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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
BTK Killer Friend Speaks; Terrorists Target Navy Vessels; Teen Killed by Tiger; Chimp Attack Victim Returns Home
Aired August 19, 2005 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Cindy Sheehan is gone, but a new controversy rages at Camp Casey. It is 7:00 pm on the East Coast, 4:00 pm in the West. 360 starts now.
COOPER (voice-over): Cindy Sheehan is gone, but the controversy in Crawford continues. New protests and new allegations. A soldier's family say they were tricked by protesters, misled into loaning their land.
Dennis Rader is in prison, but he's still got a friend on the outside.
GEORGE MARTIN, BTK KILLER'S FRIEND: He was always trustworthy and loyal.
COOPER: Tonight, a shocking interview with a man who stands by the BTK Killer and says Rader has done good deeds for the community.
A high school senior mauled and killed by a tiger. Tonight, the grisly attack that stunned a Kansas community. Why was this teen posing for a picture with a wild animal? And how did the tiger get loose so fast?
And have you heard the song? Tonight, why this one little song has captivated the world. If you haven't heard it, stay tuned, hear for yourself what all the singing is about.
ANNOUNCER: Live, from the CNN broadcast center in New York, this is ANDERSON COOPER 360.
COOPER: Good evening, again. For weeks now, the tiny community of Crawford, Texas, President Bush's summer home, has been a battle front in the war of words over Iraq. But tonight, the army of anti- war protesters finds itself without a general, so to speak. Cindy Sheehan, the mother who lost her son in Iraq, is tending to her own mother in Los Angeles who's had a stroke.
Today, war protesters stayed at the camp and held prayer services and other activities as they had planned. President Bush's supporters also were there holding a rally in which they held up white sheets filled with written messages praising the president's work. The residents of Crawford are tired of the commotion, and CNN White House correspondent Dana Bash has met one couple who feel unfairly caught up in it all.
DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After spending a year in Iraq, Dusty Harrison treasures routine family moments.
DUSTY HARRISON, IRAQ RESIDENT: 76. And you've got 26.
BASH: Last week, he returned from National Guard training, looking forward to peace and quiet.
D. HARRISON: I come back from annual training, and there's Camp Casey in my, basically, in my front yard. And I am shocked.
BASH: Sergeant Harrison is proud of his service in Iraq, calls the mission crucial. Now, from his Crawford home, he sees tents and porta-potties Cindy Sheehan's anti-war supporters set up.
D. HARRISON: It's a double-edged sword. I don't like what's going on out here. But that's why I served so they can have that right. And I do feel for her. I am so sorry that her son was lost.
BASH: His wife, Melissa, complained to the county commission after two protesters used her bathroom when no adults were home. But she sympathizes with the grieving mother and agreed to let Sheehan use her yard for what she thought was an interview. It turned out to be a TV ad.
MELISSA HARRISON, WIFE: I was pretty upset about that I was misled. Because I didn't want anybody to think we were supporting her point of view, that we do not share that point of view. I was letting her have her freedom of speech.
BASH: A Sheehan spokeswoman says they did not intend to be deceptive.
The Harrisons are happy the vigil is moving down the road. These are staying, hundreds of white crosses bearing names of soldiers killed in Iraq.
D. HARRISON: A couple of the guys in our battalion died while we were over there.
BASH (on camera): The fact they're there, they're sort of right next to your property, how does that make you feel?
D. HARRISON: As a soldier, I think she's using heroes who gave their life for this country, to further a political aim.
BASH (voice-over): They've never met Cindy Sheehan. But here is what they want her to know.
M. HARRISON: We're not against her. We're just, the way she's going about it. The way she's going about it. And just reassure her, that her son did good over there. The soldiers that are over there, they're doing well. And if we pull them out now, everything we've done would be for nothing.
D. HARRISON: Would be for nothing. In vain.
COOPER: Dana Bash joins us now. Dana, does it feel different now that Cindy Sheehan is not there, because she's in California tending for her mom?
BASH: Well, it does feel different. And you know, Anderson, her supporters, the people who have been gathering here, for, I guess, the last 13 days, are trying very hard to make it. Not feel different, saying over and over again that they are here to carry out her mission, even the moms who are here.
But certainly, she was the leader, she was the presence, she was the symbol of that, the anti-war protesters for so long, trying to break through, were actually so happy that they found in terms of a symbol, a spokesperson. So, clearly, they're trying to keep it going. But it is harder without her here.
And interesting, Anderson, there was a group of pro-Bush supporters here today. And that's something we haven't seen in that kind of number, really, since last weekend.
COOPER: All right. Dana Bash, thanks you.
We turn now to a new terror attack against U.S. ships, happened in Jordan, three rockets were fired, the ships were in the Red Sea port of Aqaba, Jordan conducting training exercises. All three rockets missed the ships, two of the missiles hit locations in Jordan, the third struck a city in Israel. A Jordanian soldier was killed. No U.S. personnel were injured.
An al Qaeda-linked group, calling itself the Martyr Abdallah Azzam Brigades has posted a claim of responsibility on an Islamist Web site. CNN can not confirm its authenticity. CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen is looking into it, he joins us now. Peter, what do you know about this crew?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, they have claimed responsibility for other attacks in Egypt. In Taba in Egypt on the Hilton Hotel about a year ago and again at Sharm el-Sheikh just in the last couple of months. So, I think that we're not confirming the authenticity of this claim, but there are other groups who we don't authenticate at all, Abu Hafsa al Mazri Brigade (ph) has claimed credit for the U.S. blackout. This particular group, the Abdallah Azzam Brigade, seems to be pretty credible. We're not authenticating it, but I'm saying they've had a track record of being credible.
COOPER: Does the attack have the fingerprints of al Qaeda?
BERGEN: I think so, because there were multiple attacks. We've seen al Qaeda trying to attack U.S. shipping in Yemen on two occasions. First on the USS Sullivan, then the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors. We've also seen al Qaeda conduct an attack on a French oil tanker in Yemen. So, the idea of attacking ships, particularly U.S. military ships, is kind of an old one for al Qaeda. It's a multiple attack. You know, there's no reason to assume that it isn't al Qaeda or one of it's affiliates, this Abdula Azzam Brigade.
COOPER: And we're looking at pictures as you talk about, where some of these rockets landed, killing one Jordanian, hitting a city in Israel as well. This group is named after a sheik, Adallah Azzam. I guess he was a jihadist leader, had a pretty close relationship with Osama bin Laden. What do you know about him?
BERGEN: He got killed in a still unsolved assassination in Pakistan in 1989, but he is a close associate of bin Laden's. They set up something called a services office, which was a sort of precursor to al Qaeda. Abdallah Azzam, we see in these photographs taken from "Jihad" magazine, which is sort of the in-flight magazine of bin Laden and Osama bin Laden's services office, which operated in the '80's.
Bin Laden and Adallah Azzam, again seen in this photograph would split, and bin Laden became more radical. His mentor had no desire to attack the west or attack Arab governments as bin Laden does.
But he's regarded as -- he's really the spiritual mentor of the jihadist movement worldwide, he really got Arabs from around the world to fight in Afghanistan during the '80's. He's a significant figure.
COOPER: "Jihad" magazine, never heard of that. That's a story in and of itself. I'd love to talk to you about it another time. Peter, thanks very much.
BERGEN: Thank you.
COOPER: Erica Hill from Headlines News joins us with some of the other stories we're following right now. Hey, Erica.
ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS: Hey, Anderson.
Around Pleasant Springs, Wisconsin not exactly what you call a pleasant sight. In fact, a deadly tornado. It killed one man on Thursday when his home collapsed after a twister hit. The National Weather Service is investigating reports that some 18 possible tornadoes throughout the state. Dozens of homes were damaged, or destroyed.
Edwards Air Force Base, California, liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery, well, with a little help, that is, atop a jumbo jet. The shuttle is hitching a ride back to Florida's Cape Canaveral after landing in California following that two-week mission in space. The ferry flight is going to stop overnight in Louisiana for a little refueling and arrives in Florida tomorrow. NASA diverted Discovery's landing, of course, to California because of low clouds.
And in Auburn, Washington, a showdown over the duck. This woman says wildlife officers went too far. They came knocking to take away her pet duck, she named him "Gooey." The confrontation, though, was captured by surveillance cameras. Now she says wildlife officers stormed into where she worked, demanding her duck and threatening to arrest her. She said an officer hit her in the chest and grabbed little "Gooey." Fish and wildlife officials say they're taking the allegation seriously. And will conduct an investigation. No, it's not an Aflac commercial, it's "Gooey." But he wasn't available for comment, Anderson.
COOPER: "Gooey" couldn't be reached for comment?
HILL: No. You know, he's probably just taking some time to be by himself.
COOPER: I like that you were able to just read that story straight, because I got to just say, hold on, she had a duck in her office?
HILL: You don't keep your duck in your office?
COOPER: You know, I -- no, I didn't know I could.
HILL: Just your pet smoking chimpanzee.
COOPER: Exactly. That's right. All right, Erica. Thanks very much. See you again in about 30 minutes.
Ahead on 360, a deadly animal encounter -- not a duck, something more serious. A Kansas school student killed by a tiger. She was having her senior picture taken with this wild animal at an animal sanctuary. It begs the question, should anyone really have these wild animals as pets. We're going to talk to an expert about that.
Plus, a friend of the BTK Killer speaks out. That's right, I said a friend of Dennis Rader. We thought he'd be shocked by his friend's murderous rampage. Frankly, we were stunned to find out what he really thinks. You'll hear for yourself.
And a little later on, why this song has become such an inspiration for people around the world.
COOPER: Well, Dennis Rader is behind bars tonight. No word on what his welcome was been like by his fellow inmates. In a moment, you're going to hear from a long-time friend of Rader's. That's right, I said a friend. A man who still stands by him. The interview is, frankly, shocking.
Before that, however, what we learned about Rader yesterday from the police who put him away. We're not going to show you the disgusting pictures, which frankly, other cable stations have, but some of the testimony you're about to hear is graphic.
COOPER (voice-over): Just before 7:30 this morning, Dennis Rader, the BTK killer, walked through the doors of the El Dorado Corrections Facility in Kansas, his likely home for the rest of his life.
JUDGE GREGORY WALLER, BTK CASE: Murder in the first degree...
COOPER: Just yesterday, Rader heard his sentence: 175 years in prison for 10 counts of murder. But not before the families of his victims had their say.
KEVIN BRIGHT, KATHRYN BRIGHT'S BROTHER: No remorse, no compassion, no -- he had no mercy and I think that's what he ought to receive.
COOPER: The D.A. asked that he be cut off from the outside world, from anything that would feed his fantasies.
NOLA FOULSTON, SEDGWICK CO. DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We are asking that this defendant be prohibited from possessing, receiving or creating any visual images of human beings or animals. We would ask that he cannot possess, receive or create any typed or hand-written or computer-generated documents that describe sexual or murderous fantasies.
COOPER: Rader was allowed to ramble on, comparing himself to his victims.
DENNIS RADER, BTK KILLER: She loved animals and I worked as animal control. I realize that in the early years, I probably did have some curly animals. I was always pretty good to animals. I have a great fondness for animals.
COOPER: Before his sentencing, Wichita detectives recounted his crimes in more gruesome detail than ever before, revealing a darker side of Dennis Rader. His souvenirs...
LT. KENNETH LANDWEHR, HEAD OF BTK TASK FORCE: Items that he would steal stole from the residences. He would take pictures of him dressed in these items, in different stages of bondage.
COOPER: His collection of dolls...
LANDWEHR: He would take these dolls, tie them up. He would actually paint on them to make them look older, whether it be pubic hair, eyelashes, darker hair on some occasions and then he would tie them up and photograph them.
COOPER: His sick and sordid fantasies about his helpless victims...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His self bondage, he put them on -- put the mask on, would wear that; Would also take pictures of it, so he looked more female.
COOPER: In the end, say police, his need to be known for his acts to take credit for his crimes is what may have finally led to his capture.
LANDWEHR: He liked the media attention and that was important to him.
COOPER: It's hard to believe that Dennis Rader could have kept his twisted thoughts from his wife, from his kids, his friends. In his own home, he had files full of 3x5 index cards alphabetically organized, pictures of women he wanted to torture and kill.
We wanted to understand how no one was able to see this dark side of Rader. A few hours ago, I spoke with a friend of his, a guy who was friends for more than 20 years. They were Cub Scout leaders, their children were friends.
We thought this man, George Martin, would feel outraged, betrayed. We were shocked by what he told us, by what you're about to hear.
COOPER: George, you've known Dennis Rader for over 20 years, your kids were Scouts together. You were both in the Scouts together. Do you feel like he tricked you?
GEORGE MARTIN, BTK KILLER'S FRIEND: No, I don't. There was a side of him that I didn't know, but the side of him that I knew, he was always straightforward and honest in that respect. So, I don't feel that he tricked me at all.
COOPER: But do you feel like you really knew who he was? I mean, all this time he was having these fantasies, these thoughts in his head and acting them out?
MARTIN: A lot of people have fantasies, especially in this younger year and boys, particularly, will have fantasies a lot of time. And what he was and is, is certainly world class, but -- as far as being very rare. But the side of Dennis I knew, is still there and I still respect that part of him.
COOPER: You still consider him your friend?
MARTIN: Yes, I do. I've -- we've exchanged letters two or three times since he's been in prison and...
COOPER: What do you say to him?
MARTIN: Just little things about the community and daily life, is what I write. I never have said anything about BTK to him at all.
COOPER: It doesn't sound like you're talking about the same guy that we've been listening to yesterday in court. I mean, the things he did, the things he thought about, the things he -- I mean, even the people -- when he wasn't murdering people, the fantasies that he was having that he kept documents in his home, the things he did on Cub Scout trips, maybe even when your son was there, are beyond the pale. I mean, they're just disgusting and shocking. It doesn't -- does that seem real to you? MARTIN: Like I say, what he did in the fantasy world is world class and it's going to rewrite a few textbooks.
COOPER: But George, I mean, help me understand this, because I'm not telling you how you should feel about Dennis Rader, but I'm interested to try to understand how you feel. I mean, if someone I knew for 20 years, who I had, you know, my child was around, went on camping trips together, if I found out that person, you know, was fantasizing about dismembering and raping women and children and in fact on Scouting trips had carried out some of these sick fantasies on himself, I would be outraged. Are you mad at Dennis Rader at all?
MARTIN: Not at all. I realize he has some problems that I wasn't aware of, but the first two points of the Scout law are: A Scout is trustworthy, a Scout is loyal. And Dennis is my friend and he will be until the day I die and he will...
COOPER: Do you think Dennis Rader is loyal and trustworthy? You think he is a good Scout?
MARTIN: We asked him to come to our Methodist men's group several months ago to talk about the suburban wildlife and he did that. He did a good job of that and he -- and everybody appreciated his and enjoyed his talks.
COOPER: That's like saying Hitler was a good dancer. I mean, if at a certain point, what does it matter if he gave a good speech to your friends or you know, was -- seemed like a nice guy when you were around him, if you know, in his off time he's murdering people and hanging himself?
MARTIN: I do not have to judge Dennis Rader. God will do that at the final judgment. But God says we're supposed to love our fellow man, and that love is there, that's constant.
COOPER: George Martin has a lot more to say about his friend, Dennis Rader. If you are surprised by what he's already said, you have not heard anything yet. More in a moment.
COOPER: Before the break, we heard from a long-time friend of Dennis Rader's, the BTK killer, a friend who still calls Rader loyal and trustworthy. We spoke with George Martin a few hours ago, and want to play you more of our interview, because you won't believe what he has to say now.
COOPER: You spent time with him in the company of his children, you both -- you were all on Scouting missions together, on Scouting events. What was his interaction like with his kids, with other kids? Was he good with kids? MARTIN: Yeah, I think so. He's -- as a compliance officer, he is kind of half police officer. And there has to be a sternness in that role. But generally, he got along well with the kids.
COOPER: He taught them -- he taught them how to tie knots, I have heard, I have read from other people involved in Scouting with him, he taught all these kids how to tie all these different kinds of knots.
MARTIN: A lot of Scout leaders do that.
COOPER: Well, come on, you know the significance, is that in his offtime, he was using those knots to tie up and rape women and children. Does that -- I mean, does it -- as you look back now, do you see it in a different light?
MARTIN: No, not really. He didn't really impress me all that much. I remember that one of the press reports was that one of his victims got herself untied, and he had to fight quite hard with her. So at least one of his victims got untied. So that was an unsuccessful knot, in at least one case.
COOPER: Yeah. You sort of stunned me on that one, George, I've got to tell you.
Let me ask you, there are going to be some people who hear what you are saying tonight, and are kind of stunned. And it's one thing being a friend to someone and being loyal, being, you know, true to them and true to that friendship that you shared for 20 years. But I mean, have you read the accounts of what your friend, Dennis Rader, did to these women, to these children, to 11-year-old Josephine Otero, when he hung her and did unspeakable things to her? And when she asked him what -- where she was going to be in a few hours, he said, "you know, honey, you're going to be in heaven with your parents, with your family," because he had just murdered them? I mean, have you read the accounts of what this man did?
MARTIN: I didn't spend too much time reading the accounts. Probably he was -- Dennis was still in the fantasizing stage a little bit when he was arrested, and he was probably -- possibly making up some stuff, and certainly telling the most shocking part of it.
COOPER: Wait a minute, so you don't believe he did all this stuff? You don't believe that he hung an 11-year-old girl and did things in front of her while she was strangling to death?
MARTIN: Oh, there were several quotes that came across my mind initially. I think it was one from Shakespeare that says, "the evil that men do live long after them; the good is often turned with their bones." And anything good that Dennis did will be quickly forgotten. If you ask me, if I was his friend, I will be -- I am his friend and I will always be his friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) COOPER (voice-over): A high school senior mauled and killed by a tiger. Tonight, the grisly attack that stunned a Kansas community. Why was this teen posing for a picture with a wild animal? And how did the tiger get loose so fast?
And have you heard the song?
Tonight, why this one little song has captivated the world. If you haven't heard it, stay tuned, hear for yourself what all the singing is about. 360 continues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Today, high school seniors in Altamont, Kansas began the school year in shock, in sorrow, and without one of their own. Seventeen-year-old Haley Hilderbrand, a girl described by her teachers as having a zest for life, died yesterday. She was killed by a trained Siberian tiger, a tiger she was posing with for a yearbook picture. CNN's Jonathan Freed investigates.
JONATHAN FREED, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Haley Hilderbrand should have been sitting in one of these chairs today. But the 17-year old senior at Labette County High School died yesterday, after being attacked by a tiger, like this one, while posing for a photo at this animal sanctuary, about three hours south of Kansas City.
DR. TRAVIS MCKINZIE, VETERINARIAN: It was just a single strike or snap. There was not a, quote, "maul." It was just a quick strike and a quick response.
FREED: Veterinarian Travis McKinzie had been in the tiger's enclosure many times to vaccinate it.
MCKINZIE: This tiger had never before shown any signs of anything. My understanding is this tiger has been out at shows in Vegas and lots of different places. It was a very well-trained tiger.
FREED: The 7-year-old tiger was destroyed by a handler after the attack and sent to a lab for tests. The Lost Creek Animal Sanctuary rescues exotic animals. Some of which are trained for stage and movie productions.
Debbie Fouts has lived next door to the sanctuary for years and has allowed her own children to go near the tigers. She defends the tiger's owners, the Billingsly (ph) family and says her family has been shaken along with them.
DEBBIE FOUTS, SANCTUARY NEIGHBOR: There was a little girl who will never be married, who will not graduate high school. FREED: The school's principal says other students have posed with animals, including the tigers and sees the tragedy as a freak accident.
GREG CARTWRIGHT, HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: You know, that first day of school is talking about what happened over the summer, but an event like this, you forget about everything else that happened all summer, because this event just takes precedence over everything.
ALLISON KOCH, HALEY'S FRIEND: Everybody is shocked. I really don't think that many people can even believe it, that, you know, it happened so fast and she was just so young and --
FREED: Allison Koch now keeps a picture of her and Haley on her key chain.
FREED: Now Anderson, you're looking live at the tiger enclosure right here in Mound Valley, Kansas; rural Kansas. There are about four tigers. They're only about 20 feet from us right here and we are just by the side of a country road.
I'm looking across at a pasture. I'm looking at cows over there, but if you were driving down here and had no clue what was going on, you would do a double or possibly a triple take to see half-a-dozen tigers right here.
Now, late in the day, Anderson, there was a statement from the people who run this sanctuary. They were expressing the deepest sympathy for the accident that happened, compassion for the girl's family and they said that in the last 10 years, they have rescued more than 100 animals and that, Anderson, they say they've maintained a perfect safety record up to until now.
COOPER: Well, apparently kids from the school have taken pictures with this tiger before, for their yearbook. I guess it's kind of a tradition. Jonathan, are we learning anything more about the actual attack? What exactly happened?
FREED: Well, a member of the owner's family has been talking to us. Now, she was not there at the time, but what she explains happened is that this went down at the end of the photo session and the tiger apparently turned around, moved, the girl became agitated and then the tiger just took a swipe at her. And the handler held on to the animal until somebody went and got a gun and we are told that it was shot multiple times.
COOPER: It was too late for this young girl. Jonathan Freed, appreciate that. We're going to -- you know, we've seen attacks like this before and with all the animals in private hands, it's likely we're going to see them again.
Here's a "360 Download:" According to National Geographic, there are an estimated 15,000 tigers, lions and other big cats in backyard and basement cages across the America -- in people's basements. The World Wildlife Fund says only 5,100 to 7,500 individual wild tigers now remain in the entire world.
Joining me from Miami, tiger expert, Dr. Bhagavan Antle, director of the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species. Doctor, thanks very much for being with us.
You're with this white tiger. You work with it every day. But no matter, I mean, how much of an expert you are, it's a wild animal. Is it actually safe fro you to be there next to him like this?
DR. BHAGAVAN ANTLE, TIGER EXPERT: You know, it's very similar to being safe with your dog. Dog attacks happen across the country: 1,000 dog attacks happen every day that require people to go to the hospital.
If you have the animal with you and you understand it and you have that life-long bond, tigers do have the capacity to behave. You know, in 25 years, I've had hundreds of big cats. They've met more than a million people. During that time, we've never had a single incident. It's a matter of doing things with very specific rules.
COOPER: But, I mean, this young girl who was killed, there was a handler holding on to the tiger. I know you talked to the animal sanctuary where the girl was killed.
ANTLE: Right. I spoke...
COOPER: What do you think -- what do you think happened?
ANTLE: You know, I spoke to the -- I spoke specifically to Doug Billingsly (ph), the gentleman who was there holding the tiger when the incident took place. It seems from talking with him, that the tiger, as tigers do, became interested in the girl's foot.
Immediately upon walking out, the tiger looked down at the girl's foot, he became interested in it. He goes into what we call possession over the foot. He grabbed for the foot. The girl began to make loud noises at that point, which I'm sure she needed to do.
And the tiger turned and grabbed her more firmly. I would say about the time the tiger grabbed her more firmly the fatality happened at that very moment. A tiger has that capacity, you know, to cause a fatality in just a blink of an eye.
COOPER: Should anyone have tigers in their homes, in their basements, I mean, in their backyards?
ANTLE: You know, that follows right along with me, with should anybody skydive, should anybody be out scuba diving, should we drive race cars? I mean, people go out and do risky things. Many people think it makes them feel more alive. They feel more in touch with themselves going out and doing activities that are somewhat dangerous.
You know, I don't know that it is something someone shouldn't do. I think you should be qualified. I think if you are unqualified, the tiger shouldn't be able to touch anybody except you. So, that you can decide to make that risk. Just like if you are doing another high- risk extreme sport or something along those lines.
COOPER: What is the purpose of what you do? I mean, is it to -- you know, obviously there's admission or whatever, but I mean, is it -- do you want to educate people about tigers?
ANTLE: I mean, I'm a wildlife educator. I see half-a-million people here at Parrot Jungle Island, where we do this live wildlife show about conservation, education, teaching people to reduce, reuse and renew their resources.
COOPER: Do you bring people next to the tiger? Would you bring people from the audience like next to your tiger?
ANTLE: At the facilities here at Parrot Jungle they don't come next to the tiger. At our place in South Carolina, in Myrtle Beach, Preservation Station, there every day people come next to tigers. I've had more than a million people come next to the tigers, touch them and get pictures taken.
But we don't do it with a tiger out in the open loose like this. We have a very specific way we've done it for 23 years with perfect success. But it's not something where I'm saying let's walk a tiger on a leash and say OK, you go bend down next to that tiger. That's way too risky. Professional trainers, don't do things like that.
COOPER: Doctor Bhagavan Antle, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you very much.
Another animal attack to tell you about tonight: A man and his wife, attacked by chimpanzees. The man, just out of the hospital after six months. He's not out of the woods yet. We're going to get the latest on his condition. We'll also talk to his wife, Ladona (ph), who was attacked and relives the terrible ordeal.
And a peaceful way to start off your weekend a little later: Have you heard this song? A little ditty that's changed the lives of people literally around the world. We'll play it for you an find out why it's had such a huge impact.
COOPER: James Davis. And it's a miracle he is alive. In March, Davis was attacked, literally ripped apart by chimpanzees at an animal sanctuary near Bakersfield, California. He was so hurt -- so badly hurt, he had to be put into a medically induced coma. Today, he is on the mend, his body still showing the damage caused on the horrific day, the day he and his wife LaDonna will never forget.
COOPER (voice-over): Saint James and LaDonna Davis were doing what they had done what they did so many times before, paying a visit to their pet chimp, Mo, celebrating his 39th birthday with cake and chocolate milk. They couldn't know that their happy day was about to end in tragedy. LADONNA DAVIS, ATTACKED BY CHIMPANZEES: When I turned, my left eye caught a movement and I looked up. And I saw two chimps. And when we made eye contact, they just took off.
COOPER: Four chimps had escaped from their compound in the Animal Haven Sanctuary. Two of them headed straight for Saint James and LaDonna.
DAVIS: When the male got to me, I was right in front of my husband. So, my back was to him. So, he pushed at me. And I went around my husband's neck as I'm going down. And he reached around with his head and chomped off my thumb.
COOPER: But Saint James stepped in front of his wife, trying to protect her. And he bore the brunt of the attack.
DAVIS: The big male went to my husband's face. And the smaller male went to his back and lower foot and began to pull him, literally apart.
COOPER: And while Saint James was fighting for his life, Mark Caruthers, son-in-law of the sanctuary's owners, was on the phone to 911
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fire department, what is the address of your emergency?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, ma'am. I need an ambulance here immediately. The Animal Haven Chimpanzee Sanctuary. A man's been attacked by two chimpanzees. He is very critical.
The two that did attacked are down. I have just shot them.
COOPER: He frantically described Saint James' injuries to the 911 dispatcher and shouted instructions to LaDonna who struggled to keep her husband alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. I'm going to give you some instructions. I'm going to tell you how to help them. I need you to relay this for me, OK Mark?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. LaDonna!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to take these towels, apply pressure, as even pressure as you can to all of those wounds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And leave them there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't lift them up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And put them on all the wounds that you can, and apply pressure and hold them there." COOPER: Saint James Davis lost part of his face, his eye, most of his fingers, his foot, and his testicles in the attack. He has undergone a series of reconstructive surgeries. LaDonna has stayed by her husband's side the whole time. She's even had time to visit Mo, remembering what she says was his shock at the vicious attack.
DAVIS: I brought my head to Mo. And him and I made eye contact. And I could tell, he didn't understand this at all.
COOPER: As we said earlier, Saint James is now home. Coming up next we talk with his life, LaDonna, about his recovery, and her attorney Gloria Allred as well, find out how he's doing, how they're all doing. We'll be right back.
COOPER: As we told you before the break, Saint James Davis is lucky to be alive. Nearly six months after he was mauled by chimpanzees during a visit to a California animal sanctuary. Joining me to talk about his recovery from Culver City, California, his wife LaDonna Davis and her attorney Gloria Allred. Good to see both of you.
LaDonna, Saint James came home today from the hospital. How is he doing?
DAVIS: It's better and better. I think he's going to improve a lot mentally by being home. I believe for awhile there he was thinking that maybe he would never be able to come home, therefore, his healing process slowed down somewhat. And with all the surgeries and the mending that has to go in behind the surgeries, he had to have a very good frame of mind. And by being home, it's going to get there.
COOPER: How is your recovery been? I mean, your thumb was bitten off by these chimpanzees.
DAVIS: I haven't given that too much time. I keep pretty busy looking out after him. I'm learning nursing, and bathing and dressing changes. And it is a little scary.
COOPER: Does he remember what happened on that day? Because I mean, we've talked about this together, and you remember very clearly the look in the eyes of the chimpanzees as they were on you.
DAVIS: That look will stay with me for probably for a lifetime. His long-term memory came back relatively fast. His short-term memory did not. His first recollection was that he thought he was in a bombing in San Diego. They -- Loma Linda has brought in many different people to talk with him and work with him. And it's gotten better.
Of course, now his short-term memory is 100 percent back.
COOPER: And, I mean, part of his face was bitten off. He lost most of his fingers, one of his feet.
COOPER: His right eye.
DAVIS: Actually, they...
COOPER: What is his long-term prognosis?
DAVIS: Many surgeries. Many surgeries to come. Some prosthetic work, nose reconstruction which if they do a full nose will be taking a piece of the -- the back of your skull. Yes, they took and actually ripped the skin off the forehead, the eyebrow, the eye, the nose, and the upper lip.
COOPER: Gloria, does it surprise you -- I mean, you've known this family, does it surprise LaDonna hasn't turned against chimpanzees. I mean, that she still cares about Mo, her chimpanzee and others?
GLORIA ALLRED, ATTORNEY: No, Anderson, it doesn't. Because I know that LaDonna understands that just as though there are some violent people, but most are not, she understands that there's some chimpanzees who might attack, but a lot of them would never do this. Certainly Mo never would. So, she's not going to blame all chimpanzees any more than she would blame all people for the acts of some.
But I just want to give credit to LaDonna. Because LaDonna, even though as you point out, Anderson, herself has been a victim, she has been a constant source of support for Saint James. I say this as a tribute to the power of love that they have for each other. That he has survived, even though he spent months in an induced coma, undergoing many, many surgeries, she was there every day, loving him, supporting him, talking with him and encouraging him to fight, to live.
And his will to live is strong. But I don't think he would have survived without LaDonna. And she, like so many other women, are caregivers in this country, helping to take care of the men they love. And I just have to give her so much credit for that, because she deserves it.
COOPER: And LaDonna, just finally, I mean, when you are lying in bed at night and you think back to that horrible day, what is the image that stays in your mind? We talked about the image of those chimps as they attacked.
DAVIS: I believe that you go through life and you better take each moment to the extreme, because something can change in a fraction of a second without your knowledge. And I'm sorry this had to happen at this stage of our life. But we are we're going to go forward.
COOPER: LaDonna and Gloria, appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you.
ALLRED: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Our best to Saint James as well.
Erica Hill from Headline News checks in with the other days top stories -- Erica.
HILL: Hey, Anderson.
This actually just coming to us from Capitol Hill. We just learned that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has suffered a mild stroke. The Democrat from Nevada learned about the stroke when he saw a doctor and complained about feeling light-headed.
Meantime, in Angleton, Texas, a jury finds the pharmaceutical company Merck is liable for the death of a man who took its blockbuster drug Vioxx. The jury awarded his widow more than $250 million in damages after reviewing evidence linking the drug to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Fifty-nine-year-old Robert Ernst was a marathon runner who took the arthritis painkiller at the time of his fatal heart attack. Now, the verdict could have a profound effect on thousands of similar cases which have been filed against the company.
Salt Lake City, Utah now, where a Rocky Mountain goat decided to make its new home, where else, in a garage with a little air conditioning. An animal control officer shot the wandering goat with a tranquilizer dart. The animal was taken back to the mountains. By the way, he ended up on the top of the truck, as you see, but both the goat and the truck survived unscathed. Poor guy.
COOPER: That's a bizarre story.
HILL: Yeah, you know.
COOPER: So, I hear you like my haircut?
HILL: Well, I do. And I'm hoping that you like it, too. I think it's a good look for you, sort of that summer do, a little bit lighter.
COOPER: A little tight on the sides. It's better than my other haircuts, though. That was a bad idea.
HILL: That was not my favorite, at all.
COOPER: Yeah, the Mohawk wasn't good. This was a look I kind of went for, for a while, but...
HILL: You know, maybe in the winter, you could go back to that when you'd need a little bit more warmth -- is that the Thomas Mesereau?
COOPER: Yes, exactly. That's my ode to Mesereau.
HILL: For Halloween.
COOPER: Erica, thanks very much. Have a great weekend.
HILL: See you soon.
COOPER: See you again in about 30 minutes.
Let's find out what's coming up at the top of the hour on "PAULA ZAHN NOW." In for Paula tonight, Heidi Collins. Hey, Heidi.
HEIDI COLLINS, GUEST HOST, "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Hi. I'm still actually trying to figure out the hair. But I like them all. Very suitable.
COOPER: I was young.
COLLINS: Yeah, a couple of days ago.
At the top of the hour, the stories of three modern-day divas. They're sexy, outrageous, and even though they've grown up in the spotlight, you will really be surprised at what you don't know about Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan. Sure, they're tabloid temptresses, but some say they're also smart and very talented ladies. Don't miss this, Anderson, tonight at 8:00.
COOPER: All right, in about eight minutes from now. Thanks, Heidi.
360 next, have you heard the song that has really captivated the world, transforming lives? Maybe even your own. You're going to hear it for yourself and see why it has become so popular.
COOPER: In tonight's "Weekender," you're about to hear a song that not only soothes those who need comforting, it has quietly transformed the lives of people all over the world. CNN's Gary Tuchman reports.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You can't help but marvel at the majesty of Alaska. The glaciers, the glorious peaks and fast rivers. But what we want you to do is listen. Just listen for a moment.
This is where it began, a simple but extraordinary melody, composed by a woman from Alaska, who travels on concert tours and has written more than 70 songs.
But this story is about one particular song by Libby Roderick. Only 22 seconds long, that began in Alaska, but now belongs to the world.
LIBBY RODERICK, MUSICIAN (singing): How could anyone ever tell you you were anything less than beautiful. How could anyone ever tell you you were less than whole. How could anyone fail to notice that your loving is a miracle, how deeply you're connected to my soul. TUCHMAN: "How Could Anyone" is a combination of melody and lyrics designed to inspire people with broken hearts and shattered spirits.
RODERICK: My big joke is, you know, you get out there, the moose and the bears are not out here saying to their kids, you're nobody, you're never going to be anybody, you miserable little wretch. You know, they just don't. It's a peculiarly human thing.
TUCHMAN: When Libby wrote the song two decades ago, she hoped it would be like any other song. She wanted her fans to get the message. But she had no idea.
That people who never even heard of her would turn her song into an international anthem of personal inspiration.
Here's a cancer survivor group in South Carolina. And here, a self-esteem group for girls in Maine. And this kindergarten class in Brooklyn, New York. And a school for orphans and the poor in Zambia.
The little melody that came simply enough out of the beauty of Alaska is now sung all over the planet. Most people have no idea where or how it started.
RODERICK: We have gotten funny stories, like, you know, when a friend of mine who goes to India hears some people singing it and asks where they heard it, they say, oh, it's ancient Sutu (ph) song.
TUCHMAN: The song has produced very little money for Libby, but she's OK with that. Especially when it's used by places like this. This is the Kiwannis (ph) camp in Mount Hood, Oregon, where profoundly disabled kids have the time of their lives.
(on camera): What is your favorite thing to do at camp?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ride horses.
TUCHMAN: You like to ride horses?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do.
TUCHMAN: But you like to dance, too, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): The camp lasts a week. The goal: To inspire adolescents who have suffered through a life of hurt. Twelve- year-old Nate McCormack (ph) had viral meningitis when he was a baby. His arms and legs had to be amputated. Life had been very hard for him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you like to swim?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, you want to race? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. On your mark, get set. Go.
TUCHMAN: But Nate says this has been the best summer of his life.
(on camera): What is the most awesome part of going to this camp?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Swimming.
TUCHMAN: You're a really good swimmer.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why, thank you.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And on the last day of camp, Nate proudly sat center stage with other campers and counselors as they sang this song.
CROWD (singing): How could anyone ever tell you you are anything less than beautiful?
TUCHMAN (on camera): Libby Roderick has often considered moving to the lower 48, where life is a bit more convenient, and increased fame and fortune as a singer/songwriter is easier to come by. But time and time again it comes down to this: Being here in the land of the midnight sun is the source of much of Libby's inspiration.
When you find out that someone was greatly affected, positively, by hearing your song, how does it make you feel in your heart?
RODERICK: It makes me feel very happy. It makes me feel happy for them. And I am grateful to be somebody who is, you know, made something that can make people feel better.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Bath, Maine.
COOPER: Before we go, I want to thank Jen Boudreaux (ph), our friend and colleague, who is ending her career at CNN tonight. She's off to law school at Hofstra University. She will be missed here. Good luck, Jen. We all wish you well.
CNN's prime-time coverage continues right now with Heidi Collins, in for Paula Zahn. Hey, Heidi.
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