: Spends it's only time it lives -- stays in trees it's entire life. Very. very slow. Can live in about four, five trees. They come out at nighttime, look for insects. They're also even pollinators, these animals are.

KING: Live in trees.

HANNA: Live in trees. They're called the slow loris. They have an odor on them, Larry, that is unbelievable. They urinated in the nest and that's how they keep a lot of the predators away from them.

KING: Now the armadillos to wind up this segment. They come -- the parade of the armadillos. Little worms sitting on the table. Love that.

HANNA: Larry -- We have, Larry, the three-banned, the non- banded. My gosh, I've never seen so many armadillos. What is this one?


HANNA: A hairy, where's this from?


HANNA: All right. Feel -- look at there it has hair there, Larry. A hairy armadillo. I've never had -- watch how they eat the worms.

KING: Look at them eat the worms.

HANNA: This is a three banded here.


HANNA: That's a three banded armadillo from Australia -- I mean, from Brazil. And this is a -- golly, what's that thing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a six-banded.

HANNA: A six-banded armadillo and a....

KING: Hungry? Are you hungry? It's worms.

HANNA: Where's that one from?


KING: You're giving him all the worms.

HANNA: South America. Look at this here, Larry. This is the one from -- look at that. Look at him eat those worms. That's what they do, Larry. They're eyesight is very poor. They're hearing and they're smell is better than any animal in the world. I mean, not better, it's a good as any animal in the world. They can actually hear insects and worms underground four to six inches. People -- when I'm in Brazil filming, they take the armadillo and they eat it like a taco. They cook it in the fire and it's part of what they're diet is. I don't ever eat it, because these are nice armadillos. The armadillos is one of the only animals in the world that carry leprosy. Not today, because we control leprosy. But they were one of the only animals in the world. They're home is their shell, like a turtle almost. But You Can see ears and the nose for smelling. Now look at him, they can eat up hundreds of worms a night.

KING: He can go into a shell?

HANNA: Yes. See that just...


HANNA: See, exactly. See here, this is his head. I'll hold (UNINTELLIGIBLE). I'll hold this one here. See there? Look at that. That's how the armadillo closes up, when a predator is coming up to him. Mainly, they're nocturnal as well, Larry. But look at this one eat the worms. Isn't that amazing?

KING: This guy -- this guy likes worms.

HANNA: But Larry, we've never had a hairy armadillo. This is amazing. Feel this -- a very prehistoric creature, Larry, the armadillo. Has been around for since the dinosaur era.

KING: I like them. OK, are you done? You done?

Think is it's McDonald's.

HANNA: From Zoo-To-You, thank you for bring the Armadillo.

KING: And when we come back, my two little boys, Chance and Cannon King will join us in the festival of animals with Jack Hanna. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," the longest running and most watched syndicated wildlife show in the world. He's director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo.

Sitting on my lap, Chance King, he is 5-years-old, a kindergarten person. Sitting on Jack's lap is Cannon King, he is 4-years-old, in Pre-K in sunshine.

HANNA: Jungle Jack, right?

KING: Jungle Jack.

HANNA: I like you guys shirts.

KING: Say hello to Jungle Jack, Cannon. CANNON KING, LARRY KING'S SON: Hi.

HANNA: I love your shirts.

KING: What is this?

HANNA: This is a cerval. Isn't that something? It's an endangered cat from Africa. We see this in East Africa, Tanzania. We just saw one this last -- about six months ago filming over there. Melissa's raised this animal. It's one of the few cats that can catch a bird in free flight. Isn't that amazing? They're that fast. The Egyptians domesticated this cat at one point. You'll see on the hieroglpyhics, the animals on the walls of the tombs. Look at the coat of the animal. Isn't that gorgeous?

KING: You can touch it.

HANNA: It's beautiful.

Can he speak? Let's see him speak.

KING: He's going to speak.

HANNA: This is from Animal Ambassadors?


HANNA: Right outside of L.A. Speak.

KING: Hello. OK. A mamarmaset.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is head and shoulders.

HANNA: It's what now?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Head and shoulders. There we go.

HANNA: There's two of these things?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are two of them, yes. They're common mamrasets.

HANNA: That's just great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They come from the rain forest in Brazil.

HANNA: What's he doing in my hair?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably what they're doing so they don't get lost. They're peeing on your hair. No, they're not doing that right now. That is what they do in the wild. These are common marmasets. Pygmies are smaller than these guys.

HANNA: In Brazil I know that, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Brazil, yes. HANNA: Are they threatened?


HANNA: It's going to be real threatened here in a second.

KING: Cannon, you want one on your head?


HANNA: I don't blame you, Cannon. Isn't that amazing? We haven't had these, Larry. Aren't they unique creatures? It's amazing what God created on earth, isn't it, these different animals.

KING: Look at all the different animals. I wonder how many there are.

HANNA: Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're welcome. Come on, boys.

KING: Oh, here they come.

HANNA: Takes care of my hair

KING: The macaws.

HANNA: These are macaw parrots, boys. Aren't they something else? This is from zoo to you. Also, Busch Gardens does a tremendous job of raising them. The first macaw parrot was when I was 18 in Busch Gardens in Tampa. They live to be over 100 years old. Now, people ask me about the macaw parrot, are they intelligent. Some of these birds can speak three languages, over 300 words. This animal you have to be careful of if you want it as a pet. That beak is very powerful. And it takes a great deal of work to have the birds, plus parrots are the second largest smuggling we have behind drugs. They smuggle them in. You don't want to buy a bird unless you know it's from a domestic breeder because they wrap their wings up.

KING: How valuable are they?

HANNA: They can sell from $500 to $1,500. The highest is $15,000.

KING: Do you like parrots?

CHANCE KING, LARRY KING'S SON: What's the name of the green one?

KING: What is his name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His name is Captain.

HANNA: Who is this one?


HANNA: What's this one?


KING: Do you like them, Cannon?

HANNA: So now we have to get a snake for Christmas and I'll have to find you something else.

CHANCE: No, I don't want a snake.


KING: You don't want a snake for Christmas?

CANNON: But I want a snake.

HANNA: You do? OK, then. What would you like?

CHANCE: Let me think.

KING: Let me think. Hm.

CHANCE: Aliens.

HANNA: Oh, my gosh. Haven't got one of those today. Thank you so much.

KING: You know what we got coming now, baby goats.

HANNA: This is, Larry, people know this is my first animal I ever had. Look at this here. You've got to pet these. You might want to hold him there.

KING: You can pet the goat.

HANNA: They're nice. This is what I raise. These are my first animals I raised were baby goats. Isn't that amazing and beautiful? Goats are animals that we have in a lot of children's zoos around the country. A lot of young kids can get used to animals and that type of thing. Goats provide -- if you think about the countries in Africa, Larry, Asia, these are animals that are very important to those countries. They provide food, milk, clothing. A goat is a very vital, important animal.

KING: I like them. Always liked them.

HANNA: Kids can play with these at Oak Tree Village.

KING: I have a feel for goats.

HANNA: I love goats, Larry. It was my first animal I ever had when I was 12 at a farm in Tennessee.

CHANCE: What's his name?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's a lamancha. HANNA: And this is an African pygmy goat.

You guys like the goats? You like the snake or the goats better?

KING: What do you like better, snake or goats?

HANNA: He doesn't know.

CANNON: I like snakes.

HANNA: He still likes snakes

KING: What do you like better?

CHANCE: Goats. Actually, snakes.

KING: What do you like better, Cannon?

CANNON: I like tigers.

KING: We don't have a tiger here today. I was going to tell you something about Sea World and Shamu. You know the whale, Shamu? You know they're not smart and jealous, not crazy? I go to Sea World with the boys and the wife. And my nanny. Kaya wasn't there. You weren't there that day. We're at Sea World. Listen to this. They take pictures of me for publicity. Shamu sees this. He's walking around, swimming around the water and he sees they're taking pictures of me and they're not taking pictures of him. And he's ticked. And now they sit me down in the VIP section to have lunch and I'm sitting and Shamu goes around the pool, spots me, comes right by and whacks the water and drowns me. Shamu got me cold, dead, knocked me over. Nothing else was wet. I was wet inside my skin. And he went around looking back at me like, you don't take pictures when I'm around.

HANNA: They know.

KING: That Shamu, I got it in for him.

HANNA: I love Shamu. Speaking of Shamu, who is next here? Penguins?

KING: They're coming next. We're going to break. We'll come back. What did you want to ask me?

CHANCE: If whales can eat sharks.

HANNA: Whales eat sharks? Probably sometimes if the shark makes them mad, yes, some whales. Maybe a killer whale. You never know.

KING: We'll be right back in our remaining moments with Jack Hanna and the two boys. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. And Chance wants to show the world that he just wrote his name. Right, Chance? Wrote it out fully. Chance. Now Cannon will write his name.

HANNA: Write your name.

KING: Cannon, did you tell Jack about the iguana in your backyard?

HANNA: You have an iguana in your backyard?

CANNON: Yes, but the iguana, it runned away now.

KING: It runned away.

CANNON: It runs really fast.

HANNA: I know he runs fast.

KING: OK, let's bring it on, boys, the penguin. We've waited for him all night, the penguin. The penguin.

HANNA: Now, these are penguins from Sea World. And Sea World does probably the greatest job of anybody in the world, Larry, raising penguins. It's not easy to do. They have the penguin encounter. Isn't that amazing?

KING: Look at what they're eating.

HANNA: Larry...

CHANCE KING: Do you can't to feed them, Cannon?

HANNA: Here. Here come here.

CHANCE KING: ... feed them Cannon.

HANNA: Here you want to feed them? You want to feed them a fish?


KING: Feed him a fish, Cannon. Hand him a fish.

CHANCE KING: You do it, daddy.

HANNA: That's good, you do it, daddy.

KING: Why don't you do it.

CANNON KING: I want to do it

KING: All right, give Cannon a fish.

HANNA: Here you want fish, here you go.

KING: Go ahead, give it to the penguin.

CANNON KING: Uh-oh. HANNA: But again, Larry, it's very difficult. Sea World has done more research with penguins than anywhere else in the entire world. These are -- what people don't know is that there are warm weather penguins and they're also the penguins that live in Antarctic. Only five species live in the cold weather. h

What is this one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This the magellanic penguin.



HANNA: The magellanic penguin.

How many eggs do they lay?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two eggs, generally.

HANNA: And it lives where?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In South America off the coast of Chile, and Argentina and out to the Falkland Islands as well.

KING: Tuxedos were based on penguins?

HANNA: Probably, yes. The other thing, Larry, is the penguin black and white for camouflage. You'd think about what's black and white, killer whale, the penguin, the zebra. Camouflage is very, very important for the penguin. But Larry, you talk about Shamu. Killer whales eat penguins in certain parts of the world. So, that's important. The penguin is an animal, Larry, that lives in the Antarctic, very cold, like the Emperor, and I think the King penguin live down there.

On no, it's just the dead fish juice, no problem.

KING: It's the dead fish juice.

HANNA: Look at this, isn't this amazing? So, if you go so Sea World next time -- have you been to Sea World San Diego, right, you went down there to see Shamu?

KING: Do they eat ice?

HANNA: They live on ice, some of them do. Not this one. This one here. Have I covered everything about the penguin?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, these are the warm weather penguins.

KING: What are you writing a report on us?

HANNA: That's right, warm weather penguins.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So these are found further north. The colder penguins you'd find around Antarctic.

HANNA: And there's no penguins in the North Pole. Everybody thinks there's penguins up there.

KING: No penguins at the North Pole.

HANNA: No, South Pole.

Thank you so much for bringing those from Sea World. We really appreciate that.

KING: OK, thank you guys.

CANNON KING: Daddy, it just went like this.

HANNA: He pooped over there, look at that, boys. See we have to clean that up.

KING: Look at that.


HANNA: See there look at this. Already done. Here you want a fish?

You want to fish?


HANNA: OK. OK. No fishing.

KING: OK, give me your name.

HANNA: Oh, that is nice. Look at that.

CHANCE KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Oh a frog. That slimy frog.

KING: All right what is this now?

Chance, tell us what this is.

CHANCE KING: A slimy frog.

KING: A slimy frog

HANNA: What kind of frog is this? What kind of frog is this?

The pixie frog. Where is this from? Africa. Look at that -- look at that frog. Isn't that amazing. Now, you know the frog -- boys, you know the difference between a frog and a toad? The toad usually lives on land, OK.

CANNON KING: I want to touch it.

HANNA: The frog likes to live.

CANNON KING: I want to touch it.

HANNA: No. No. Be careful, I don't want it to bite you. Some frogs bite. Isn't that a beautiful frog? Now, likes to turn around this way., turn around that way. See how he blows himself up with air. That's his means of defense.

KING: You can touch him now, Cannon.

HANNA: Go ahead and touch him. Then you wash your hands when you're done. Isn't that neat? Now frogs, what we've got to look at is, right now, we've lost 40 percent of all amphibians on earth since I was a little boy, are gone. Whether it's pollution, we know what a lot of it is caused from, but we cannot lose anymore amphibians. It's very important.

CANNON KING: I want to write on top of Chance's.

HANNA: OK, write on top of Chance's, I don't blame you. That's a pixie frog.

KING: Now we have a tortoise. Look at this.

HANNA: Oh, look at this now, boys. Look at this.

KING: Look at this. Cannon, look at this.

HANNA: Look at this.

CANNON KING: A giant turtle. I can't believe it.

HANNA: Now, that's a big turtle.

KING: Did you hear when he just said? A giant turtle. I can't believe it.

An African spurred tortoise, Larry. Look at this. You see here, that's why they're called spurred. See they've got spurs here.

KING: Look at this.

HANNA: Now, he lives inside of his shell. You see there, you can touch him. Isn't that amazing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm touching the shell. I'm touching the shell.

HANNA: That's it's home everybody. This tortoise can live to be over 100-years-old. It's like Galapagos -- largest tortoises in the world. Look at that. Oh yes, bring this. What's this.

Look at that, that's the baby one. Look at that. Look at this.


HANNA: Isn't that amazing? This animal here is probably about a year old and this animal here is -- two. This is about 30 or 40-years-old here. Isn't that amazing?

KING: Wow.

CANNON KING: Uh-oh! He's going to crawl off the table.

HANNA: Remember it's a tortoises, they live on land, all right. Not like a turtle that lives in the water. This lives on land

KING: Cannon, look, he's coming toward you.

HANNA: Everyone at home, make sure you understand, you don't want to get a turtle as a pet unless you know how to take care of it and also be careful of salmonella. These animals all have to be checked. And these guys will wash their hands.

CANNON KING: Oh, no, not again.

HANNA: What's wrong? He's not going to hurt you.

KING: We'll wash your hands when were done.

HANNA: Yes, we'll wash your hands when we're done. Look at the size of these different tortoises, isn't that something else. It's a little one and a big one.

KING: Is this the biggest you've ever seen?

HANNA: No. Who wants to bottle feed the big? You can leave the tortoises out here. Here you want to bottle feed a pig.

CANNON KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) suck. It's a giant pig.

KING: OK, Cannon.

HANNA: Come here. Come here. Oh, look at that.

KING: Cannon's feeding the pig.

HANNA: Oh, good. Have you ever fed a pig?

CHANCE KING: Cannon had a pig at his birthday.

HANNA: What?

CHANCE KING: He had a pig at the birthday? Where'd you pick up that from? Did he have a pig, Larry, at his birthday?

KING: OK, having what?

CHANCE KING: A pig at his birthday. A pig at his birthday.

KING: Put the pig where?

CHANCE KING: A pig at his birthday.

HANNA: It's bent. Here. Come here. I want you to feed the pig. Look at this. There we go. Feed the pig. There with he go.

CHANCE KING: Write my name again, Chance King. My name again, Chance.

KING: OK, we know that.

HANNA: You guys are so good. Anyway, pigs, Larry, are an animal too that obviously people misunderstand. A pig is very intelligent. People don't realize how smart pigs are. Pigs are smart, aren't they.

Here, write pig, see here, p-i-g. That's what this is a pig. OK.

KING: I like the pig.

HANNA: You like the pig?

This it's from animal ambassadors. There we go.

CANNON KING: Do they like corn.

HANNA: They like corn and milk. Isn't that something? He is so hungry

KING: You like corn too.

HANNA: The koala. I got to show you one more time the koala.

KING: OK, lets bring him back for the big finale. Boys, here he comes. We loved him at the start, we got him back. Here he comes. The return of the koala.

HANNA: This is a real treat, Larry. It really is. I hope everybody home...

KING: Never on television before with Uncle Jack, "Jungle" Jack.

HANNA: Larry, this really, out of all my 200 and something shows, going to San Diego Zoological Park and seeing the koala, as well as going in the wild and seeing it, plus the Australian Koala Foundation helping like they have to preserve the koala is really special. If you think about California and you think about Sea World and San Diego Zoological Park, what two greatest places in the entire country. L.A. Zoo, you have everything here in California. I just want to thank you. Because I know the work that these people went through to get this koala here. And it was a great deal of work, to see an animal. It's not a bear by the way. It's A Koala, a marsupial. But, you know, you can see, Larry, why it was hunted. Feel -- Larry, this coat is almost like a chinchilla. That's why this animal was killed by the tens of thousands.

KING: Touch this. Touch this, Cannon. Touch the koala. HANNA: Now, I want just want to thank the Australian Koala Foundation again for letting us have this from the San Diego Zoo, because all you people who want to go to the Web site and insure help by preserving the koala by sending something in and adopting a koala.

KING: The Web site,


KING: Jack, it's always great. Thank you so much. Thank you, Cannon. Thank you for coming. Thank you. Thank you for coming on the show.

Thank you, chance. OK, is that it? OK.

HANNA: I'll pay you guys, later.

KING: Say good night. Say good night.

CHANCE KING: I want to write my name.

KING: Say good night.

CANNON KING: Good bye.

KING: Say good night.

CHANCE KING: Good night.

KING: Good night. Thanks, Jack. Good night, koala.


KING: That's it for tonight's addition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay tuned for more news around the clock on CNN. The most trusted name in news.

Say good night.

CHANCE KING: Good night.

KING: Say good night.

CANNON KING: Good night.

KING: Good night.


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