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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Steve Irwin Remembered
Aired April 4, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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TERRI IRWIN, STEVE IRWIN'S WIDOW: Tonight, my husband Steve Irwin was a warrior, a wildlife warrior, fighting to preserve around protect the magnificent creatures with whom we share the earth.
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STEVE IRWIN, DECEASED TV PERSONALITY: A well known species that spits and she's got - hey!
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T. IRWIN: Steve may be gone but the battle goes on to save not just the animals and their habitats but our planet itself. Now for the latest from the front lines of his struggle, join me, Terri Irwin, my daughter Bindi, and renowned wildlife experts like Jack Hanna, Jim Fowler of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" and more, next on a very special edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
For 14 years I worked with my husband Steve and observed the decline every year in wild animal habitat. Along with an increase in the number of animals on the endangered lists. For Steve, animal preservation was more than just second nature. Watch and listen to what he told Larry when he appeared with him right here on this set in November 2004.
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S. IRWIN: My battle is conservation. OK. So I'm a wildlife warrior and anyone can be one. But I have a gift. God put me on this planet with a mission. I've got the ability to be attractive to wildlife and vice versa. And then on top of that I've got a gift that I didn't know I had of communicating to cameras, which is in essence looking to millions of people and combine those two and there you see my mission is to educate people about conservation.
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T. IRWIN: Thanks to Steve's work, friends and concerned conservationists have rallied to bring attention to a problem which is growing at an alarming rate. One of them is a man who is respected around the world. He's Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and he joins me from London.
With me here in Los Angeles is Peter Gros, co-host of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom." He is also an active animal conservationist and works as a guest lecturer. I just wanted to ask you first up who you've got with you.
PETER GROS, "MUTUAL OF OMAHA'S WILD KINGDOM": This is a perfect ambassador, I think, for the species we'll be discussing. This is the beautiful emerald tree boa as I'm sure you know. They're an amazing snake. This is one of the animals we use when we talk to young people to sort of make the connection with the natural world.
T. IRWIN: He's a beauty. Just gorgeous.
Jack, I wanted to ask you, now, you've traveled all over the world filming wildlife documentaries. How did you first start out getting so impassioned about helping wildlife?
JACK HANNA, COLUMBUS ZOO: I was raised in a farm in Tennessee, as a matter of fact, went to work for Jim Fowler in 1973 in his beautiful place there in Albany, Georgia. Everyone says how can we help? That's the first question, Terri and I'm sure Steve, everyone has. What can we do? We're just a person who lives in an apartment in New York City.
Just in this country alone, if we took out Sunday newspaper, what is it, we could save about 500,000 I don't know how many trees every Sunday if we just recycled those papers. Every one of us can do something, what we recycle, what we eat, everybody blames whatever party, Democrats or Republicans or even in Australia. We can't blame each other. Each one of us has our own job to do to conserve energy, our resources, whatever it might be.
Unless we do that, Terri, there's going to a big problem. So we teach that at the Columbus Zoo in many ways as well as the American Zoo and Aquarium Association teach it through, my golly, all the tens of millions of dollars we spend every year on education.
T. IRWIN: How are you getting the message out through Columbus Zoo?
HANNA: Basically what we do is last year about $237 million was spent on education and research in zoos throughout this country alone. What I do is try to teach it in a fun and entertaining way, is what I try and do, just like your husband did and just like all the guys on the show here, ladies and everybody else. We try and teach in a fun way.
Unless you bring someone to the Columbus Zoo or Sea World or wherever it might be, the Australia zoo, your zoo, if people don't come there and have fun, they're not going to go there. Once they come there and have fun, then they left there being educated.
T. IRWIN: Now you're reaching millions of people through your zoo and yet tens of millions of people through your television programming and you started back in 1993. How did you get your start?
HANNA: I guess no one else wanted to do it. No, I just got a start by talking to anybody. Whether it was two people or 2,000. I didn't care, I still do that. Little civic shows here and there and speeches like all the people with me tonight started. And one thing, "Good Morning America" and all that stuff led to another. And "Animal Adventures" and "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild."
So it's just one thing after another and I just continue to love what I do and I think all these folks tonight agree, we just love what we do and we have to reach people very quickly as your husband said.
He always said, I remember he said we have to reach them very, very quickly. We're losing so many species of plants and animals each day now that we can't afford to waste another hour. That's what we all try and do.
T. IRWIN: Good on you, Jack.
We'll give Jack and Peter and the snake a break. And when we come back, a man who was bringing wild animals into your living room long before Animal Planet. Jim Fowler joins us, so stick around.
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S. IRWIN: Rescuing wildlife for the purposes of conservation, that's what I'm about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wherever we travel making documentaries, on all the roads we traversed, Steve would constantly stop to remove anything that wandered on to the road, lizards, snakes. Any wildlife at all he would stop and save it. Even, any injustices he would say along the way, animals tied up or trying to make money from some cruel exploitation. He would stop and try to explain to them that this was wrong to the animal.
S. IRWIN: They're an individual animal. They have feelings. They have pain. I feel so sorry for them.
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S. IRWIN: My advice to anyone who wants to work with animals is it's a huge big world out there. They need our help. Please go forward, take the step regardless of what it is or where it is, take the step to work with wildlife. Work with animals, whether it be cats, dogs or rabbits. Go for it. Go for your life.
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T. IRWIN: A man Steve and I met in New York City in 1995 gave us advice and he has probably spent more time traveling the world's wildlife hot spots than any of us. Here's another "Mutual of Omaha" veteran, Jim Fowler, and he joins us from Stamford, Connecticut. Jim, I tell you, you are the man, the legend, someone I've certainly admired for many years. And it would mean a lot if you could tell me how you've seen the progression of wildlife over the years that you've worked in the industry.
JIM FOWLER, "MUTUAL OF OMAHA'S WILD KINGDOM": Yeah, I would first like to say how great it is to be able to be part of this salute to your husband, Steve Irwin.
T. IRWIN: Thank you very much.
FOWLER: He was a great communicator. I think that's what it's all about. No, I -- there's no question they were having some problems with getting people out there to care. I think the challenge of this century is not necessarily to do the research. We've done a lot of the research. I think the challenge from where I sit is to learn how to make people care.
Probably less than five percent of the American public, after all the conservation, the education, zoological parks and conservation groups, probably less than five percent spend more than half an hour a year thinking at the welfare of wildlife. That means something's wrong. Either the messages are not correct or we're not developing the kind of spokespeople that we need.
T. IRWIN: And one of the animals that we certainly need to conserve is a friend we've got right here. Tell us, Peter, about who we're visiting with right now.
GROS: This gorgeous hyacinth macaw, the largest psittacine in the world is a spectacular example of why we need to continue to save the rainforest. I've been very fortunate to join Jim with "Mutual of Omaha" back in 1985.
I remember growing up watch that show. They were the first "Mutual of Omaha" was a company that has stood behind the show for years and years and they've continued to affect public attitude and people's opinion about what they can do in terms of conservation. So I just feel very fortunate that we're able to continue to do that.
T. IRWIN: Ecotourism, tell me how ecotourism is helping or affecting animals like this hyacinth macaw. I can't say your name but you're drinking all my water.
GROS: I think ecotourism in most cases do a wonderful job. We used to take children to the rainforest, as a group, international expeditions, it still takes children. They spend a couple of weeks there, seeing how people live along the rivers in the Amazon Basin, seeing that the small plots of land where farmers live on locally, the rainforest comes back in and takes over and is a bit resilient.
There are certainly serious problems about lumbering and others issues. But the more that we immerse people into the natural world and let them see how magnificent it really is, the more they're going to do something about saving it. The bottom line also is as ecotourists go and visit places like Hudson Bay and Alaska and the rainforest in Africa, the money then trickles down and creates a sustainable economic base for local people who need it so badly in many cases.
T. IRWIN: Excellent. Now, Jack, I wanted to ask you growing up in Tennessee, what about the issues of hunting? We've got trophy hunting around the world and hunting is still a way of life in the United States. What effects are you seeing there?
HANNA: Well, Terri, a lot of good conservationists are hunters, believe it or not. The amounts of money that these folks put into it. I live in Montana. Obviously there's bad in everything. As far as hunting is concerned in this country, I don't see that as a major problem. I think most of that is controlled from the standpoint of controlling certain types of wildlife. You have to have hunting. I don't hunt myself. But you have to have it in certain parts of the world.
I know there are certain parts of Africa, certain parts of -- poaching going on in different countries of the world that they can't control it, which is obviously terrible. I think in Zimbabwe, they had it under control, my understanding the last couple of years it's gotten out of control again.
It seems like countries throughout the world goes through a cycle. And I think it boils down to, myself, my personal opinion is leadership, non-corrupt government. Once you get a corrupt government you have tremendous problems. These countries controlling wildlife. Rwanda, for example, has a tremendous president right now, incredible guy who has now seen the increase of the mountain gorillas go up 17 percent now last year.
I think if a government is not corrupt, if you can have it not corrupt, then you're going to have it sustain down into the wildlife.
T. IRWIN: Now Jim, for you, you've seen a lot of changes over the years. And you've talked to me about the evolution of how we treat wildlife. I'm wondering about issues like the Rattlesnake Roundup. Now, that's taking hunting to the nth degree. Do you see any progress with issues like the Rattlesnake Roundup?
FOWLER: Well, I do. I think all we humans are evolving to be more aware of what we're doing. And when you start getting to a point where resources are not as plentiful as it used to be you've got to put the brakes on. We humans have a very strong instinct to exploit and I think that's what the Rattlesnake Roundup was all about.
Also, I have a bigger problem. That is we're creating a lot of fear of animals through the media. A lot of our dialogue today is not necessarily to save animals from people but it's to save people from animals. A lot of the regulatory agencies are going that route. They're law enforcement oriented.
So the rattlesnakes always had a bad reputation. Frankly, I've lived in the State of Georgia where we have about five kinds of rattlesnakes, or poisonous snakes, I'll say that. And I've only once or twice had a close call. I've spent a lot of time in the bush.
No, it's time to start looking very carefully what we're doing. We are already regulating hunting and over-hunting and - but I think things like the Rattlesnake Roundup, we've got to be careful that whatever the outcome is it should make us respect animals and not disrespect.
T. IRWIN: Coming up, the actress who gave up acting opposite the birds in flavor of life with the big cats. Tippi Hedren joins all of us along with a special four-legged guest when we come back.
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S. IRWIN: (inaudible) Here's the one. Here's the snake. This snake claims more victims than any other venomous species in the entirety of Sri Lanka.
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S. IRWIN: Really unfortunate for the cheetah. They've been shot at, poisoned. They've had a real hard time. Habitat destruction. Now is time to pull our socks up and back for (ph) conservation for these things. They're endangered throughout the majority of their range, and in fact in a lot of the areas they've been extirpated, which is a local extinction. Very unfortunate for one of the most magnificent cat species in the world.
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T. IRWIN: I had Cougar Country in Oregon, rehabbing cougars in wildlife for the pet and film trade. Another woman who has dedicated her life to wildlife conservation is Tippi Hedren. Her big cat refuge, Shambala, is known nationwide as is her ROAR Foundation. Welcome, Tippi.
TIPPI HEDREN, ACTRESS, ROAR FOUNDATION: Thank you, Terri. It's wonderful to be here. And I must say that your husband is a great loss to all of us.
T. IRWIN: Thank you. Thank you very much.
HEDREN: An amazing man for the awareness that he brought to the animal community.
T. IRWIN: Thank you. I'm certainly miss him. Now you've got a beautiful friend here today. Can you tell us who's visiting?
HEDREN: Well, this is very, very rare. It's a king cheetah, which the audience should be very pleased to see because this is a very rare animal. The cheetah is very, very highly endangered for many reasons, because it's difficult to breed this animal and the bloodlines are very -- they're just aren't enough to keep the breed propagating.
T. IRWIN: Now, I notice with the king cheetah it looks a little bit different. Can you describe the differences between regular cheetah and king cheetahs?
HEDREN: I believe they're larger. And you see a great deal of black. It's almost like he has stripes down the center of his back.
T. IRWIN: Just gorgeous.
HEDREN: And it's very full. The fur is very, very full.
T. IRWIN: Now, as a New York ...
HEDREN: And the markings are just different.
T. IRWIN: He is. He's just unique. And I know you were fashion model in New York. How is the fashion trade going in consideration of cat fur, particularly spotted cats? Are we making any progress?
HEDREN: Well, you know, it sort of goes off and on. I mean, sometimes the designers will say, no, we're not going to have any fur. Then all of a sudden they say, let's have the fur again. And it's -- it's unconscionable to think of killing these animals for, you know, for what?
I mean, they're making such wonderful fabrics now that are very, very warm and they're also doing faux fur which looks just as good and you're not murdering an animal.
T. IRWIN: And what do you say to a fashion designer who says I just can't be competitive in the market if I'm not using real fur and my competitor is?
HEDREN: Well, then he's probably a very insecure person and ought to maybe get out of the business.
T. IRWIN: OK. Fair enough. Now, Peter, I notice that there's a lot of feel-good movies about different animals, from "Free Willie" to "March of the Penguins." What is your feeling about bringing animal information to television?
GROS: Well, I think there are a lot of feel-good movies, as you say, out there. And it's important, I think we talk to a young audience and capture their attention. And be careful, we've done such a good job over the years telling them about the groom and doom, we're poisoning the air, we're poisoning the earth, we're polluting the rivers, polluting the beach. And as you grow up now you're inundated with the news of negativity as it relates to wildlife.
As I travel around the United States talking to groups I tend to ask sometimes for a show of hands. An awful lot of people think that it's just too late. So I feel obligated as a spokesperson for the natural world to point out as many good things as I can about wildlife.
T. IRWIN: Tell me, Tippi, on that positive note, the wonderful things you're doing at Shambala.
HEDREN: Well, we rescue big cat or exotic cats. We have everything from lion and tiger down to the jungle cat and the serval, which there are so many because it's the popular pet right now. And they're not good pets. They're little escape artists and they have the capability of hurting children.
We have a serval who bit a little girl on the neck. You know. But these are all animals born in the United States to be sold as pets.
T. IRWIN: And you're working to change legislation how?
HEDREN: Yes. By a very simple bill. Just says stop the breeding to be sold as pets. They're not pets. They are -- there is nothing good about having a lion or a tiger in a captive situation like that.
I mean, there just is nothing good about it. There is nothing that we can give a wild animal in captivity that they need, except maybe medical care.
T. IRWIN: Thank you, Tippi. We'll give our king cheetah a break for now.
But Tippi, Peter, Jack and Jim will be back with me and coming up, another movie star turned activist whose love of the environment also helps animal preservation.
BINDI IRWIN, STEVE IRWIN'S DAUGHTER: This is Archie and I'm going to bring him on the show to meet my mom.
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S. IRWIN: So I'm going to do the catching the hard way. And I tell you what, mate, this is a load of fun. You locate your turtle, line him up and then dive.
Got him. And it's a loggerhead. One of the two species that nest around here. Now, this is an endangered species, endangered worldwide, facing extinction.
This is a full-grown adult loggerhead. Have a go at the head on him. Unlike the other species that in here, these will actually bite your hand off, given half the chance. Have a go at the size of his head. Big as a football.
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T. IRWIN: Movie act stress Daryl Hannah is more than a star. She's a passionate environmentalist. And that works hand in glove with saving wildlife. She joins us now from Toronto where she's shooting her newest film. Hi, Daryl, how are you doing?
DARYL HANNAH, ACTRESS: Hello. Great, thank you.
T. IRWIN: Excellent. I would love to hear about what you're doing in the Rocky Mountains because you are living what so many people preach. Tell me about your home.
HANNAH: Well, basically what I'm trying to do is just live with as light a footprint as possible. My house was built all with green materials, all recycled, used, nontoxic, biodegradable materials. My house is also very small but it's also self-sufficient. I create my own energy source from the sun. I have solar power.
I'm fortunate enough that I have water there, so I have a spring that provides my water. And, you know, I don't -- haven't used petroleum as a fuel source for a long time. I've running my car on sustainable produced and harvested biodiesel. And there's a difference between sustainable and non sustainable biofuels which is something on working to differentiate for consumers. And all those kinds of things.
T. IRWIN: That's amazing and fantastic, Daryl. I would love to introduce you to somebody you won't find in your garden in the Rocky Mountains. This is rhinoceros iguana here with Peter.
T. IRWIN: Our rhinoceros iguana is absolutely gorgeous. He is having some banana right now.
Peter, tell us about him.
GROS: Hi, Daryl, how are you?
HANNAH: Hi. I am great. Rhinoceros iguana?
GROS: Nice to talk to you. Yes it is. He's visiting from Haiti where they're having a tremendous habitat loss, as I'm sure you know.
And he's been hand raised. He's sort of standing up, showing off for us a little bit here. But they're an amazing set of -- amazing climbers. He doesn't have any appetite. Maybe he just doesn't like that banana. I think he's just more curious to visit here.
T. IRWIN: Daryl, when it comes to reptiles, I wanted to ask your opinion how it's going in the fashion trade. We're seeing a lot of snake skins and crocodile handbags and so forth. How should we counter what's going on with the consumptive use of wildlife in passion?
HANNAH: Well, I think it's really important for people to really understand the connection. People tend to think that we are outside of the natural world, that we don't really -- they don't see the connection. They don't understand what they're eating is the flesh of another creature. They don't understand what they're wearing could be the flesh of a creature that is endangered.
And so I think just helping people to understand that every choice has a consequence. And that's really why we're in the mess that we're in, we're consuming, consuming, consuming without realizing there is no place to throw away stuff. There is no away. When you flush something down the toilet or when you're wearing a purse that may be trendy, you know, all these choices have ramifications. And it's important to start making those connections and taking responsibility for them, for your personal choices.
T. IRWIN: And you grew up in Chicago, on the 47th floor, I understand. So what advice would you have for someone else growing up in a big city, living in Manhattan, what contribution can people make who may not be able to use solar power readily?
HANNAH: Well, interestingly enough, living in cities is one of the greenest things that people can do because building shares a heat source. People in cities tend to use public transportation more often. So already that's a great start.
But there are also really great things that people can do like there's a guerrilla gardening movement where people are starting to plant gardens on the roofs of buildings in the middle of the night and taking plots on street corners or public areas and putting vegetable gardens and food gardens and things like that.
There's lots of things you can do, even just to curb own energy use, which will of course cut down on greenhouse gases and help preserve habitats for creatures like that: rhinoceros, iguana that's there. It's like changing your light bulbs out. I know you've heard that one before. It's a compact fluorescent, making sure you use non- toxic cleaners in your home. It'll be healthy for you, end up saving you money, and it ends up being like a better for everyone, a win, win, win, win situation.
T. IRWIN: I love the term "guerrilla gardening." And on that note as well, I know you've been a vegetarian since you were 11. And I'm really impressed as a parent. And there are kids who are interesting in being a vegetarian. How do you that and stay healthy, get all the nutritional needs fulfilled and still be vegetarian?
HANNAH: It was definitely complicated for my parents because they didn't really understand how to balance nutrition for a vegetarian, but nowadays there's a lot more information about that available. And so, you know I grew up not eating such a healthy diet. And I do eat a healthy diet now and it's really not that difficult. There are so many more things available now than they were when I was growing up, but it was definitely a challenge at first.
T. IRWIN: Excellent, thank you so much, Daryl.
HANNAH: And I've never seen a rhinoceros iguana.
T. IRWIN: Well, you'll have to come to Australia Zoo. We can give you one to hug and kiss. Keep up the good work.
Up next, an ocean of information about undersea wildlife in danger of extinction and what needs to be done to save them. Don't go away. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
S. IRWIN, CROCODILE HUNTER: This is the most tranquil, all right. Get a hold of one of these and watch him go. I didn't even see him coming in but they've come over to me for a bit of a look. And they're thinking what the heck is this flapping around. They are so inquisitive. Unbelievable, have a go at this, just bobbing around out here in Antarctica, in the Pacific Ocean, whales just coming up looking at me, looking at the boat. Wahoo!
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He also had a special love for whales. They were in his heart. He was so concerned for them. I remember some years ago, it was on his birthday on a beach in Tasmania. There were 30 or 40 whales that had beached themselves and they were all dying. It was a homeless situation where nothing could be done for them. It was impossible to get them back into the ocean. So he and Terri just walked amongst them and tried to give them as much support as they could.
S. IRWIN: It seems all we can do now is comfort them in the most dismal part of their entire lives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was an incredibly sad moment. I think that more than ever instilled in him a burning desire to save all whales. Beached whiles were one thing but harpooning them and killing them for research and hamburgers just appalled him.
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T. IRWIN: Animal conservation isn't just a big deal on land; it's also needed in the waterways of the world. Joining me from San Diego to talk about that, Julia Scardina. That's where she serves as the ambassador for Sea World.
Julia, how are doing today?
JULIA SCARDINA, AMBASSADOR FOR SEA WORLD: I'm wonderful, Terri.
T. IRWIN: Excellent.
SCARDINA: It's great to be a part of this wonderful discussion about conservation.
T. IRWIN: Now, you are the one woman I want to ask, what do we do to help save whales? How are we going to change global opinion on whaling?
SCARDINA: Well, you know, the whale issue is also part of a bigger issue as far as oceans in general, I think. Probably 30, 40 years ago, just that short of a period of time, we felt that we couldn't affect the oceans negatively. And they cover, you know, over 70 percent of the surface of the Earth. How could we probably over- fish or kill that many whales or, you know, pollute the oceans? And in reality, of course, now today we found out we are dramatically affecting them in a negative way.
So, you know, as far as whales are concerned, they're certainly a very large part of the ecosystem and everything has to fit in. And realizing that populations of whales have been effected historically through whaling is a small part of that bigger problem. And I think by people being aware of the fact that whale populations can rebound like the gray whale right off the coast here of California, which was hunted twice almost into extinction. But when protections came in, and you guys have talked about that throughout the show, there are a lot of successes when we pay attention. And when we start paying attention and we really focus on a problem, protect the habitat, protect the animal, it can make a huge difference.
And I think that's what the Sea World and Busch Gardens parks are really all about, is the education. You know we get over 20 million people going through our parks. And they get a chance to see a killer whale up close and learn that it's not this horrible, you know, beast that is going to, you know, eat everybody or it's also not a cuddly thing. You know we also talk about when people love something they want to have it, they want to own it. Part of the message is when you love something, find out more about it, go find out what you can do to help that animal in its habitat.
T. IRWIN: And Julie, another success story would have to be the alligator. Peter's got an alligator right here, Little Chucky. Let's have a look. Tell us about Chucky, Peter.
GROS: Little Chucky is great. He looks like about a 1 1/2 year old. And back in 1985, before we understood the importance of preserving wetlands and marsh areas, knowing that it was the greatest filter, these were hunted and trapped and fished and everything was done to them, not very well at all, I might add.
Since then they passed the Endangered Species Act, they've been protected. We save more mashes and wetlands. And the good news is back in 19 85 they came off the Endangered Species List so as long as we continue to preserve habitat where they live.
This is an animal that's been around since the time of the dinosaur. They will continue to be here for us.
T. IRWIN: That's...
HEDREN: He's doing a little bit of a hissing sound here.
HEDREN: Is that aggressive?
GROS: That's a little bit of an aggressive sound. So at this point, I'm just going to hand him to you.
HEDREN: Thank you.
GROS: There you go.
T. IRWIN: Tippi will be wrangling from here. It'll be excellent. The show is going to get real interesting now.
HEDREN: Will he be probably 15 feet or something like that?
GROS: With an average food source, as long as he has plenty of food, he'll grow a foot a year.
HEDREN: And that average food source would be?
GROS: And he would eat -- he would gorge himself and then go five or six days or longer without eating and get to be 12 to 15 feet.
T. IRWIN: Now, some people think alligators are a bit scary.
And, Jack, I wanted to ask you, in the film industry, movies like "Jaws" have maybe been real detrimental to wildlife or "King Kong." How do you think the scary movies from affected our views on wildlife?
HANNA: Well, there's no doubt it. It's affected them somewhat especially when these movies come out and you see what happens a lot to the sharks or whatever it might be, whatever animal that might be.
The gorillas, "King Kong," for example, in Rwanda or Uganda, wherever you visit with the mountain guerrillas, once you go up there and sit with that gorilla and that guerrilla family then you understand it is really a gentle giant. These animals aren't going to do anything more to you than you ever would attempt to do to them.
And I think once people see that through the media and see some of these shows about the gorillas. As a matter of fact, your husband is being honored in a gorilla naming contest, which is a very, very high in June. The president of Rwanda is going to let your family name a guerrilla up there in the mountains. There's about 360 left in Rwanda.
So as you see there are not -- these movies I don't think help a lot. Yes, it's fun; I'm sure for people to see these types of movies as long as they take it as fun and not go out there and take retribution against the animals.
T. IRWIN: That's an interesting point.
Jim, with your experience with the sea life, I am wondering about your opinion of things, say, whale strandings. Now, with "Mutual of Omaha," I don't remember you dawning the scuba gear very often. But with whale strandings, why do they strand?
FOWLER: Well, you've asked me the real tough question. I'm not sure anybody really knows that, but there are so many possibilities in our oceans today. You know we've dumped oil in the sea, et cetera. I'm not sure I can answer that question that well. Whales are reflecting just like everything else on this planet. They're reflecting the connection with everything else. Everything on this planet is connected. It's just like one gear that moves everything. So it's a sign. If whales can't make it, you know, and becomes sick and go in and get beached, we need to start looking at that as a sign of what may happen to human beings.
T. IRWIN: Just a reminder that my daughter, Bindi, will stop by a little later along with a very hairy friend.
And coming up in our next segment, we'll talking about one of the biggest threats to some ocean-dwelling species. Would you believe it's a certain kind of soup? Find out which one and what's on the menu as far as saving the species when we come back.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Bindi came along, mate, it made some big changes.
T. IRWIN: I can't believe we grew a girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The day she was born, he realized that it was probably the most important time of his life. But I don't think he realized just what an amazing girl she was going to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Howdy, partner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Bindi is special to everywhere he went.
S. IRWIN: We just crossed the Rio Grand. It's Bindi and Steve- O's first trip to Mexico.
We're going to Queensland.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've never seen him happier except when he was with his kids and with his kids with wildlife.
BINDI IRWIN, CROCODILE HUNTER's DAUGHTER: And action.
S. IRWIN: OK, good day, I'm Steve Irwin and we're here with the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
S. IRWIN: Here is the most cruel environmental crime of all, the brutal, wasteful practice of shark finning. The shark is hold on to the boat, mutilated for a few body parts, its fins and then tossed back overboard. They die a terrible death.
Have a look at this, beautiful, big mate. Check out the teeth, sensational. Huge big eyes and they've cut his fins off. They cut his fins right off, look at that. Dorsal, pectoral fins, even his tail and then just discarded the trunk and the body, thrown back over into the ocean. I feel so sorry for this shark.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
T. IRWIN: Welcome back to "Larry King Live," I'm Terri Irwin.
Julie Scardina is still with us from Sea World in San Diego.
Julie, let's talk about the diminishing shark population.
SCARDINA: Well, you know, that's a huge issue all over the globe, mainly because sharks are very long lived. They have a long time of development and not a very highly-productive rate. So at the rate that we are fishing them out, they certainly cannot replenish themselves fast enough. And shark populations all over the globe have definitely declined dramatically.
T. IRWIN: What are some of the reasons we're fishing them for?
SCARDINA: Well, in some instances it's for food. Obviously, we can still go to restaurants today and find shark on the menu. You mentioned shark fin soup earlier today and that is a huge delicacy, basically, in Asian countries. And that's where you even waste the entire shark. You just take the fins. And the other reason is because a lot of people fear sharks. And when you're out and you're fishing, if a shark comes on board, rather than, you know, trying to release it, a lot of times they're killed. There's a huge buy-catch issue with sharks as well.
So many, many different reasons why sharks are over-fished and very few reasons why they have the capability of coming back in the strong numbers they need to be in.
T. IRWIN: And should we fear sharks?
SCARDINA: You know what sharks are just like any other animal, including us. When they feel threatened, they're going to want to defend themselves. But their role in the environment is -- needs to be out there. The balance is there. Sharks feed on other fish. Sharks also, you know, are the ones that are prey for some other animals as well. And that's all a part of the big balance. So certainly we need to maintain shark populations in every ocean of the world.
T. IRWIN: It's been said by the middle of this century we may actually lose completely deplete the fish in our oceans. What can we do to combat that?
SCARDINA: Well, again, it comes down to education. You know at Sea World one of the new initiatives that we're really focusing even more on now is sustainable seafood. This has been one thing that we can kind of go back to and say, this is potentially a great success story if everybody comes on board.
Years ago, and even just 10 years ago you could go to any restaurant and if you asked where that particular fish came from, whether it was shark or Chilean sea bass, the restaurant would go, "I have no clue. I just bought it from the market, lady, you know, and now I'm selling it to you."
Nowadays, you can go ask. Is this an endangered fish? Is there not very many of them out in the wild? And the chefs and the people who buy fish for that restaurant will usually know. And a lot of restaurants today and what we're starting to do at Sea World is research what are the better places to get our sustainable seafood. There's a huge ocean out there but we still need to manage it properly.
And as Jack mentioned in the beginning, with over 6 billion people in the world, if everybody just took on a little bit of that responsibility to just say, "I'm going to make a little bit of difference" and multiply that by 6 billion, it can really solve a lot of the problems in the world.
T. IRWIN: Now, Jack, you are very much involved with zoos. When you deal with a zoo like Sea World it can be quite controversial because of people's feelings about marine mammals in captivity. What's your opinion of the need of having animals like dolphins and whales in captivity?
HANNA: Well, it's a matter of having them there for education. Someone said it earlier, I can't remember, I think it was Daryl or someone said about loving an animal -- maybe it was Peter. Unless we teach our young people and families to love something, why do you want to save something. And your husband did a great job of that. You have to love -- you love someone in your family, you love your friends. I mean if there was more love, we wouldn't have this problem of the animals around the world.
Plus, obviously, a lot of animal rights people would love to see everything in the wild. About 95, 90 percent of our animals in the zoological parks and aquariums come from other zoological parks and aquariums, not from the wild, number one. Number two, I think it was something like $561 million was spent last year -- I'm sorry, 2005 and six, $561 million was spent on new construction for all sorts of things in zoos, whether it be research centers as far as hospitals -- I'm sorry or as far as education centers or as far as animal habitats.
I know at the Columbus Zoo, we're building a $17 million polar bear habitat and grizzly and a bunch of Northern Hemisphere animals. And out of that, we're going to spend about $800,000 for the polar bear research and with Batell (ph) and all these folks to find out about the warming up there.
So you can see how I feel about it. It's a must. We must have it. As we all know that's on this program today, in order for people to learn. If people aren't educated, we're doomed. They have to be educated as Peters said in order to learn and love something.
T. IRWIN: And Julie, I'm wondering, whale watching, is that ecotourism that's going to continue to work?
SCARDINA: Well, you know, what we've seen with whale watching also is there's been such an interest in it, which is fantastic, that people are wanting to find out more. You know, years ago before we killer whales actually in zoological parks, people were shooting at them, they thought that they were very monstrous animals and not really caring too much. And it's not really been until they were able to educate themselves.
Now they go out into the wild and they want to see them out there. Unfortunately, whale watching is also affecting wild populations. One thing that people don't realize is every time you get near an animal in the wild you are basically potentially changing its behavior. And especially there are some of these where you can go out and feed dolphins or other Marine mammals. And those are particularly horrendous because the moms end up not being able -- or not caring for their offspring the way that they would. And the offspring learn to beg and things like that. So there's a lot of -- there needs to be regulation with that as much as anything else because you certainly can harm animals out in the wild as well.
T. IRWIN: Thanks for coming on, Julie.
Coming up, the guest I know more than any other, my daughter, Bindi Irwin and she's bringing a friend with her. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
B. IRWIN: This side is U.S.A. and this side is Mexico. And the Rio Grand River is the border between the two.
T. IRWIN: So Robert, what animal lives in the Rio Grand?
ROBERT IRWIN, CROCODILE HUNTER'S SON: Turtle.
T. IRWIN: Turtles.
S. IRWIN: And beaver.
R. IRWIN: And beaver.
T. IRWIN: And beava la beava.
R. IRWIN: And snakes.
S. IRWIN: And snakes, good boy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, MUSICIAN: It is an honor to be standing here with this young lady, Bindi Irwin.
TIMBERLAKE: This young lady will change the world. And you know what the best part is, she's one of you. Look at this face; take a good look at this face. She's going to change the world. (END VIDEO CLIP)
T. IRWIN: Welcome back to this special edition of "Larry King Live," I'm Terri Irwin.
It's an indisputable fact the future of the world's wildlife will be in the hands of our kids. They're the ones that will take the action that the current generation has chosen to ignore.
I'd like to think my daughter, Bindi Irwin, is a symbol of hope for the future. She's hosting a new show on Discovery Kids Network starting June 9. It's called "Bindi the Jungle Girl."
Here she comes now and she has another guest with her.
Come on, Bindi, and let's meet your friend. Who's this?
B. IRWIN: This is Archie. I think he's got me.
T. IRWIN: Bindi, I don't want you to try to trick us. You brought your baby brother, Robert, didn't you?
B. IRWIN: Yes.
T. IRWIN: Come here, Robert.
B. IRWIN: He's very wiggly.
T. IRWIN: Come here.
B. IRWIN: You've got to let go, honey, let go.
T. IRWIN: Let go, Bindi. There's the sweet baby. Oh, you are so good, Archie. Archie is just darling.
Bindi, what I'd like you to do -- Archie, we want to see your pretty face. What I'd like you to do is tell me a little bit about why orangutans like Archie don't make good pets.
B. IRWIN: Well, that's a simple question. They grow up really big. People think that they're going to stay this little thing for their whole life. But they do, they grow very, very big and they just don't make very good pets.
And when they grow up, there's a tend to not want them anymore because they get more playful and they need more attention.
T. IRWIN: And they are quite strong, aren't they when they grow up?
B. IRWIN: Oh, yes. They're stronger than humans. They're the most strong -- I think they're one of the most strong animals in the whole entire animal kingdom.
T. IRWIN: Well, that's wonderful. You don't make a good pet, but you're worth saving. You are! You're definitely worth it. In the wild, Bindi, in the last 20 years we've lost 80 percent of the orangutan's habitat, what can we do to help them in the wild?
B. IRWIN: Well, we can help by not cutting down the forest. And if we have to, plant a new tree because we're cutting down all the forests and then they have no place to go. So we're just losing them so fast. And I might lose them by the time I'm able to drive. I could lose these beautiful creatures by the time I can drive and I really don't want to lose them.
T. IRWIN: That's very sobering. We certainly don't want to lose them. They live in Sumatra and Borneo, don't they?
B. IRWIN: Yes, they do.
T. IRWIN: They are beautiful. And Bindi, we'll give you final word, what's the biggest thing anybody can do for wildlife?
B. IRWIN: Please don't buy wildlife products. That's the worst thing that you could do because if we're buying wildlife products, that means that we're not helping to save them. So that's the biggest message of all, don't buy wildlife products.
T. IRWIN: That's excellent. Thanks, Bindi. I'd have to agree with you on that one. Wouldn't you, Archie?
B. IRWIN: Yes.
T. IRWIN: We have to kiss Archie goodnight, OK. He's a good boy.
That's it for this special edition of "Larry King Live." Don't forget to watch Bindi on her new series, "Bindi the Jungle Girl." It premiers on Discovery Kids on Saturday, June 9.
Thanks to all my guests and thanks to you for joining us and for doing your part to help save so many animals from extinction.
And thanks especially to Larry King for letting me sit in his chair for the evening.
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