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Jack Hanna and His Animals

Aired November 25, 2009 - 21:00   ET



LARRY KING, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight -- Jack Hanna is back.

JACK HANNA, DIRECTOR EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: These are poisons on his ears. On his eyes here, that's a neurotoxic poison.

KING: With his menagerie of Gila monsters, monkeys, and natures' finest, freakiest, and friendliest creatures.

Plus, we'll relive one of our finest or fondest animal moments, ever. Kikachus (ph) and camels are coming your way next on "LARRY KING LIVE."


KING: This is -- I'm in the spirit. This is an annual event that I always look forward to. Jack Hanna, the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, the host of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild" on TV. And a group of animals that the kiddies love and the adults are always learning a lot, and we do it around the holiday season.

We start with a camel?


KING: We have never started with a camel.

HANNA: I like your jacket.

KING: I'm hip, huh. Tell us about this camel?

HANNA: This is a dromedary camel, Larry. And the camel is the oldest domesticated animal in the world, they say, the world, which is thousands and thousands of years.

The Jackson's here raised this camel. They use them a lot for Christmas pageants as well as obviously for educational shows.

But the camel, Larry, can survive in deserts several weeks without water. The fat is stored in their hump. Some people think it's water. The sandstorms in the desert gets real bad, the animal has two eyelids so the so the sand can't get inside their eyes.

They have little so that way the sand doesn't blast their eardrums or get inside their ears as well. Remember one thing, for a person to have camels in the Middle East, and by the way, all camels are domesticated. This is one hump for a dromedary camel and two humps for a Bactrian camel.

The camel is used for everything. It's used for transportation. It's used for food. If the camel dies people eat camel meat. That fur is used for coats. The bones in the camel are used for knitting needles and weapons.

Even the dung, the poop, how are you going to cook a steak out in the desert? There is no wood. So you take the dried feces as you go along in your caravan, and you light it and cook your food.

KING: He's three years, and Lawrence of Arabia rode these kind of people.

HANNA: Have you ever ridden a camel?

KING: Yes, I did once in Israel.

HANNA: Did your legs get sore between your legs?

KING: I didn't ride it that long.

OK, thank you camel. What a way to begin, Jack. How's life, by the way? How's things going?

HANNA: Good. Just traveling to Malaysia and Africa. And just got back from Rwanda.

KING: Do you ever think about retiring?

HANNA: No. I try to, but I don't know what I'd do with myself.

KING: Now we have a bush baby.

HANNA: This is a bush baby.

KING: That means it lives in the bush?

HANNA: Larry, this is a bush baby. We filmed the bush baby in Africa. It's nocturnal. You see all these little eyeballs at nighttime out in the trees. They're not really big trees. They're pollinated. They defecate and pollinates is what it does.

The bush baby, it's an amazing defense mechanism, because in the daytime, they sleep. So what do they do? They sleep in a big ball, like 30 or 40 of them all together get in a big ball together like this, looks like a big blob. So therefore, predators like birds of prey -- are you comfortable?

KING: Yes, he's not light. He's fooling with my earpiece.

HANNA: Larry, this is a pre-simian, by the way. Look at the hands on this animal. You can see on Larry's shoulder, little hands. Just like your hands. An incredible shot if you can get the hands of this animal. I love the bush baby.

KING: There he is, wow. They grip, too.

HANNA: Look at those hands. Look at this. Just like your hands. Isn't that amazing? "National Geographic" again.

KING: We have great shots on this show.

And now the world's favorite, I think, the penguin.

HANNA: Yes. This is gray Stafford from the wildlife zoo down in Phoenix, Arizona.

KING: Hey, hey. It's OK, Jack, it's a penguin. What's the story with the penguins, and why do we love them so much?

HANNA: I don't know what is it about a penguin, they're black and white. You've seen "March of the Penguins."

KING: Great movie.

HANNA: Some people don't know this, Larry. Out of 17 species of penguin, only five live in cold water. This black-footed penguin from South Africa his gray nose wouldn't get in cold weather, it wouldn't last several days. But the ones in "March of the Penguins," those can go to 50 below zero.

They are monogamous, they mate for life. And the female lays the egg, and immediately, the male comes and sits on it. The female leaves and goes out to sea. She leaves him there for 40 days, he loses over half his bodyweight, while she goes out and messes around in the ocean and eats fish and everything.

Can you imagine that? She comes back and the poor guy is about dead sitting on the chick.

KING: How did they get that setup?

HANNA: I don't know.

KING: Not fair, protest.

HANNA: When we film these, Larry, it's very difficult under water, because they're black and white and they're like a bullet underwater. So they're very difficult to film.

KING: They're adorable, though.

HANNA: No one has ever eaten a penguin except Shackleton I think it was out in the Antarctica, and his boat was there for the whole winter. They tried to eat penguin, and it didn't work. And that's why the penguins in the Antarctic are never hunted and they're not afraid of you. If I go down to the Antarctic to film them...

KING: They don't eat them because they don't taste good?

HANNA: Exactly.

KING: And one more in this segment, and it's a servo, am I pronouncing that right?

HANNA: Right, servo cat.

KING: I wouldn't let him come near me.

HANNA: This is a servo cat from Mohr Park College here in California. Larry, this is a servo cat from Africa. You don't see these cats very often. This cat was found up in Egypt.

If you ever watched "Discovery" or "National Geographic," you'll see the servo cat drawn on their mummies or the pyramids inside. It was a very regal animal. It's one of the few cats in the world that can jump and catch a bird in free flight. They can jump up in the air six or eight feet and grab a bird flying buy. Isn't it magnificent?

KING: "Magnificent" is the right word.

HANNA: Look at the back of the ears. You see those ears? Those are called eye spots. If this cat is eating something, and let's say a hyena or something was going to come up and take it from it, it would think that the cat is looking backwards.

KING: Nature builds all things into these animals.

HANNA: Exactly. The legs are different lengths. The front and hind legs -- you see the back legs?

KING: It gives spring.

HANNA: Exactly, jump up and catch the birds.

KING: Great.

OK. We're just getting started. A cuckaburrow is next. What is cuckaburrow? We'll find out next.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna's big night here on "LARRY KING LIVE." Our first segment was titled "Africa." This is called "Birds."

This is a cuckaburrow. What exactly is a cuckaburrow?

HANNA: This is the cuckaburrow from Australia. It's the animal that is camouflaged phenomenally when it sits on a tree. You don't ever see it. It eats snakes and frogs and that type of thing. It's got a sound. I don't know if I can get it to do this.

Larry, tell me...

KING: Well, we can't top that. Goodnight.

(LAUGHTER) HANNA: Larry, I'm sorry, this makes my day, it really does. I can't believe he did this perfectly. That's a perfect cuckaburrow call. When you're out back in the outback in Australia at nighttime and you hear that and you don't know what it is, let me tell you something, what is that?

KING: You're not kidding.

HANNA: That's how they call each other. It's called a laughing cuckaburrow.

KING: I've got birds right behind me.

That was good.

HANNA: Just replay it.


TING: these are the biggest and smallest owls, right?

HANNA: Larry, I've never done this before, ever. This shocked me. This is Susan my wife. I thought she was going to bring an animal out.

KING: This is your wife?

HANNA: This is my wife.

KING: I thought you didn't know.

HANNA: I didn't because I didn't know she was going to do this.

This is the largest owl in the world, the largest owl in the world. What Sue has is the smallest owl in the world, the little screech owl. There are many different types of owls throughout the world.

But I'm going to ask you a question -- what animal is found on every continent in the world except for Antarctica?

KING: Don't tell me an owl.

HANNA: A species of owl, exactly.

KING: Can they turn their head all the way around.

HANNA: Well, his head would fall off.

Let me show you something, Larry. People ask, why does he turn his head that way? The eyes are so big. I was going to say if I see pretty girl, you can take your eyes and look without moving your head, right? The owl, he cannot do that. His eyes are so big in his eye socket that he cannot turn his eyes. Isn't that amazing?

Plus their ears are faced like this, like a cup. So this owl -- either one of them -- this is the owl had to hunt, and this one likes the insects, too. This owl, if he's out for a mouse or rat in this room, he can hunt them with echolocation without ever seeing it.

That's why they call it the wise old owl because of its senses. His brain, Larry, is very small. How much do you think an owl weighs?

KING: About 35 pounds.

HANNA: I'm not laughing at you.

KING: Yes, you are. What does it weigh?

HANNA: Only weighs two pounds. It's all feathers and hollow bones. Can you imagine this?

KING: My goodness.

HANNA: Look at this, Larry, it just appears inside.

KING: OK, wise old owl.

The American bird, the bird that salutes this country. You don't see many of them. I was driving in Montana once with Ted Turner and we saw one fly, and he went nuts -- a bald eagle.

HANNA: Every time I see a bald eagle, they're coming back pretty good though because of the Endangered Species Act. They're doing very well now.

This bird's wing has dropped. Melanie from their beautiful farm there, the Jacksons, they rescue bald eagles from not just Alaska but all over this country. But this is a big Alaskan bald eagle. It's larger than our Florida bald eagles and eagles that might live in Ohio.

KING: This is the bird of America?

HANNA: Exactly. The white head appears after four years. A lot of people don't know that. A lot of eagles are shot thinking they may be a buzzard or something but they're an immature bald eagle.

If Melanie were here with no glove on and that were a wild bird, Larry, those talons would go through her skin, through her muscles, and break her bones in a split second. The pressure on the arm is beyond anything you can imagine.

KING: It hurts?


HANNA: Look at that beak there. That beak is used for tearing.

KING: When he does that, what is he doing, is he refreshing herself?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly. She's just getting comfortable on my arm and she's stretching out her wings like we stretch our arms.

KING: I got to get one more.

HANNA: OK, thank you, Melanie.

KING: And now we have a red-crested turacao (ph).

HANNA: Look at the colors on your screen. Look at this head. I think that dates back to Australia, that prehistoric bird.

KING: Our next guest can out jump Kobe Bryant. Now if only it could shoot a basketball -- who knows? Maybe it can. That's in 60 seconds. Stay with us.


KING: We got one on the set with Jack Hanna.

HANNA: Have you ever had one on your set?

KING: I don't think so. And this is a great one.

HANNA: Your red and gray kangaroos, a kangaroo is a marsupial, which means the baby is born like a worm as big as your fingernail. It comes outside the fur into the pouch where it lives up to six months, attaches to the breast there and swallows around a kangaroo's mouth. That's a marsupial, like the koala, the wombat, animals like that.

One thing about the kangaroo, it does have speeds up to 40 miles an hour. They live in groups called a mob. You see how he stands up? When this thing is full grown, Larry, it can stand up higher than you can.

Only a couple guys, one guy two years ago was killed in Australia. How was that? Because kangaroo's are afraid of people, basically. You see the claw, the foot on the camera right there, see that right there? That thing becomes about eight inches long, Larry, and that's lethal.

If anybody corners a kangaroo, what he does, he reaches out like this and goes bam with his foot. It's their main means of defense, Larry, if they're cornered, like if a dog were to corner a kangaroo.

KING: They go pretty fast, huh?

HANNA: Up to 40 miles an hour. Plus, Larry, these animals are quite prevalent in Australia. They're still raised for meat in certain like cattle are. Their speed is 30 feet in one hop, by the way.

KING: OK, 30 feet in a hop.

And the next is a spider monkey.

HANNA: This is Anita Jackson. This lady here is tremendous, what they rescue. This was found in Los Angeles in a dumpster, Larry, tried to have it as a pet. You can see the legs are all crumbled up. They took this little animal and raised it. No one wanted it, obviously, it was almost dying.

People say a monkey is a pet. That's the worst thing you can possible do. They carry disease, they bite, and it's against the law in most places.

KING: Why the term "spider?"

HANNA: Because look at these hands and legs here. This is deformed, OK, but a real spider monkey, his arms are like a big spider. He goes around, Larry, like this, see there? He can swing, they can swing, Larry, like 30, 40 feet from tree to tree, like a big black spider in the air.

But don't have one as a pet. They're not good.

KING: We're with Jack Hanna, animals from the desert or in the city. We'll be back with a porcupine and a Gila monster after this.


KING: We're back. And this is an African porcupine.

HANNA: Larry --

KING: These hurt?

HANNA: Yes, they hurt big time. Where did David go?

KING: He ran.

HANNA: Don't let him -- just don't touch him.

Now, Larry, one thing about this thing is they do not throw their quills. No porcupine throws his quills. The American porcupine, Larry, has a barb on the end of their quills. If he were to touch you, Larry --

KING: He ain't going to touch me.

HANNA: No, if he were though and the quill would come off in your hand or mouth or whatever, you could die from infection like a dog, like a hyena in Africa when they try to eat the porcupine.

They try to turn the porcupine over, because underneath the tummy there, it's very, very soft, and that's how they attack. What they try and do is run around the porcupine and get him dizzy and he falls over. And that's how they attack the animals.

These quills are used for weapons, knitting needles. They rattle these quills like a rattlesnake to keep the predator away. If they don't, if a lion comes up, you can imagine how hard it is to get out.

KING: Go, go, getting a little too close. HANNA: Thank you, David. I don't know how he picks that up.

KING: I give David a lot of credit.

This is the scorpion. Look at that.

HANNA: You are crazy.

HANNA: Can Larry hold it?


HANNA: Look at this here, buddy. This is an amazing creature. That is the biggest one I've ever seen, Larry. There's a stinger back here, right? Back here? See how he gets excited.

They also glow in the dark, Larry. These animals here are eaten by the fake fox in America. They circle around and then bite the stinger off real quick, and then that way they can eat the scorpion.

This animal, Larry, if you're allergic to bee stings, it can be lethal. It's a stinger that can hurt you.

Put him on your jacket. I want to see him on your jacket? Don't let him get near your ear. Larry, look at that. That is cool.

KING: Cool for you.


KING: Next. The Gila monster.

HANNA: This is the Gila monster, and you find these out in the deserts of California...


KING: It's a lizard?


HANNA: Turn him around, because I don't want Larry to touch its head, obviously, because it's very poisonous. It's a neurotoxic poison, right, Anita?

HANNA: Yes, and it's extremely painful for humans.

HANNA: They can go weeks without water.

KING: Do they live a long time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know a whole lot about them in the wild. That's the crazy thing about them.

HANNA: Larry, one thing to do, though, if some of the predators come up to them, they'll turn that tail, right Anita, toward the predator, he'll grab the tail, jerk it off and eat it while he runs away.


And these are his little venom glands.

HANNA: I've never seen in the mouth. Can we get that on camera?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those are the venom sacks.

HANNA: He doesn't have fangs, he chews.

KING: He can kill you, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not a human. Small prey.

HANNA: Look at this, Larry. See the sacs on the side there. That's amazing.

KING: It looks like he can use a dentist.

HANNA: I've never seen one open his mouth.

KING: OK, one more in the segment. One of our favorites, return of the fennec fox.

HANNA: This animal lives in the Sahara desert. This animal can go it's entire life basically without ever drinking water because there's no water out there. Water comes with worms, snakes, farms, lizards, anything this animal will eat. It's the smallest fox in the world.

The ears are obviously for hearing, but mainly for keeping cool. The elephant out in Serengeti plains where it's like 110 degrees out there or in a zoological park, their ears are always flapping, because there are blood vessels in those ears. It's like a radiator. A dog can use his tongue to stay cool. We can monitor our body.

The animal has little blood vessels in his ears, and that's how this animal stay cool in the desert.

KING: Hey, folks, can't get to a rain forest for the moment? We'll bring it to you with an ocelot, a baby sloth, and a kikachu right here. Don't go away.


KING: We're in the rain forest with Jack Hanna on "LARRY KING LIVE," and a hungry ocelot.

HANNA: Larry, you may have heard about the ocelot.

KING: It smells a little weird.

HANNA: It's a urine smell that they have to mark their territory, that type of thing. The ocelots were sold in the '60s as a lot of pets. All spotted cats now are in danger, the ocelot now is endangered where it was in the '60s and '70s, it wasn't in the '80s.

KING: Is its coat wanted?

HANNA: Exactly. Larry, look at the magnificent collar of that coat. Absolutely gorgeous. You can see obviously why people hunted the animals. Now, obviously, coats, they can now make these fake furs, which is much, much better on everybody.

Ocelots, Larry, you smell that odor. That's how they mark the territory. The ocelot is nocturnal. The ocelot is notorious for finding birds and stuff at night. And this cat, Larry, could walk by you and six inches from where you're sleeping, you'll never see this animal. And even to see one in the wild, Larry -- I've only seen them twice maybe in all of my years in central and south America.

They're difficult to find right now. They're a solitary cat. They're not a social cart, like a lion. They're a solitary cat. They're one that really represents the jungle. Like the jaguar for example in South America, Central America, the ocelot is next down. This is a Tamerin here. Which kind this here?


KING: What's a Tamerin?

HANNA: A Tamerin, Larry, is a little primate. Look at that, they eat little meal worms. See the meal worms? I film these in Brazil, Larry. The Tamerin is a very dangerous creature in certain parts of the world. They're babies, Larry, don't even weigh -- they're big as the end of your finger. They're very, very social creatures.

The Golden Lined Tamerin, which has a beautiful head on it, beautiful big head. These are great pollinators. You talk about pollinators. These animals here are like a bird. They pollinate seeds from tree to tree. They're a little creature that also has lost a lot of its habitat in the rain forest as well.

KING: This full grown?

HANNA: Yes, this is full grown. There's some little Tamerins even smaller than that. Some little Tamerins are smaller than this one. How many Tamerins are there? There's quite a few. Golden Lined Tamerin, Crested Tamerin. Look at his head -- look at that haircut. Almost looks like a haircut some people try to have, a Mohawk, doesn't it?

KING: I like that look. Now, we have frogs from three rain forests.

HANNA: Oh, yes. Look at this. I have not seen this one. If you all put your hands up here where the cameras can see it. Open your hands. That's great.

KING: The one in the middle looks like a toy.

HANNA: Which one's this one?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Red eyed tree frog.

HANNA: Red Eyed Tree Frog from where?


HANNA: Look at the color of that frog. Exactly, hold up the camera. See that right there? Turn around a little bit, see his head. That's a tree frog.

Look at that, Larry, look at this frog here. Put this one up here next. What is that? A Malaysian leaf frog from Malaysia. This is where I'm getting ready to go, Larry. Look at that. Look at the head on that one.

What's it eat, little flies and things? Look at that. Does that look like a leaf to you or what?

KING: Sure does. Looks like a leaf.

HANNA: Look at this here.

KING: What is this?

HANNA: (INAUDIBLE) A Cane Toad. Put him down. He's fine. This is the one that you know jumped on your son, but this is the much bigger one. These are poison glands behind his eyes here. See that right there. That's a neurotoxic poison, only if you eat the frog.

KING: Only if you eat him?

HANNA: Just don't touch it, because if you get it in your eyes, it can hurt your eyes.

KING: We're going to show Chance jumping from this.

HANNA: Larry, let me tell you real quickly --

KING: Do it to the son to the father.

HANNA: It's not going to hurt you, Larry. Just don't touch it. This frog was brought over from South America to control the rats and mice in the sugar cane fields. What happened was the frog bred so much --

KING: He's going to jump on me.

HANNA: -- it's taking control. It's gotten out of hand, what's happened.

KING: All right.

HANNA: You can die if you eat it.

KING: Go, go, go, go elsewhere. HANNA: Larry, he's not going to hurt you. Look at this one.

KING: OK. Look at that one.

HANNA: He wraps himself in a bunch of slime, like snot or something.

KING: Slimy.

HANNA: They bury themselves in the Earth to stay -- to keep its body really moist or things like that. You want to touch it?

KING: Yeah.

HANNA: You can just wash your hands later. You won't get warts. Isn't that weird?

KING: Jeremiah was a bull frog. He was a good friend of mine. You see, I'm in that kind of mood.

HANNA: This is the Kikachu (ph), Larry. A Kikachu is called a honey bear from South America. This was also sold in pet trade back in the '60s and '70s. That's no longer allowed.

The Kikachu is nocturnal. It's a polinator as well. And that fur is so thick, Larry, that a bee sting can't hardly even penetrate. It likes to get in the bee hives and get honey and that kind of thing.

It has a prehensile tail, as you can see here. It hangs from trees. It's nocturnal as well, from central and south America. Beautiful animal.

KING: We got a real screamer for you, no kidding, next.


KING: We're back. Now the wetlands, the swamp and the marshes. We start with the spoonbill. Appropriately named.

HANNA: Right, look at that bill, everybody. Isn't that amazing how nature is. Just like a spoon. Called the Roseate spoonbill. From where, Anita?


HANNA: The Caribbean. These birds, the ones you see at nighttime -- I've never been to Florida -- flying in and nesting and things like that. This is where all the birds nest. They're beautiful pink animals. They come and nest at night. They're a spoonbill. You can see in the water there, they can take that bill and scoop up fish and everything, even on the bottom, if they want to feed. It's a very valuable tool for the spoonbill.

You can see here -- you can almost feel how soft his beak is. You see the legs there. He's not a bird of prey where the animal has real strong talons. It's more for balance. They turn real pink, too. KING: And now, next, builder of dams, the beaver.

HANNA: This animal here, Larry, people ask what was the worst fight I ever had. It was on the David Letterman show in 1986. The beaver almost took my thumb off. No, no, no, no. Get the beaver.

KING: I told you, he's building another dam.

HANNA: Look at how those beavers build, Larry. I don't want to show you to look at the teeth, but they're big teeth, buddy. He can take a tree apart in -- they're very important. A lot of people in some of -- Montana, some states -- I live in Montana. You've been in Montana, I'm sure. Don't like them to be there because he dams up rivers and creeks people fish in. But they're a very important animal, I think, also for making ponds and certain lakes if they're in the right place.

The beaver is still trapped for, obviously, its soft pelt there. I don't know if you can see the tail or not. That tail is used as a warning signal for all other animals as well. If a beaver is out there and a beaver hears a person or knows something that alarms it, it will slap its tail. Then the deer and other animals will take off.

KING: It helps other animals.

HANNA: If you ever saw a cute little beaver, they're as cute as they could be. Incredible animals. In a beaver home, they don't have any odor or anything else. They're just a neat, neat creature, Larry. If you ever see baby beavers and a mom, it's incredible, baby beavers.

The worst bite I ever had was by a beaver. Hold on a minute. Look at the back foot. It's like a duck's foot.

KING: Yeah, it is.

HANNA: Look at this. Look at that back foot. Isn't that amazing.

KING: Here comes the screamer. What is this, a turkey?

HANNA: What is this thing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's actually a good question. They're from Argentina.

HANNA: I've never seen one of these.

KING: Neither have I.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're from Argentina. They're a swamp bird. That is the big question about them, what exactly is this bird. This bird looks kind of like a vulture, and has the long legs like a stork, but they're most closely related to a duck.

KING: A duck? Who named them a screamer? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're named after the sound that they make. They make a loud screaming call that can be deafening when there's a flock of them. Actually, down in the wild, in the swamps, they'll scream to attract a harem of females.

KING: I do the same thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Once they do that, they protect them with these. They actually have weapons, these have spurs on their wings. See these spurs --

HANNA: Look at this, Larry, I've never seen this. Look at that. Look at this spur. Look at that.

KING: Yeah, a spur. Beautiful.

HANNA: Oh, shoot.

KING: You got it again.

HANNA: That is sharp. If you don't believe me?

KING: I believe you. Bye, Screamer, eat some corn and get out of here. HANNA: I don't think he likes corn.

KING: I do, too.

HANNA: That is the neatest bird. Thank you. I've never seen one of those.

KING: Now, we have a water monitor. This is like in school. Go out and monitor the water. What is that coming out of his mouth.

HANNA: Look at that thing.

The Wildlife World Zoo, in Phoenix, Arizona, greatest zoo -- you got to go see this Wildlife World Zoo. You won't believe it. Brand new aquarium, only aquarium in that part of the world.

Look at this here, Larry. This is a Savannah Water monitor. Larry, look at this tongue. What he's doing is he's feeling your tension right now. You don't want to do that. Act like you're not nervous.

OK, better. Larry, what he's doing -- do this, Larry. It feels good. Just let him touch your hand, just do it. Has a lizard ever licked you? Just try it.

KING: It's not poison?

HANNA: No -- well --

KING: Well, don't say well. You try it.

HANNA: No, just go like that, Larry. Put it like that, Larry, do you see that?

KING: Yeah, did I see it?

HANNA: Do you feel it?

KING: Yeah.

HANNA: What he's doing, Larry, he's picking up particles. That's how he hunts. A Kimodo Dragon will bite you. The bite isn't what's going to kill you. What's going to kill you, a Kimodo Dragon, like this animal, will track you for days with that tongue. Do you like this animal like I do? That is the biggest one you'll ever see, Larry.

KING: Let's get in the alligator before you leave us. Not a big alligator. Two little alligators. Different from the croc. Wait a minute, I said little.

HANNA: Is it a little one? Holy mackerel, Larry, wow, wee. Larry, we can't hurry this one. Larry, have you ever seen an alligator that close?

KING: No, I've never seen that many teeth.

HANNA: Right, this is the alligator here. Watch this. If they can show us on the camera, he's got two eyelids. Watch this. See that. He can see under water. When he's down there and not watching you, he can. He also hunts, as our good conservation friend Steve Irwin taught us a lot about the alligator and crocodile. He has sensors. Those are sensors. They pick up vibration. If something's in the water swimming up to two miles away, they can feel it like radar -- like sonar in the water. This animal lives up to 100 years old, can go up to a year without eating.

KING: Are these babies?

HANNA: This a baby alligator right here? Can't tell. That's also another baby, right? These are all baby alligators. This one here is probably about a year ago. This one here is about a year and a half old. This one here is how would, David?


HANNA: They can outrun a man the first 20 yards. When they want to run on land, they can outrun a man . Can you open his mouth?


HANNA: You can?

HANNA: Yeah. Look at this, Larry. We'll open his mouth here. Be careful. I want you to look down his throat, Larry. Don't put your head in there. You see the flap there. You see that.

KING: I see it. Can we get that on camera, it's very interesting. HANNA: He doesn't drown in the water. If something comes in there, he can bite the animal without getting water down his throat. Of course, he cannot chew. He can just tear.

KING: Aren't we annoying him doing this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, he's used to it.

KING: Guess what, the holiday season, a reindeer is with them. Is it Donner? Is it Cupid? Is it Blitzen? I'm a grown man, what am I talking about? Back in 60 seconds.



KING: As Ed Sullivan used to say, get all the kids up close now. Here he is, or she is, Olive, representing the Rudolph song "all of the other reindeer."

HANNA: This is the Jacksons, and they're raised the reindeer, also called a caribou. It's very important to know that. They are by the tens of thousands when you see the great caribou migration up north. Anita does a great job with this animal. It's obviously in some velvet right now. The female and male, one of the few deer species that both have antlers, both the male and female. She loses these antlers after the male.

KING: Is that a she?

HANNA: That's a she, yes. You've heard of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?

KING: Heard of him, yeah.

HANNA: The reason you hear the click, click, click, up on the rooftop, click, click, click, is those feet there have cartilage in the feet there. They click as it walks. Every step it takes, it clicks. That's how they got the song. It's not the roof. To all the kids watching, this is what would bring Santa Clause down to your house and then down the chimney.

This is the female, so really Rudolph could have been, right, Anita, a female? Because the male had already lost his antlers. That's just a tale. I don't want all the kids to think this is one of Rudolph's reindeers. So she'll have to go back right now and get ready for -- she will -- for a long, long trip at Christmas.

KING: Get ready, Rudy.

HANNA: By the way, Larry, they have a nose that's soft as cotton and it helps them eat lichen. Lichen is a substance on top of rocks.

KING: Where are they found, all over?

HANNA: No, not all over. Way up towards the northwest territory, way up towards the North Pole. This is a very, very important animal.

KING: This is the official bird of South Africa, the Stanley Crane.

HANNA: Look at that crane, that's a beautiful crane, isn't it? It's like the African Crowned Crane is the official bird of Uganda. This is the Stanley Crane, I guess national bird of South Africa as well.

Beautiful bird, Larry. These birds have long legs, obviously, to get into water. You see their knee there? That's their ankle there, in the middle of their leg there. These birds love to eat fish and things like that, Larry. They get under the water. It's not very deep whatsoever. They're beautiful when they're flying as well.

KING: Our next guests are low on nature's loveable scale. Maybe we can change your mind about skunks and turkey vultures. Stick around.


KING: Another different kind of porcupine here, who also attacked Melanie. Three spears in her.

HANNA: I want people to see what I'm talking about. Look at the shirt first. I want you to see what I'm talking about here. Look at the shirt first. The African porcupine, that you saw earlier, does not have a barb at the end of the quill. I'm pull this thing very hard right here. I'm pulling it harder. That was in her skin right there. Now these are quills. Take them home to your sons and let them fight each other. Just kidding, Larry. Don't' do that.

KING: They will. Why was this porcupine different from the other, which was bigger?

HANNA: The African porcupine is much, much bigger. This is a North American porcupine here. That looks like soft fur, doesn't it? Don't let that fake you. I don't want you to get hurt again -- she's not hurt there. There's the quills under there. You follow me?

KING: Hidden quills.

HANNA: There's a barb there. You cannot see those with the naked eye. So the minute you touch this animal, whether it be a coyote, a cougar, a bobcat, to try to eat it, that quill will come off in their mouths or their hands and they die of infection.

KING: Also has a funny smell.

HANNA: You're right.

KING: Let's meet the striped skunk.

HANNA: Be careful. Just take your time. No hurry here.

KING: Here comes the striped skunk. HANNA: Skunks are an animal that people -- see the tail goes up, right?

KING: Does that mean he's going to smell?

HANNA: It could be. Larry, I want to encourage people not to ever try to pick up a baby skunk. Number one, they'll get sprayed. Number two is they carry the rabies virus, skunks, foxes, raccoons even. Animals that could have -- don't show symptoms but carry the rabies virus. By the way, Rabies is still prevalent in our country. So leave the little animals alone.

KING: What does the spray do, a defense mechanism?

HANNA: Yes, it's a defense mechanism. You smelled it, right? You can literally -- I've heard some dogs can be blinded by that. If you take tomato catsup and put that all over you, that will get rid of the smell.

KING: Really?

HANNA: Yes. The skunk is black and white. What's amazing is some dogs have never seen a skunk, how they run from the skunk, and yet they've never seen one. I don't know what it is, how animals know what each other can do to each other.

KING: Here we have, last one in this segment, the turkey vulture.

HANNA: Right. Look at the wingspan on this, Larry. Look at this. That's beautiful. Look at that. Turn around again. This is from Moorpark college. Again, all these people from Moorpark College, two year teaching zoo outside LA.

The vulture, look at the head of the vulture. Isn't that amazing? It's bald for one reason only, no feathers, because when it gets down to carrion, which is a dead animal they start eating, bacteria cannot grow on its head, cannot grow in the feathers. Hence, the good Lord, nature gave him a bald head. The turkey vultures you see -- I don't think you can do that again with his wings. Do that.

The wings go out anywhere from four to six feet. A turkey vulture, Larry, can soar for days without ever flapping their wings. They can get up in the air and just soar forever looking for animals that are dead on the road. They're a very important animal to nature. The talons there aren't like a bird of prey. It's mainly used for balance, those talons, not to grab the pray, because what they're eating is dead. They're very important animals to nature.

KING: We saved the best for last, though some of you might go running for the hills, when we get up close and personal with cockroaches. They're next.


KING: Earlier we showed you a Cane Toad. If you missed the episode a couple of years ago, Chance King, who is now ten, was on with his brother, Cannon. They were then eight and seven. Here's what happened with the Cane Toad.


HANNA: Don't touch this one. This is a cane toad, everybody. If you notice, there's a poison gland. Will he hop right here? Yes. This is a cane toad. Those right there are poison glands. This toad, Larry, is the one that came over from South America. They brought into this country, Florida. It's causing a lot of deaths with dogs. These are poison glands right here. Right back there. He's not going to hurt you.

CHANCE KING, SON OF LARRY KING: Get off of me. Get off of me. Ahhhh!

KING: It's OK.

HANNA: It's a toad. It's a toad. It's a toad. I don't blame you. I don't like them. Chance, I don't like them either. Chance is good.

KING: You're OK. He didn't bite. Get me out of here.


KING: that's historic, folks. Bring on the cockroaches.

HANNA: Put that on Lorry's jacket. That's what I always do.

KING: Cockroach time.

HANNA: That's a nice one there. Don't let him get in your hair, because he'll lay eggs. But he's OK right now. He's not going to lay eggs unless he gets around hair.

KING: He will lay eggs?

HANNA: Well, it's a she. I think you got the she.

KING: How can you tell?

HANNA: You're right, we've got the male. I'm sorry. Just let him go. He's all right. Let him go down his shirt, he's all right. He's gone now. That's pretty cool.

KING: Where he is?

HANNA: He's down your shirt.

KING: He went down my shirt. Get him out of my shirt.

HANNA: Get him out of his shirt. Just reach down his jacket there. Reach down in there. Don't be bashful. Reach down and get the thing before -- you got him? Oh, good.

KING: I didn't want to go home with that.

HANNA: Your wife would like you.

KING: Cockroaches, they are unusual, right?

HANNA: Cockroaches could survive a nuclear attack. But this is from Madagascar, the Madagascan hissing roach. Hear it? Hear that?

KING: Yeah.

HANNA: That's a hissing cockroach. These are not just regular old cockroaches. These are from Africa. I take these, Larry, put them in socks when I go to shows. I go to a restaurant by myself and get board, I take them. They serve me my salad and bread. I put them in the bread basket. Waiter comes back, how's your dinner, Mr. Hanna? Perfect, but you've got cockroaches. He says, no. I pull out the bread basket, manager comes out. Jack ends up with a steak dinner, everything I want to eat, drinks on the house. If it's not -- put it back in my sock and go to the next place.

KING: Jack! One more. And this is? As Stan used to say, the deadly tarantula.

HANNA: That's a big one there. Holy --

KING: That could kill, right?

HANNA: No. Put him on his shirt again.


HANNA: Larry, he can't kill you.

KING: He's got a bad image though.

HANNA: He does, exactly.


HANNA: People shouldn't just kill these when you see them in the desert. As long as you don't move quickly, he's fine. There you go. Look at that. Is that neat or what, Larry? You are a brave man.

KING: What am I going to do? I'm afraid to move.

HANNA: What happens is if you touch them, they shed their little hairs there and it makes you itch a lot. So just watch the jacket. I'm not joking about that. Wash the jacket. Just put it in your washer when you get home or here at the station.

And they have little pinchers in the front there. And plus, Larry, this thing sheds his skin -- shell about twice a year. He crawls out of his entire shell. It looks like a tarantula sitting there and yet he's over there. I don't know how they do it, how they leave a perfect shell of a tarantula, and he lives over here. That really matches. That is a nice -- KING: We are out of time.

HANNA: You can leave him up there.

KING: I'll close with him. We're out of time, but we still got more animals. All you have to do is head to our website,, and you'll see a web extra with Jack Hanna.

Thanks to Zoo to You, and all the trainers, David and Anita Jackson, Greg, Gary and Melanie. Something in your soup.

"ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now.