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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Jack Hanna

Aired May 30, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Looks like a diva in Vegas.


KING: It's going to be wild. The amazing Jack Hanna just back from Antarctica and a whole herd of exotic animals. Fur, feathers, phone calls all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's always a great pleasure to have him with us and his bevy of birds and reptiles and animals and things. Jack Hanna, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures" seen in the United States and more than 60 countries around the world. He's Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and professional fellow of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

Just back from Antarctica and Thailand getting ready to go to Australia. What was Antarctica like?

JACK HANNA, HOST, "JACK HANNA'S ANIMAL ADVENTURES": It was cold. But it's so far away, Larry. It takes 19 hours to fly to Ushiwai (ph) on the bottom of Argentina, then three days over the great passage. And once you get there, it's obviously all ice and rock, very, very little -- there's no -- animal life is basically the penguins, the whales, sea lions, stuff like that. So there's...

KING: So you've seen them all before. Why go?

HANNA: I've been to Antarctica in 1990 and it's a fascinating trip. Not many people go to Antarctica. We wanted to bring -- on our "Animal Adventure" show, we wanted to show people a part of the world that very few people get to see. Plus, I wanted to see a lot of the melting of the ice down there. It's really a serious problem now. I saw that big iceberg that's as big as Rhode Island. And it was amazing to see the meltoff going on.

KING: When you're at the bottom of the world, are you upside down? A little joke.

HANNA: I know it. But the toilet goes the other way, so I know that.

KING: It does?

HANNA: Yeah, it does. KING: Yeah.

HANNA: I mean, I'm serious. I thought that was a joke. But I would sit there and study it, you know. And, you know, it's ...

KING: Toilet goes the other way. (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

All right. What do we have? We begin, we always have a bevy of animals and we talk about animals as well. And this, I guess, is the American standard. It is being held by Fredericka (ph) the bald eagle.

HANNA: This is from Busch Gardens, Williamsburg. And it really is, Larry. It's a bird that represents our country, the freedom. It gets the white head and the white tail at about three years of age. This bird was injured in Florida.

Now I just got back from Florida yesterday in Citrus Country where they have Homosassa Springs and Crystal River, where a lot of these birds exist. But this bird was hit by a car. And Busch Gardens, Williamsburg does a great job rehabbing these birds.

And the neat thing about the eagle is their eyesight. They could actually read a paper if they could at 100 yards. This bird is -- the sight is what they depend on. And if you look at her glove there, you'll see those talons. They can see that at home. Those talons, if they had to go -- if she didn't have that glove on, it got on your arm, it would go through your arm in a split second, all the way to the bone. That's how the animal grabs her prey. And, of course, they take that feet...

KING: When did he become the American symbol?

HANNA: Well...

KING: A long time ago?

HANNA: Well, you know, the turkey -- what is it? Thomas Jefferson -- who was the one that won the turkey for our -- Benjamin Franklin. I was close. Benjamin Franklin, and, of course, at that point, I don't know how many years ago the bald eagle became our symbol. But you see it obviously, especially this year, we've taken the bald eagle to several things. And people love this bald eagle. We had the Easter egg hunt with the Bush's. And the bald eagle got more attention than most other animals we had.

KING: Great. OK. Does he have a name?

HANNA: That's Liberty.

KING: Liberty. Go, baby.

HANNA: Thank you so much, Liberty. Beautiful animal.

KING: Next we have brought out by Lara (ph), a baby-clouded...

HANNA: Right. A clouded leopard, Larry.

KING: A clouded leopard.


KING: What does this mean, clouded?

HANNA: Well, clouded means if you look at its coat, there are clouds in this little cat's coat here. And when it gets big -- it's from Asia.

KING: Yeah.

HANNA: No. It's from Asia. It lives in the tropical rain forest. And what's so sad about this, Larry, this is one of the most endangered cats in the world, less than 300 left. And what we have to do is start a program like they did with the Bengal tiger. Thank goodness, Exxon Mobil gave $10 million to the save the tiger fund eight years ago, and now we have an increase of the Bengal tiger. If we don't get somebody like that to help with this beautiful animal here, this could go into extinction in the next 15 years.

KING: How big will he or she get?

HANNA: About 80 pounds. And the neat thing is this animal hunts monkeys and birds. They have the longest canine teeth. And this one you can't see because it's just a baby. But when their teeth are grown, they're two inches long. And they eat monkeys and birds. They live 90 percent of their life in trees, unlike any other cat in the world. They say it's like the link between the small ocelot and the large cats like the lion and tiger. They don't...

KING: Are they fast, too?

HANNA: Pretty fast. But they use this long tail. This tail really grows as -- a lot quicker than the animal's body grows. And they use that tail for balance in the treetops. But I bet there aren't two people in the world that have ever seen one of these in the wild, ever seen one in the wild. And for us to film them, we have to use trip cameras because you can't go into the forest in Asia at nighttime and see these animals.

KING: Beautiful color.

HANNA: And this -- not only this coat is valued at about $80,000 on the black market. Not eight, 80. And that's why they're almost on the verge of extinction and loss of habitat, which is kind of sad, obviously.

KING: We're with Jack Hanna, just back from Antarctica heading for Australia. And our next animal up for exhibit on LARRY KING LIVE and one of his regular -- usually with us twice a year -- is a baby wolf being brought out by Jared (ph).

HANNA: Gary. This is Gary. I'm switching.

KING: Let's tell them who Gary is.

HANNA: Go ahead and tell them.

KING: Gary is Gary Nicklaus, the son of Jack Nicklaus. Is he playing here in...

HANNA: In the Kemper Open. Yeah.

KING: Is he playing at Aventura (ph)?

HANNA: He sure is. And Gary's a very animal -- an avid animal lover, like the whole Nicklaus family is. And he took a tour of the zoo the other day and just loved these animals. This is a...

KING: He looks just like his dad.

HANNA: Yeah. He sure does.

KING: I said Aventura. It's not Aventura. It's -- where is the Kemper being played? Avenel. Right. OK. I said Aventura. I'm thinking Florida. OK. Baby wolf.

HANNA: This is a baby wolf that Gary brought out. And the wolf is an animal that is misunderstood a great deal. We know we introduced it into Yellowstone. It came back very, very well. Lived in Montana out in the western states. Again, an animal that was literally annihilated back in the '20s, as you well know. There were a lot of bounty hunters paid to annihilate the wolf. The wolf is one of the most social animals in the world. They do not make good pets. I want to point that out very, very quickly. They're a social animal. And they're an animal...

KING: By social animal, you mean...

HANNA: Well, for example, this animal would take care of - it's actually more social than a human being. It takes care of the old, the sick, you know, actually let the young feed first. A lot of - if you look at what human beings do to each other, we hardly ever...

KING: For family?

HANNA: It's very, very family. Very social.

KING: And beautiful, too.

HANNA: But this animal again, gets to be quite large. And they're an animal that people - I love to see the wolf in the wild. I've only seen them twice. But they're - people say, oh, my gosh. We can't go out there. The wolf might get us. The wolf is not going to - the wolf is more afraid of you than, you know - it's just - it's not going to cause a problem.

KING: Boy, that's a beautiful wolf.

HANNA: Isn't a beautiful animal?

KING: All right. Now...

HANNA: But they come in black and other different colors.

KING: Amy (ph) is going to bring out an armadillo.

HANNA: Right. Amy's got the armadillo. Just make sure ...

KING: I love this one.

HANNA: Amy, it won't bite Amy. She's pregnant, so we don't want the armadillo to hurt anybody. Thank you, Amy.

KING: This is a living thing, folks.

HANNA: Exactly. This is a three-banded armadillo. And you've heard of the three bands because of the bands right here, the three bands. The non-banded is much larger. It's from Mexico and Texas, the non-banded. The three-banded is from South America. And you'll see here - he may not come out of his shell, but usually they'll come out at light time. And they'll dig for worms and things like that. See, it's a perfect - it's like a turtle. See, this is the head here. This is his protection, how he protects himself. And they can actually hear insects four to six inches underground. And they use their claws...

KING: Does he hear us now?

HANNA: Oh, he hears you. His hearing is very excellent. His smell is excellent. His eyesight is very poor. And again, when I'm in South America, if I stay with some natives there, they actually cook the armadillo like a taco. And it's their main source of food down there in a lot of places. It tastes like chicken. But this is very prehistoric, Larry. Plus, this is one of the few animals in the world that carry leprosy. And -- no, no, no. And when I say that, I'm not being...


HANNA: No, I'm not joking. This one doesn't carry leprosy because they've stopped leprosy. But this is one of the few animals in the world that did carry leprosy way back when.

KING: Let's bring out one more in this segment. This is from the Salisbury Zoo. What's significant about the Salisbury Zoo?

HANNA: The Salisbury Zoo is a zoo in Maryland and they have a terrific collection of birds.

KING: And this is a turkey vulture.

HANNA: Right, a turkey vulture. This is the animal you see, Larry, after a lot of - you see animals on the road that have been hit by cars. This animal is mother nature's way of cleaning up the environment. And they do a tremendous job. People say, oh, let's go shoot the vulture. Don't do that because sometimes you're shooting a bald eagle. The bald eagle doesn't get the white head until three years old. And some people think that it's a vulture.

KING: The vulture swoops down and picks up dead things and eats them?

HANNA: Exactly. And that's got a bald head. You see the bald head?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: That's so when he gets inside the gut cavity, the bacteria that is grown is (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

KING: Why is he looking at me like he's hungry?

HANNA: Well, you're not dead or anything so I don't know why.

KING: You have to be dead for the vulture to be interested?

HANNA: Most of the time, yes. You have to be a carrion, nothing moving.

KING: He flies pretty good?

HANNA: Yeah. And they also have an odor. You don't - not very good. They can soar about an hour without ever moving their wings in the currents.

KING: We'll be back with more of Jack Hanna. And he's just back from Antarctica. "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures" appears all over the United States and in more than 60 countries.

Attorney General John Ashcroft tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: As we return to LARRY KING LIVE with Jack Hanna of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," also being assisted tonight by Gary Nicklaus, the son of Jack Nicklaus and a golf pro himself. Here we have a baby wallaby.

HANNA: Yes. This is a wallaby.

KING: This a kangaroo or...

HANNA: Well, that's a very good question. People often say the wallaby's not a -- the wallaby's a kangaroo just because it's smaller is the only reason. They get to about three feet. And then the smallest wallaby, kangaroo in the world is not even about eight inches.

KING: Can they hop?

HANNA: Oh, yeah. They hop. They hop like 15 to 20 feet in one hop. And the wallaby - this is a little one in a pouch. And you may say why. We raise them in pouches because a kangaroo, Larry, and wallaby can have three babies at one time. They can actually have just bred. They can have a baby which looks like a worm. You know, it comes out of the birth canal, climbs up the stomach and into the pouch where it latches onto the nipple. The nipple swells around the kangaroo's mouth. And it stays in that pouch for six months. So the mother sometimes will kick the baby out of the pouch to let the other fetus come into the pouch. Do you follow me?

So what happens is they kick them out too early and we have to hand raise them. It's very, very difficult. A lot of times we're not successful. But this time we're successful. And this is a little joey. And they call a group of kangaroos a mob. And then there's the blue flyer. I think it's the male.

KING: How big will he get?

HANNA: This one will only get about three feet tall. The kangaroo is an animal that, obviously, eats grass. And they're an animal that is still hunted for its meat and its fur in certain parts of Australia. We lost a lot of these in the fires. You heard about the fires last winter in Australia?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: Very, very serious.

KING: By the way, is that a good tip when you go to the zoo, don't get too close to the animals?

HANNA: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

KING: I mean, do we have that occurrence in February, a Bengal tiger at Busch Gardens (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at someone.

HANNA: Well, what happened, Larry - that was - see, some people - that was - none of the visitors - there hasn't been an accident in the Zoo Aquarium in the last 30 years with a visitor. Yes, there have been with staff. This was a staff member and it was a tragic accident. Busch Gardens has one of the finest safety records of anybody in the world. So it just was an accident that happened.

KING: Just be careful.

HANNA: Be careful.

KING: All right. Next we bring out - is this mine? Is this Larry?

HANNA: Yes. That's Larry.

KING: This is Larry the lemur.

HANNA: I can't believe Larry's still...

KING: Brought out by Jared. OK. This lemur was named after me. He's at the Columbus Zoo and he eats these grapes.

HANNA: Yes. KING: This is Larry.

HANNA: Now the lemur - yes. And Jared's one of the - a young guy who does a great job of raising these lemurs.

KING: You want another one, Larry baby?

HANNA: Now, Larry...

KING: My No. 1 man.

HANNA: We named Larry after you many years ago, as you know. And he'll live to be about 20 years old in a zoological situation. In the wild, they wouldn't. He has a little scent gland on his front leg there, the little black thing there. And that's how he - if he was, if he was, if he was ready to breed right now, he'd go up and rub your head and put scent all over you.

KING: Boy, does he have soft skin.

HANNA: Isn't it beautiful? Yeah. A lot of them, a lot of them are killed. It's almost like a chinchilla, isn't it?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: And the animal is nocturnal. They're from Madagascar, the only place in the world. There are now 30 species of lemur left. And the American Zoo Association has a species survival plan where all these lemurs are kept track of so there's no inbreeding. The tail area is used to locate his mates. When he's in the grass - you see that? Isn't that something? When he's in the grass, he'll hold that tail up and you can see him through the woods there.

And that's to locate his mates as well as balance. Their hands, they're prosimian. They're not a monkey. They're not an ape. They're a prosimian which means they're neither. They're in their own family. And they're a very prehistoric animal. And it's very tragic because the loss of forest which we'll say time and time again tonight is incredible in Madagascar. They're cutting down everything. And so...

KING: He's a beautiful little animal.

HANNA: Yeah, he really is.

KING: I'm proud to have him named after me.

HANNA: Are you really?

KING: Well, what are you, kidding? Of course, I would.

HANNA: Thank you.

KING: Larry the lemur. Are you out of your mind? Of course, I love that.

HANNA: They named a donkey Jack after jackass after me so I didn't have...

KING: Now we have - John brings out a palm civet or civet.

HANNA: Palm civet.

KING: Civet.

HANNA: And the palm civet's an animal that's from Asia. It looks like a lemur, doesn't it? But it's not.

KING: There's restaurants named after it.

HANNA: You could, you could take him over there and let Larry see him.

KING: Don't put him on me.

HANNA: He won't hurt you. He thinks you're a tree. Go ahead, John.

KING: I don't want to be the tree.


KING: Let's just...

HANNA: Just put your arm out there. He's just - act like a tree. That's it.

KING: Oh, there he goes.

HANNA: Now, this is, this is Larry - this is not Larry...

KING: He don't bite?

HANNA: John? No, they don't bite.

KING: So what do you have to check with him for?

HANNA: Well, just to make sure he hadn't bitten anybody.

KING: You weren't sure, were you?

HANNA: Right.

KING: Because I'm in a dangerous position here.

HANNA: I wouldn't let anybody...

KING: Jewish person with a palm civet on his neck is not in the happiest position in the world.

HANNA: You're right.

KING: Tell me about him.

HANNA: Anyway, I forgot.

KING: Why am I nervous?

HANNA: Palm civet is from Asia and they're nocturnal. You can see from those eyes. Not many people see these animals even though they're not - they're not rare, by the way like the lemur was rare. The palm civet's an animal that lives in palm trees and they actually eat the palm dates, the little birds and little insects like that. And they like a little fruit.

KING: And he also eats sometimes human beings.


KING: OK. Take him, John.

HANNA: No. And he has a prehensile tail, if you noticed that, Larry? The prehensile tail there? That's so he can hold himself in the trees. And they're a real neat animal. They're also hunted for their perfume. They have a perfume. It doesn't smell good, but the natives hunt him for their perfume.

KING: Wow.


KING: Now we have Lois bringing out a Peregrine falcon.

HANNA: Peregrine. Larry, we've never had one of these on the show. This is the fastest animal in the world. Bird, mammal, whatever you want to call it. The fastest. Two hundred and twenty miles per hour this animal can go.

KING: You're kidding?

HANNA: No. They can eat pigeons. Speaking of pigeons, Larry, tomorrow night I'm speaking at Kisgee (ph) Prep School. Mr. Pigeon, the headmaste of the boys' school I went to is retiring after 52 years. So I'm going to say hello to him.

KING: His name is Mr. Pigeon.

HANNA: Mr. Pigeon. Isn't that neat?

KING: Only you could have a teacher named Mr. Pigeon.

HANNA: I know. I'm sorry.

KING: But this bird flies at 220 miles an hour?

HANNA: Yes. And this bird, Larry, this bird can actually spot its prey. It's incredible, its eyesight. Now you remember -- you've seen the stealth bomber, I'm sure?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: Look at those wings.

KING: Yes.

HANNA: That's exactly how we've designed planes after these birds. Our scientists can look at a bird of prey like - if people have seen the stealth bomber, that wing is exactly like a stealth bomber.

KING: How do you even see this go by?

HANNA: You don't. I actually stood one time about two years ago doing a show. And the guy said I'm going to fly this bird between your legs. That bird went up in the sky about 200 yards and he let - he told the bird to come down. And it - I held myself, obviously. And that bird, that bird like a bullet shot between my legs. And it was the most incredible feeling. It's unbelievable. You didn't really feel anything. It just went so fast.

KING: This bird could win Indianapolis easy.

HANNA: Right. But it's the fastest animal in the world. Plus, this bird has a real success story. This bird is actually coming back in Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, New York City. It's making their nest now in skyscrapers. So actually for a change, we as human beings are doing something that this bird can now...

KING: You mean you could be in New York and see this swoop over you?

HANNA: Exactly. Right over, because of pigeons again. They love to eat pigeons. And oh, yeah, another thing. A guy named Walter Crawford (ph) trains these birds. This is for Columbus Zoo. But trains these birds to - on the airstrips for our military bases to keep a lot of the fowl, the geese and stuff so they don't hurt the jets. You know, jet engines?

KING: Yeah.

HANNA: So they actually train these birds to keep those geese and stuff out of there.

KING: And finally in this portion, we have ...

HANNA: Thank you very much, Lois.

KING: Thank you, Lois. This is a crocodile. I understand we have an alligator coming later.

HANNA: Right. We'll put the alligator over here because I'm going to compare both of them.

KING: Oh, we're going to have them both?

HANNA: See, a lot of people don't understand. Don't put your finger in his mouth.

KING: What?

HANNA: Don't put your finger in his mouth.

KING: Just what I wanted to do.

HANNA: No. No. But you'll see the difference here.

KING: Take away all the fun.

HANNA: Amy has, Amy has an alligator. She lives in Florida so she's familiar with alligators. This is only about eight months old, the little alligator here. This crocodile is about - what? About three or four years old, Jared? So the crocodile - look at the noses. We can put it - I don't want to put him real close. But look at the difference in the noses.

KING: Are they not friendly with each other?



HANNA: But this thing here, Larry, has a blunted a nose. That's a very sharp nose. This is a much more aggressive animal. This animal, it can wait for months without eating and it'll come after you. This animal...

KING: Croc is worse than the alligator?

HANNA: Yes. From the standpoint of...

KING: Are both of their skins valuable?

HANNA: Both are valuable, but you must remember, most of the crocodiles - a lot of them are endangered in many places. The alligator now has been taken off the endangered species list. It's not - they actually harvest the alligator now for its meat and its skin.

KING: Why is his mouth open like that?

HANNA: Because he's ready. If you put your finger there - that looks like it wouldn't hurt you? This one here could take your finger off.

KING: He looks like he would hurt.

HANNA: And remember, they hunt with vibration, Larry, not smell or anything. The alligator's brain is very small and the crocodile's brain. But they can feel vibration miles off so I would - when you go to you - where do you go on vacation? In Florida. Don't go swimming at nighttime, because if you start pedaling around, they're going to - this is my advice to you. You can do what you want. But if you go pedaling around...

KING: I'll follow it. I'll follow it. HANNA: They'll hear the vibration and they'll come after you. And they bring their prey down. They drown their prey. And then they - they can't chew. But that's a crocodile, everybody. And that's the alligator. Not many people get to see this, the difference.

KING: More with Jack Hanna on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE right after this.


KING: As we come back to LARRY KING LIVE with Jack Hanna, this may be the only show in the universe that has Anna Nicole Smith, Jack Hanna and animals and John Ashcroft on back to back.

Anyway, this is the spectacle owl from the Salisbury Zoo. Jim is holding it. Jim is the director of the zoo. What about this? This is a she, right?

HANNA: Right. Now you...

KING: How do they know?

HANNA: All right. A lot of people ask that. It's like a chicken. It's hard unless it's a rooster. They have cloacas (ph) which is an opening. In other words, they don't have men and women have or male of species. It has a cloacae (ph). And you have to know how to sex a bird. I'm not good at it yet, but, you know...

KING: She's looking at you like she's following your talk.

HANNA: Right. She probably is. But Jim told me - he knows more about it than me. But this is a spectacle owl from South America. And this bird is a solitary bird. They're a bird that - some of these birds actually eat small monkeys and animals like that. But the owl...

KING: For laughs.

HANNA: Well, not for laughs. But they actually eat a lot of the rodents and stuff. They're very, very important. Their big eyes - they're nocturnal. And we have another owl coming on from North America here in just a minute.

KING: They don't blink, huh?

HANNA: No. Yes, they do blink sometime. They're called the bird of silent flight, though, because if this owl were to fly in this room here, you would never hear it. And in just a minute, I'm going to tell you another - never hear it. It's a bird of silent flight.

Their bones are a lot more hollow than regular birds. Like, if you think this bird here with Jim holding it weighs about three or four pounds, wouldn't you? That bird doesn't even weigh a pound, like 12 ounces. They're very, very light. And Mother Nature gave them that so the bird could swoop down and get their prey.

KING: They look so serious.

HANNA: Oh, they do. You know, part of people...

KING: No, look at the look I'm getting.

HANNA: Well, why do they call it the wise old owl? Only because of the animal and its senses. The bird - the owl's brain is very small, again. It's his senses that makes it a wise owl.

KING: He's - OK. Thank you very much, Jim. The spectacle owl. And now a bush baby. What's this?

HANNA: Now, the bush baby...

KING: This is -- wait a minute. Get out. You're not connecting this with the president?

HANNA: No. No, no, no, no. This is, this is a - it's called a bush baby from Africa. And I was talking to Gary earlier and he was out in Africa looking at animals. And he saw a bunch of eyes and said I wonder what that was. And so, what it is it's a bush baby at nighttime. You see many, many eyes. They're not endangered, but you never see them unless it's at nighttime.

KING: They stay babies forever?

HANNA: No. No. This is a full-grown bush baby. I don't know if he's turned around...

KING: But they're called bush babies?

HANNA: Right. Can we see him that way? They're called a bush baby because they live in the bushes. And they live in the trees, too. The bush, you know, in Africa is a bush.

KING: Right. But they're still called a baby even though they grow?

HANNA: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Bush baby - good point. Right. Yeah. They just call them bush babies. And they're an animal that eats like little fruits and little insects. They love insects. But look at those ears, Larry...

KING: Great shot of him.

HANNA: ... excellent eyesight, isn't that beautiful? Again, an animal you would not see much of ever in the daytime. But in nighttime when we were out filming, especially in Botswana, we see a lot of these animals on our animal vision show when we're out filming.

KING: You know, animals have nicer eyes than humans. A lot of animals have beautiful eyes.

HANNA: Yeah, there's even a book - and I don't know the name of the book - that's written about animals' eyes. And you're right. It's very, very fascinating... KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HANNA: Very fascinating. Thank you, Jared.

KING: OK. Next, Laura will bring out a kinkachoo (ph).

HANNA: Right, a kinkachoo. I don't think you've had this on before.

KING: A kinkachoo.

HANNA: I'll let Laura stand right over here, Laura, if you want to and hold this.

KING: What is this?

HANNA: This is, Larry, this is, Larry, also an animal you also never see. It's from Central and South America and has a prehensiled tail. It's called a kinkachoo or a honey bear. My daughter, Julie (ph) helped raise this at home. And this animal has a tongue, Larry, about six to seven inches long.

It gets into - it eats a lot of - it's actually a pollinator. Like a bee's a pollinator? This animal, through its defecation, pollinates with all of the fruits and things in the rain forest. So they're a very important animal. The sad thing is back in the 70's and 60's, it was used in the pet industry. And it almost was wiped out, yes.

Now, people thought they made good pets, but it obviously doesn't because it's nocturnal. And that's not a very good animal to have as a, as a pet. But they're an animal that does have teeth and it can bite. But they're mainly fruit eaters. And like to get in the bee's nest and eat the honey with that long tongue they have. Again, only nighttime. And this what we call the prehensile tail.

KING: And they're indigenous to where?

HANNA: Central and South America.

KING: OK. Thank you very much. There goes the kinkachoo.

HANNA: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Thank you, Laura.

KING: And now a Eurasian eagle owl from Busch Gardens.

HANNA: Right. This is Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. By the way, with the eagle program there, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and all the Busch parks, they do a tremendous job rehabilitating eagles.

KING: An Eurasian eagle owl.

HANNA: Right. Now the eagle owl, Larry, is...

KING: Fredericka, right?

HANNA: The largest owl in the world. This is a, this is a male. And the male is - the female is like twice as big. It's huge.

KING: Female's bigger than a male?

HANNA: Yes. And this, and this owl can actually - not this one. But the females can actually pick up a small deer. Now, I'm sorry, kill a small deer. They can't pick it up. But they can kill a small deer. But there again, it has talons. The owl, I was going to say earlier, with this owl, they have excellent hearing. So this owl, even though it has good eyesight, it can actually hunt in total darkness.

If you had a mouse in this room, if you turned all the lights out here - maybe we'll do that some night. Turn all the lights out and put a mouse in here, it would actually go and find the mouse. That's how - they just - their hearing...

KING: Are they very light, too?

HANNA: Yes. This bird here probably weighs about - it's - Walter Crawford raises these birds out in Missouri. And this bird actually is about five, four or five pounds. It looks like it weighs about 10 or 15 pounds.

KING: But it's so serious, owl.

HANNA: See there? Look how their neck - they cannot, by the way, turn their neck all the way around. That's impossible. But they can turn their neck about what? A hundred and sixty degrees? Two seventy?

KING: Two seventy. Pretty good swivel.

HANNA: Jeepers. And the ears, by the way, aren't on the tufts. Where are the ears located? Right in there.

KING: Oh, that's not the ear on top?


KING: Thank you very much.

HANNA: Thanks for bringing it in from Busch Gardens.

KING: And our next animal in this segment is a cavy. Or is it a cavy?

HANNA: Cavy. This is a Patagonian cavy, which I've never had on. This is from the Columbus Zoo.

KING: There's a lot of animals you've never had on.

HANNA: Exactly. The cavy's an animal from Patagonia, which as you know is in South America at the bottom. It's an animal that's very prehistoric, Larry.

KING: What is that they fed him? HANNA: A sweet potato.

KING: I like sweet potatoes.

HANNA: But don't they look like - what does that look like to you? It looks like a ...

KING: It looks like a kangaroo?

HANNA: Yes, like something that the lab was experimenting with.

KING: Yes. Let's try this with that.

HANNA: Yes, but Mother Nature gave this animal - look at his legs. See how the little - small the front legs are compared to the back legs? See? Very, very much smaller. Almost like a kangaroo, right.

KING: Yeah.

HANNA: But this is the Patagonian cavy again. And the animal is hunted down. There is not - it's almost - it's in the rodent family, right? It's in the rodent family. And the animal is hunted a lot for its meat and for its, for its fur. But they're an animal ...

KING: They eat this?

HANNA: Oh, yeah. Patagonian cavy. Yeah. But they're an animal not many people see. They kind of hang around swamps and things like that to be near the water and also near vegetation. But they also live in the desert.

KING: Do you like all, do you like all animals?

HANNA: All animals, yes. I like all animals. I'm a little, I'm a little leery over poisonous snakes. But I know the crocodile - he takes care of that for you. But I'm a little leery over that. I love the great white shark. I went diving with in South Africa - and it was phenomenal to see that animal up close, you know, appreciate its size.

KING: Do you watch the croc guy that was on your show?

HANNA: Oh, yeah. I watch that.

KING: Do you watch him?

HANNA: Yeah, that was nice. He was raised that way, you know? He's a little hyper to me. Of course, you have to be that way handling snakes.

KING: A little hyper than you? He's more hyper than the world. Jumps out of buildings.

HANNA: No. No. But he was raised in that environment. He knows the snakes. He knows them very well. But this animal here is an animal from South America. And Patagonia has some neat wildlife you don't see much of.

KING: This is a very beautiful animal.

HANNA: You ever really...

KING: I like tonight. Tonight we've got different animals.


KING: Still to come, folks, in our next segment, a penguin, a Savannah monitor, an African crow, a baird (ph) owl and a python. Still ahead on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away. Will he survive?


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE with Rodney the penguin. Great name, great bird. Now, I thought they have to be in cold weather.

HANNA: Right, a lot of people think that, Larry. But there are 17 species of penguin, and only five have to be in cold weather. And all the Sea Worlds have these animals in their 25 degrees or so. Their habitats are extremely...

KING: Rodney, what are you doing?

HANNA: They've been eating that fish. Anyway, this animal has more feathers per square inch than any bird in the world. This is a warm-weather penguin. We have penguins from Australia, South America, South Africa. This bird can't go below 50 degrees.

Now, the penguin, the female lays the egg. She leaves right away and let's the male stand there for 38 days, or 40 days, sitting on it. He'll lose half his body weight while she goes out to sea, messing around. And that poor penguin loses all that weight, the male penguin. So he has to take care of the babies.

KING: Boy, that's the only species.

HANNA: One of the few, yes. And the egg sits on top of the feet. When we were in Antarctica just a few months ago, they actually sit there, because the ground is so cold, the egg sits on top of their feet. And they incubate the egg and the little babies go around with their mom.

KING: And they walk a long way, right?

HANNA: The big penguins in the South Pole actually walk to the South Pole and back. They eat krill as well as fish. This is a jackass penguin, or a black-footed penguin. Again, called that because he brays like a donkey.

But you know, why are they black and white? Camouflage. People ask me all the time, the whale, the penguin, a dolphin, a jersey cow, a dalmatian, a zebra. Zebras are black and white because when a lion hunts, a zebra only sees in black and white. So if you watch a lion hunt, the zebras all stick together because the lion gets confused that way. You can't pick out, you understand, because it's all black and white.

KING: Got you. Okay, next is a Savannah Monitor. I have no idea what this is. Is this from Georgia?

HANNA: No, not from Georgia.

KING: Savannah.

HANNA: Oh, I see. You got me on that one. It's from Africa -- I wasn't paying attention. This is from Africa.

The Savannah lizard is an animal that lives in Africa. It eats a lot of eggs of birds, snake eggs. They'll eat just about anything, small mammals. That tongue is used for smelling. That's how he can feel heat.

They're a reptile. Don't touch him back there. You can touch him. The animal grows to be quite large, 3 to 4 feet. The largest lizard we have, I think, is the komodo dragon, right, in the world today.

But this is very prehistoric, Larry. People talk about dinosaurs. Well, this is kind of where they've all evolved from over the millions of years. But again, an animal that can take temperatures very, very hot.

A reptile, remember, their temperature is the same as the outside temperature. You and I are 98.6, whatever it is. A reptile's temperature is the same as the temperature in this room. That's why you have to be careful and monitor them very closely in zoological parks.

KING: Wow. Thank you, Lois. Now an African crow.

HANNA: Now, you may just say this is an African crow. The crow, it's like our crow from this country.

KING: He don't want the grape. No, no, you give it to him.

HANNA: What's his name?


HANNA: This is Nigel the crow.

KING: He don't want it.

HANNA: You're right. Anyway, the thing about crows, Larry, a lot of people go to Naples. There's a crow in Naples that had over $60,000 worth of jewelry in his nest. So when you go on the beach -- you may go on the beach someday -- don't put your watch and your rings down. Because what happens is, these crows are sitting up there watching what you're doing. In Africa I lost a watch once. They come down, scoop it up, take the watch, because it's glittery. And then they take it to their nest. In Naples, they actually found a nest of I don't know how much jewelry.

KING: Where do they sell it, Beverly Hills? Where do they begin? They go for jewelry?

HANNA: Yes, they love it.

KING: Do we know why? We've never interviewed a crow.


KING: By the way, Jack Hanna was appointed by President Bush to the National Refuge System -- which does what?

HANNA: It's our 100th anniversary this year of our refuge system, the first one being in Florida. Crystal River, Florida, is a national refuge system. It's a protected area, like for the manatee in Crystal River. It's a place that's protected.

And Alaska has several refuge systems. And there's over 400 refuge systems, and we're going to celebrate that this year and next year.

KING: You're ought to be honored.


KING: OK, and now a baird owl.

HANNA: A barred owl.

KING: Barred owl.

HANNA: The barred owl, again, is from Salisbury. And this is an animal that's from our country. And these animals, Larry, live in like barns and trees. And now that we're kind of taking over the barns, the woods and everything for subdivisions...

KING: Hey. Who-who.

HANNA: These animals, Larry, are adapting as well, to housing developments, to attics, to all sorts of things. In Montana I tried to have leaves from a lot of trees for the owls to go in and find homes in.

But they're an animal that's protected, by the way. You cannot go out and shoot owls, that I know of, in any state in the United States right now. They're a protected species.

KING: Why would you shoot an owl?

HANNA: Well, I could tell you stories you wouldn't understand. KING: What would hunt an owl?

HANNA: Why do people do that? We don't know. Maybe it's a mistake hunting an owl. But an owl isn't going to harm anybody.

KING: What are you going to do, stuff it and hang it up?

HANNA: I guess, yes. But this is an animal that really is the wise old owl. Again, the hearing, the eyesight, even some smell. But the animal is an animal that -- the brain is very small again, so the animal is vulnerable to a lot of humans.

KING: They're beautiful.

HANNA: A lot of them are hit by cars and power lines.

KING: Owls are beautiful.

And now the last animal in this segment -- is a snake an animal?

HANNA: Yes, it's a reptile. It's an animal, sure.

KING: This is a python.

HANNA: You can hold its tail.

KING: I don't like snakes.

HANNA: I know you don't.

KING: Do you know anyone who does like snakes?

HANNA: Oh, yes. Gary likes snakes. Just kidding, Gary doesn't like snakes.

KING: Gary Nicklaus likes snakes?

HANNA: I'm just joking.

KING: You ever see him on the golf course? Good luck. Whoa, this feels nice.

HANNA: This is a python.

KING: Is he deadly?

HANNA: No. They have 220 teeth shaped like fish hooks. They do bite. They bite, and they cannot let go. Mother Nature gave them that so they could hold on to their prey. They wrap around, squeeze them and swallow their prey whole.

KING: Could it swallow me?

HANNA: A big one could easily swallow you. I've seen them swallow antelope in Africa. These animals can get to be 250 pounds and 18 to 24 feet long. They could eat two of you, easily. KING: Where does it go?

HANNA: It comes in here like this, and you could just watch your body going down through here like this. And then it comes out the other end. That's how the snake eats, I'm trying to tell you. They swallow their prey whole. They don't chew anything.

This animal is not poisonous, Larry. In a minute we may bring one on. I'm just trying to figure out if I want to do that yet or not. But this is...

KING: Maybe we won't.

HANNA: We might. The snake, though, bites again. And when you're bitten, if you really wanted to wait there, the snake would take about 15 minutes to relax his jaw muscles. The teeth will go back up in the sheath, and then you could pull your hand out.

But this python is from Africa and Asia. And remember the big anaconda? That's from South America. And that grows to be 30 feet long. So there's no reason to be afraid of snakes, Larry. Snakes provide a great purpose for Mother Nature in controlling rodents and things.

KING: OK, and when we come back, we're going to meet a toucan. I love them. And a giant toad and a porcupine and a sawhet owl and a gray fox. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures." And a visit with a toucan.

HANNA: Here's a toucan. And a lot of people, Larry, want to have a bird as a pet. A parrot is OK if it's from a reputable breeder, not from the wild. It's some of the biggest smuggling we have in this country, and the American Zoo Association has a figure, that smuggling of birds -- it's the second behind drugs.

They tried to smuggle in 100 or so parrots from South America several months ago.

KING: For pets?

HANNA: Yes, and they put them in PVC pipes, wrapped them up with tape. And only about 20 survived. So you don't want to but a parrot -- this is a toucan. This is not a bird to buy, because this bird is very difficult to raise and it's got a very soft beak. It's a fruit eater. So what comes in goes out very quickly. I'm talking like within an hour. It, like, squirts out. You wouldn't want that.

KING: What's that noise he makes?

HANNA: It's a happy noise. He wants to eat a grape right now. He sees the grapes. That beak, Larry, doesn't even weigh an ounce. It's just like a feather, that beak. They'll (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You'd think he would just dive bomb because the beak is so heavy.

With the toucan, we see a lot of those from Central and South America. The Fruit Loops bird.

KING: OK, next we have a giant toad, from the Columbus Zoo.

HANNA: You can bring him out here.

KING: You bring him out.

HANNA: This is not my biggest one. My biggest one might be breeding right now. This is Harvey.

KING: Hello there, Harvey.

HANNA: This is little Harvey. We have big Harvey on the floor. Harvey has neurotoxic glands right here behind his eye. This is the toad, Larry, from South America that came over to our country, into Australia. They're now -- they brought them over to control a lot of stuff with the sugarcane crop, a lot of the insects.

But what happened is, the toad bred more than anything else. Now they don't know how to get rid of the toad. A lot of dogs are eating these now. They're dying of neurotoxic poison. They'll kill dogs. This is poison right here.

KING: What's the difference between the toad and the turtle?

HANNA: A frog lives in the in water. A toad is on land. A turtle, obviously, has a shell.

KING: They all look alike.

HANNA: Well, they do. If you put a shell on him, he might look like a turtle. He blows himself up with air. This thing will eat little mice and stuff. They actually help control mice, too, in the sugarcane fields. But this thing can get to be huge. They blow themselves up with air is how they defend themselves.

KING: Does he make a sound like a frog?

HANNA: No, he doesn't go ribbit or anything. They don't even hop very well. They just kind of sit around and wait for their prey.

KING: Are they slow, too?

HANNA: Very slow. It's not like a frog.

KING: Now we have a porcupine.

HANNA: No, this is the fox.

KING: Oh, I'm sorry, we switched them. The gray fox.

HANNA: Now, this is an animal, Larry, that is also a very social animal, an animal that's misunderstood. It's probably one of the most intelligent -- if you want to use the word intelligence.

This animal is good. This animal, in Montana, ate all my chickens this summer. Not this one, but a fox got my chickens. How he got them, I don't know. Because I had this thing fox-proofed. Plus, they were rental chickens, too. I won't get into that story. I rent the chickens for the summer, and he ate all my chickens.

But anyway, this fox -- you smell that odor?

KING: I do.

HANNA: It's almost like a skunk odor.

KING: It's not as bad.

HANNA: Right, it's an odor they have to locate each other. The foxes live three or four in a group. And they're an animal that is still hunted for their coat and that type of thing.

But the Fox is an animal that can get into just about anything. They're very keen, but they also are, again, social. They take care of their young and they take care of their families.

KING: They're also beautiful.

HANNA: They really are.

KING: Now we have...

HANNA: They're not endangered, by the way.

KING: A sawhet owl.

HANNA: Right. Now, the sawed owl...

KING: A little owl.

HANNA: Where is this from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, it's migratory.

HANNA: Migratory.

KING: Meaning?

HANNA: Is this the smallest owl in the world?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not sure about that.

HANNA: I think, Larry, the owl is one of the few species in the world that's found on every continent except Antarctica, the owl species is. This own is one of the smallest owls...

KING: That's its growth?

HANNA: Yes, this is a full-grown owl. And they live -- I think this is the animal that lives in the ground. It burrows in the ground. This one was injured. You can see why we have it at the zoo.

Look at the little talons there. So you can find this animal eating little lizards, little, teeny mice. But mainly little amphibians, is what this animal would eat. That's called a sawhet owl.

Thank you very much.

KING: And now we meet a porcupine.

HANNA: The porcupine, what we're going to do...

KING: Corn.

HANNA: This is the prehensile tailed porcupine. It's not like our North American porcupine, Larry.

KING: Come on out.

HANNA: He looks like -- there we go. Now, notice those quills, Larry. You never would go like this. They don't throw their quills. People think a porcupine throws their quills. They do not throw them.

If you touch that quill, it's going to go in you, because it's shaped like a barb at the end. Jared was with me once and the porcupine got him in the knee, and he had six quills that had to be taken out surgically.

This animal is from Central and South America. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). The African porcupine is huge, it's this big. The porcupine would usually rattle, almost like a rattle snake, when the predator is approaching. And if the predator touches it, like the North American cougar, it gets quills in its face. A lot of times it will die from infection.

But that's the porcupine's means. The only way a predator can get a porcupine is to turn him over. Underneath there, it's very, very soft fur underneath the porcupine. They mainly eat like bark. Vegetation is what they eat.

KING: So that's his defense mechanism.

HANNA: That's it. Most every animal in the world -- again, I was with a manatee last week down in Florida. And usually every animal in the world has a defense mechanism. The manatee -- you've heard of the manatee.

KING: Sure.

HANNA: It's a beautiful, magnificent creature. And they -- there is nothing they can really do, other than swim away real fast. But I love the porcupine, don't you? Aren't they cute?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: By the way, they're born with soft quills, and the quills harden up within about six to eight hours after birth. These quills get very hard. Obviously, you couldn't have a baby with hard quills.

KING: I love the way they eat.

HANNA: Hear it? Listen. That's something. I just -- I love porcupines and beavers.

KING: Yes, they have that great look.

HANNA: They really do. It's a beautiful creature. And again, South American, North American, and the African porcupine.

KING: We'll get a break. We'll be back with our last segment. We're still going to meet a legless lizard, a screech owl, a giant (UNINTELLIGIBLE), a hedgehog, and maybe a rattlesnake.

HANNA: Do you smell him?

KING: Yes, I smell him. Don't go away.


KING: We come back with a legless lizard. We thank all the assistants for assisting Jack Hanna tonight.

Let's get a call in here. Lebanon, Missouri, hello.

CALLER: Hi, my question is what's Jack's least-favorite animal, and what's his favorite animal? Mine is the tigers. And yours, Larry?

HANNA: Larry, lemur, he likes.

KING: My favorite animal is Larry the lemur.

HANNA: But she's right. I do love the tigers. I just hope that the tiger, again, can be saved just like with these all these other cats.

KING: My favorite animal is a thoroughbred horse that can run, well.

HANNA: There's nothing more beautiful than a horse. I love elephants. I like -- every animal has a purpose. But a lot of the jellyfish -- one of the deadliest animals in the world is a jellyfish from Australia. So obviously, I wouldn't want to have him come here.

KING: Boy, if elephants ate humans, we'd be gone, right? We wouldn't be around.

HANNA: I never thought of it.


HANNA: There's a legless lizard, Larry. The lizard has eyelids and ear openings. And that's how you tell the difference between a lizard and a snake. And Erica is my cockroach assistant. Erica, stand right here. Isn't she a pretty cockroach assistant?

KING: Whoa, beautiful cockroaches.

HANNA: I know you love these things. I'm going to let you hold that one.

KING: Just leave it there.

HANNA: I'm going to leave these here for you.

KING: You'll never be back, right?

You're watching Jack Hanna's last appearance on LARRY KING. Great guest. Oh, aren't they nice, just caterpillars walking around.

HANNA: You hear it? It's a hissing cockroach from Africa. There we go. There, can you hold these right here? I'm sorry.

KING: Why am I doing this? OK, let's leave them there. Bring on something else. Let's see how long I can handle this.

HANNA: Let's go ahead and take this.

KING: A hedgehog?

HANNA: Screech owl.

KING: Another owl. This is owl night.

HANNA: This is a screech owl. Notice, it's a little bit larger than the one from North America.

KING: Nice red hair.

HANNA: Again, it was injured by a car. This animal is used for educational purposes.

KING: Does it screech?

HANNA: Yes, that's why they call it the screech owl.

KING: What are they doing with the caterpillars? What are they doing -- what are these?

HANNA: Those are my Madagascar cockroaches, from Africa.

KING: Are they doing anything, or they're just hanging on.

HANNA: No, this is the male over here, female here. Just leave them here, because if they lay eggs on you, then you've got a problem. You'll have to wash the shirt and everything else.

KING: Well, I'll wash the shirt anyways.

HANNA: Yes, do that. Don't let them get in your hair. Thank you very much.

KING: Don't let them get in your hair, OK. We've got two minutes. What's next?

HANNA: I want to show you this, because a lot of people don't understand snakes.

KING: Another snake.

HANNA: Right, but you just sit back there like this.

KING: Sit back. Why am I sitting back? What kind of snake is it?

HANNA: A lot of people don't understand the rattlesnake.

KING: The rattlesnake.

HANNA: Right.

KING: Why don't they understand it, Jack?

HANNA: Well, the rattlesnake is an animal that also serves a great purpose, even though I'm not very fond of them. They have a rattle on them and that rattle...

KING: Like a baby rattle?

HANNA: Yes, it tries to warn you before they do.

KING: Before they do what, Jack?

HANNA: Before they strike.

KING: And when they strike, what do they do?

HANNA: Larry, they can bite -- you can't even watch them by the eye. They bite so fast, they can actually bite you three times before you even move. They inject the venom. It's not neurotoxic venom. It's a venom that makes you quite ill, and also you can lose an extremity if you don't have it treated immediately.

But the worse time to get bitten, Larry, is in the springtime.

KING: It's May, Jack.

HANNA: Right. I know that, but this is Ray's. Thank you, Jerry. We can put him up now.

KING: Good idea.

HANNA: The rattlesnake, Larry, a lot of people don't understand. The worst time to be bitten, because a lot of rattlesnake bites are what we call dry bites.

KING: Are they always hungry? HANNA: No, a snake can wait six months to eat.

KING: One more quick animal. We have less than a minute. What is this one?

HANNA: This is our European hedgehog.

KING: Herbie the hedgehog.

HANNA: Right, see here?

KING: I love hedgehogs.

HANNA: He's got little quills. Be careful.

KING: Wait a minute. Get these things off me.

HANNA: The hedgehog would eat those. The hedgehogs eats insects. This is one of these animals that they've actually done a great job with in Europe. They actually have these little tunnels in the roadway to protect themselves. And they also come out at nighttime and eat worms.

KING: Jack, you're a super man, a great guest.

HANNA: Thank you.

KING: What can we say about Jack Hanna? "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures," a great show. Watch it every week. It's seen in the United States and more than 60 countries. He's director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. A professional fellow of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

A piece of happy news tonight. Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered "Wall Street Journal" correspondent Daniel Pearl, gave birth to a little boy on Tuesday. We have a statement from the family.

Quote: "Adam D. Pearl, 5.7 pounds, has arrived. And not only is the world smiling on him, Adam is already smiling back. Adam's birth rekindles the joy, love and humanity that Danny radiated wherever he went. The name "Adam" symbolizes the birth of humankind and the connectedness of civilizations. Danny also liked the name Adam because it reminded him of President John Quincy Adams, whose ideas on freedom and peace were far ahead of his time. We want to express our gratitude to all of you who have waited eagerly for our new arrival. And we thank you for standing by us," end quote.

A foundation has been set up to honor Daniel Pearl's memory and to support the values he believed in. You can make a donation by visiting the Web site We at LARRY KING LIVE extend our best wishes to Mariane Pearl, a recent guest on this program, and little Adam.

We'll be right back to tell you about tomorrow night. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, the attorney general of the United States, John Ashcroft, for the full hour.

"NEWSNIGHT" with Aaron Brown is next. An emotional day for Aaron. He had to relive the events of September 11th as he anchored the coverage this morning of the final day of putting together all the refuge from that terrible day. Aaron Brown anchors "NEWSNIGHT" in New York.