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CNN Larry King Live

Jack Hanna's Animals

Aired September 01, 2006 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Time to get wild with Jack Hanna and his amazing animals. Snakes alive, it's Jack Hanna, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. And welcome to another edition of LARRY KING LIVE, a very special edition. I'm not wearing a tie for one thing, because I want to be in the mood for the animals in case they jump on me. Because it's time for Jack Hanna and our special animal hour. It's always great to have him with us.

Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and host of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild". He is back from recent travels, a new connection with Rwanda in what way?

JACK HANNA, DIRECTOR EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO: Rwanda's been a fascinating country. I went there in '86 before the terrible genocide. I was there in '92 before it happened. And now Rwanda's called the greatest turnaround in the history of the world where terrible genocide is today.

It's the safest country in Africa, the most democratic country of Africa, and the animal populations are coming back tremendously as well as the gorillas. But there's only 360 mountain gorillas left in the world.

KING: Is that a great animal country?

HANNA: Yes. Obviously there were animals lost in the terrible war. But now they're coming back tremendously. But the mountain gorilla there, that's sitting there between me and you, to a 400-pound mountain gorilla. You want to go with me someday? You could -- I swear I would take you.

KING: I'm big with mountain gorillas.

HANNA: I know, they love you.

KING: I'll ask you about Kenya in a while. Let's meet our first animal of the evening.

HANNA: All right.

KING: And this is a baby cougar.

HANNA: Right. A baby mountain lion or baby cougar.

KING: Where are they found? HANNA: They're found all over North America. I see them all over North America. We've heard, Larry, recently obviously about several years ago about the deaths that were caused in California from the mountain lion or cougar. But that's like getting hit by lightning.

It has spots when they're born. You can see the beautiful spots here. This is from the Nabi Zoo at Quad Cities (ph).

And the mountain lion is an animal that has the greatest leaping ability of any cat in the world: 30 to 35 feet in one leap.

They are solitary. The female leaves after she breeds, has the babies, usually two babies, and once the babies are born if the male were to find them he would kill them. So she has to keep the babies way from the males.

But they're a beautiful cat. They're the last -- the largest great carnivore you have left on the North American continent.

KING: Do we know why they kill them?

HANNA: No, it's just really like -- it's like tigers. It's just something that interferes with their mating ability, basically, when these animals have babies.

But this cat, Larry, again, will stay with the mom up to two years, and what's happening now is loss of habitat. The cats come back very well in California, Montana, Idaho, those states, but when it's full grown it's about six, seven feet long with a tail, weighs about 220 pounds.

I saw the first one, Larry, in Montana last year coming across a road there. I was way up in the mountains, and it came flying across the road, and it was magnificent to see one. By the way, it's one of the most elusive cats in the world, as well.

KING: I can tell. Let's meet next...

HANNA: Here. You touch him. Isn't that beautiful?

KING: Oh, nice.


KING: Let's meet -- you laugh whenever I touch an animal. Let's meet next a serval. What is a serval?

HANNA: This serval is from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

KING: He eats raw meat.

HANNA: Yes, he does. He's from Africa. And Larry, the unique thing about this, we can take a second here. Look at the legs on this cat here. The hind legs and front legs are different lengths. Really the only cat in the world that has different lengths as far as legs. So why is that? Because this cat, and I've seen it happen only twice in East Africa, they can take those back legs and jump up six feet in the air and catch a bird in free flight. Can you imagine that, catching a bird flying by?

You notice the animal's looking around. He sees something moving back there. Their eyesight is incredible. Their tail is bobbed. If you look at the Egyptian hieroglyphics on whatever channel, National Geographic, where you see the tombs, you know, the Egyptians, you'll see this animal carved on their tombs, on their -- on the mummies.

KING: It's that old?

HANNA: It's that old. It used to be up there. Now we know that the animal used to be in Egypt.

The animal's endangered, and it's only found now really back in East Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, or maybe a little over in Namibia. The animal's hunted almost to extinction for its coat. Takes about ten of these to make one coat.

KING: Beautiful coat.

HANNA: Obviously, that's stopped right now.

Look at those ears. Now wouldn't you think they can hear well with those ears?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: They can hear real well with those ears. Plus they hear with their feet. They feel vibration -- here -- there feel vibration on the ground from other animals.

But guess what it eats. You said eat, right?

KING: I'm sure it eats meat.

HANNA: Yes, but half its diet, though, is insects. Believe that or not. They follow the zebras during their migration. They kick up bugs and snakes and they eat up -- abut half their diet is bugs and snakes. People don't know that.

KING: A serval. And now a binturong.

HANNA: We never had a binturong.

KING: This is strange.

HANNA: Yes. We're talking strange, Larry.

KING: This is strange.

HANNA: This is the animal here. This is Beth right here. This is from the Columbus Zoo. But this animal is different, Larry. It's called a bear cat or binturong. Remember bear cat. Now feel that. Have you ever touched a bear? Probably not.


HANNA: But smell -- smell it.

KING: Don't ask me to smell it.

HANNA: No, no, it smells like popcorn.

KING: It does.

HANNA: Doesn't it?

KING: An unusual fragrance of popcorn.

HANNA: It does. Smells just like popcorn.

KING: A different kind of popcorn.

HANNA: Look at this. Feel the power of this tail. Your boy -- your boys will love to see this.

KING: I'll tell you, they would love this.

HANNA: This tail is very, very powerful. Prehensile tail. The binturong or bear cat, Larry, is from Asia. From Sumatra. They're mammals in the mongoose family.

And you notice these beautiful whiskers on him. You can turn him around there. You notice the whiskers on him? Those whiskers allow him to hunt in total darkness. You look at those feet, it's almost like a bear's foot, too. They're nocturnal.

Here, Larry. Here, feed him some banana. He likes banana. I'm sorry.

KING: He's drinking my coffee. He likes coffee.

HANNA: Yes, he might like a banana. You got your banana?

KING: I've got a banana. Binturong, eat.

HANNA: He likes your coffee.

KING: You want to wash it down?

HANNA: But the binturong, Larry, is in the mongoose family. That means they eat snakes, birds. They eat anything they can. Obviously, they like fruit. But the prehensile tail...

KING: I've got no more. Don't be mad.

HANNA: Go ahead and sniff Larry. He won't hurt you. You have something that smells good.

KING: I have something that smells good? HANNA: Hold on. Get him. Sorry. Anyway, this animal's from Burma and Sumatra. And there -- some people have them as pets over there, but it's not recommended, obviously, at all. I haven't seen many of these and neither have you, Larry, because they're nocturnal and they're hard to see in the wild.

KING: I would not keep this as a pet.

HANNA: No, I don't think you would.

KING: Now as the binturong leaves.

HANNA: Let's take our time with him. There we go.

KING: For the night's adventure -- ah, a baby ostrich. Two baby ostriches.

HANNA: Yes. Again from the Nabi Zoo at Quad Cities. These are two baby ostrich. Now Larry, the ostrich, you don't understand this, but I just got back from Kenya filming ostrich in the wild, and the male and female, they both sit on the eggs. They lay the eggs.

Some people think the ostriches bury their head in the sand. They're not. They just stay cool that way.

But they lay these eggs that are this big. And in Botswana the Kalahari Bushmen use those eggs to carry water in. So the ostrich egg is very, very important to a lot of cultures.

It's the largest land bird in the world. The ostrich -- but this is their defense mechanism. You see this big claw right here? Remember these birds are how old?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're about 30 days old.

HANNA: About 30 days old. But this claw -- they get seven feet tall. This claw here when they're cornered, they can take that claw and lash out and rip their predator right...

KING: They get seven feet tall?

HANNA: Yes, big. And their brains are the size of a grain of sand. They're not a very intelligent bird. When I say intelligent, bird at all. They're not flying, obviously. They have -- I saw like 14 babies one ostrich had.

Hear that sound? That sound, that's how they locate each other.

KING: Beautiful, too.

HANNA: We've never had a baby ostrich. I love ostrich.

KING: Bring me my...

HANNA: They go like 30, 40 miles an hour.

KING: Bring me my wallaby. I will hold this. I love this.

HANNA: Now this is...

KING: Two wallabies. A white wallaby and a red necked wallaby.

HANNA: Albino wallaby. It's an albino wallaby. You hold this wallaby. Let me have that wallaby. These are wallabies, Larry. There -- a wallaby is a kangaroo, by the way.

KING: A wallaby is a kangaroo?

HANNA: Yes, it's a kangaroo. Some people think they're just a different species but they're not.

KING: They have pockets?

HANNA: Yes, they're a marsupial, which means when they're born they look like a lima bean. When they come out of the birth canal, Larry, they go outside of the stomach, go into the pouch and attach to the nipple where they stay there six months. Now possums in this country only stay a few weeks.

But the kangaroo, they can have three babies at one time, a kangaroo. They can have a baby jumping out of the pouch at six months, one baby going in the pouch and being bred at the same time. Three different stages of life.

KING: There's a song about wallabies.

HANNA: What is that song? "Tie Me Kangaroo Down"?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: Something like that.

KING (singing): Tie me kangaroo down, boy. Tie me kangaroo down.

HANNA (singing): Tie me kangaroo down, boy. Tie me kangaroo down.

You've got it. That's good.

Now they go, Larry -- they go about 40 miles an hour. And their predators could be dingoes or animals like that. But they mainly eat grass and again, they still are hunted in Australia for meat and that type of thing.

KING: I like these.

HANNA: You like these?

KING: Do they get along with each other?

HANNA: Oh, yes. This albino wallaby here -- and by the way, we make their pouches bigger as they grow older. We make the pouches bigger. And then they'll -- the reason we're raising these right now is they're kicked out of their pouch.

Sometimes a mother will kick them out of the pouch so the next one will come in the pouch. So we have to raise them by bottle. We have to feed them every three hours.


HANNA: We see a lot of these -- we see a lot of these in the kangaroos in the outback, too.

KING: We're with Jack Hanna, the host of "Into the Wild", and when we come back more animals, kicking it off with penguins. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna and more of our animals.

Jack, you also were in Kenya, huh?

HANNA: Yes, I was in Kenya for almost 3 1/2 weeks filming elephants out in Kenya, the migration...

KING: Mud baths?

HANNA: Mud baths. Yes, the mud baths with elephants and warthogs. We got in the mud with them, and it was just -- in this new show we're doing, "Into the Wild", you're going to see a lot more of Jack Hanna in action, so to speak, just with the animals, you know, studying animals in their own natural habitats.

KING: Have you been everywhere in the world?

HANNA: Been to every continent twice: North Pole, South Pole, everywhere. But it's been tremendous to see all these animals in the wild. It really has.

KING: And now our penguins. African jackass penguins. "March of the Penguins", what did you think of that movie?

HANNA: "The March of the Penguins" was phenomenal. What it shows, Larry...

KING: Created a whole new interest in these birds.

HANNA: Exactly. But what people don't know, Larry, is that out of 17 species of penguin only five live in cold weather. People don't realize that.

KING: Really?

HANNA: There are no penguins at the North Pole, only at the South Pole you have the cold ones. These penguins, for example, the jackass penguins or blackfooted penguins are from Africa, South Africa. And these animals are an animal that, as you saw "March of the Penguins", the female lays the egg, the male likes to sometimes sit on it along with the female with this species here. They're called a jackass penguin because they bray like a donkey.

Now when we go into Antarctica and study penguins on these ice floes, on these icebergs, there's tens of thousands of them. And the guano, which is the you know what, the feces, is stacked up over hundreds of years. And we literally have to throw our clothes away. The smell, you cannot wash it out.

And the penguins there have no fear of man because no one's really down there. So they just come around you. And it's really amazing.

The penguin is black and white, Larry, for what reason, do you think? Camouflage.

KING: protection.

HANNA: That's right. Camouflage. Because they're going through the water, when we're filming them underwater we can hardly see them with the black and white. They can go about 15, 20 miles an hour underwater. They just fly.

KING: Also, there's something about them. They're adorable.

HANNA: They really are. Like the tuxedo, when they walk, and plus they're excellent climbers on the ice floes, too. Not these hear but the ones...

KING: Are they intelligent?

HANNA: I think they are.

KING: Because they look intelligent.

HANNA: I think they are because...

KING: They look curious.

HANNA: They adapt to their environment. Remember, penguins are from the Galapagos Islands, Australia, South Africa. All over the world you find penguins, basically. But only the five live in the cold weather.

KING: Wow.

HANNA: This is from Baltimore, too, in Maryland Zoo. They have a great penguin habitat there. Thank you for bringing those up.

KING: Beautiful. And now the skunk.

HANNA: Now, here's another animal.

KING: Is this a smelly skunk -- well, if he gets afraid, he'll smell, right?

HANNA: From the Nabi Zoo. Yes, it's a little baby skunk. The reason we have him on...

KING: A baby skunk.

HANNA: You can still smell him. You can still smell the skunk. Smell it?

KING: Not bad.

HANNA: No, not bad. This one was brought to the Nabi Zoo. Someone picked him up in the yard, which you cannot do, Larry. Skunks carry the rabies virus. Never, ever pick up a baby animal. Therefore, the animal now is in the North American exhibit at the Nabi Zoo.

KING: Why are you picking him up?

HANNA: Oh, no, no, in the wild if you're out in your back yard and you see one. Because of rabies, No. 1.

No. 2 is once you take an animal like this into your home or something it's then going to be with you the rest of its life or it's going to have to go to a zoological park which now most zoos can't accept it, but at the Nabi this skunk found a nice home.

KING: The smell is a defensive one?

HANNA: Exactly. But also this black and white, take your dog someday if your dogs ever see a skunk, and show them a skunk and 90 percent of the time they'll run. It's amazing. Why is that? I don't know why it is. It's amazing.

These scent glands back here, they lift up their tail. I just saw one in Montana the day before yesterday. It sprayed the side of my car. That thing goes like this, and I'm going to tell you, you can't get the smell out. Ketchup is what you want to use.

KING: We had one in the basement of the house. Oh, my God. Had to come...

HANNA: In your house? How'd the skunk get down there?

KING: Don't know. We didn't have a basement. But it got in through somewhere on the bottom of the structure and the foundation.

HANNA: No. Maybe one...

KING: Had to come and get it. Oh, my...

HANNA: Did it smell your house up?

KING: The worst.

HANNA: I'm surprised your house still doesn't smell like a skunk.

KING: What do you mean by that?

HANNA: Oh, I don't mean it that way. No, I don't -- right. I mean it's hard to get...

KING: I take that very seriously.

HANNA: No, I'm amazed you got the smell out.

KING: A dingo.

HANNA: Right. Well, this is a dingo. We've got two of them. Dingbat and Dingdong. I'm just kidding. This is -- this is Maggie.

And the dingo, Larry, there are about 300 purebred dingoes left in the world in Australia. People think they're everywhere. And we were there two years ago filming, and there are quite a few dingoes...

KING: It's like a dog.

HANNA: Exactly. They're mixed with dogs. They're causing a lot of problems in Australia right now in neighborhoods.

But this is a purebred dingo, Larry. The interesting thing is aborigines, this animal is very ancient to the aborigines and their culture. The women would go out and the men would capture baby dingoes in the wild 4,000 years ago. The women would breast feed the baby dingoes, breast feed them.

Why is that? Because think about it: kangaroos are hard to catch, you know, if you were trying to catch a kangaroo to eat it, which they did. This is their hunting tool. This dingo then, because it knew them, would go out and kill the dingoes (sic) and bring back the -- they would kill them, and then they'd go get the food and bring it back to camp.

KING: Beautiful animal.

HANNA: Their scent gland is right back here, and they do go in packs. And the other wild dog of the world is the wild dog of Africa. This is the wild dog of Australia, the dingo. And they don't howl -- I mean they don't bark. They can only howl. Thank you, Susie.

KING: And now the American alligator, as opposed to what?

HANNA: Well, you've got alligators from all over the world, basically. This is the North American alligator.

KING: Found in Florida?

HANNA: Yes. You've heard about the alligator, the problems down there several weeks ago where three women were killed in less than a week.

KING: Not from this size, though. HANNA: No, this is a baby. They lay eggs, an alligator does, and then they hatch...

KING: How big will he get?

HANNA: He can get up to 12 feet.

Now, remember, Larry, here's the thing. You go to Florida, probably. Now if you're playing golf or something, and you see an alligator sleeping, you think you can walk up and get your golf ball in your golf ball lands here, don't do that. Because what he does, he feels vibration off sensors over here. He takes his tail, slaps you toward his mouth like this and moves his head the same way like this.

KING: Good-bye you.

HANNA: Yes. In less than a second it happens. And plus in water, Larry, they can feel vibration up to two miles away when you're swimming and kicking in the water, if they're alligators.

Alligators come back in Florida. The Game and Fish Commission doing a great job down there controlling them, but they are coming back and they have to be hunted now and controlled.

Back in the 1960s they were endangered, so the Endangered Species Act didn't work back then, and now there's millions of alligators in Florida right now that they're getting control of.

But these are animals just trying to find the proper habitat, and with 4,000 people a week moving into the Florida it's kind of difficult for the alligator.

KING: And now, finally, in this segment...

HANNA: Prehistoric animal.

KING: Prehistoric. The Chinese alligator.

HANNA: This -- Larry, what you're going to see is probably the most endangered animal I've ever had on your show the last, what, 10 or 15 years. I'll let you hold the Chinese alligator.

There are only 200 or so, maybe less in the wild from the Yangtze River in China. There are 200, can you imagine? Left in the world.

KING: What, captured for shoes?

HANNA: Basically probably eating, loss of habitat, obviously, over there. But they're doing a great job in Baltimore in Maryland now at the zoo down there, the Maryland Zoo with this animal right now.

You can see it's a little bit different from the ridges on its back, than the North American alligator.

KING: Yes. HANNA: Again, you're seeing one of the most endangered animals in the world. Less than 200 left in the wild.

KING: Wow.

HANNA: So it's very important that the zoological world, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, does all the work we can to try to save this species and maybe someday get it back out in the wild.

KING: Do they have a long life-span?

HANNA: Oh, yes. Good question. They can live up to 100 years.

KING: That's right.

HANNA: They can lay eggs, as well.

KING: We'll be right back with Jack Hanna, host of his -- the new name of his show is "In the Wild".


KING: He's also director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. Lots more to come. Don't go away.


KING: What's the name of the insurance, Yogi? If you don't have it you don't have it, because if you don't need it you don't need it. The name of the insurance is AFLAC.

And we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE with our guest, Jack Hanna, Peking duck.

HANNA: This is the AFLAC duck.

KING: Our producer Greg Christianson had one last night. There is actually a Peking duck.

HANNA: There is. This is from the Nabi Zoo again.

KING: From Peking.

HANNA: From Peking, right. We don't do the commercial. The poor duck falls off the building and breaks his neck.

I love ducks. You won't believe this, Larry. In college I was only 18. I went to -- I'd never been to New Jersey. Out there to Sag Harbor where it's called out there. It's got three ducts: aqueduct, viaduct, and overduct. I swear to gosh.

KING: When I was a kid my favorite was Donald Duck.

HANNA: Really?

KING: I loved him. HANNA: I love ducks.

KING: Liked him better than Mickey Mouse.

HANNA: You're like me.

KING: I like ducks.

HANNA: I took my ducks to college. Now there's a bunch of ducks running around 50 years later. But the duck is an interesting animal. People do raise these commercially, obviously, for food. But this is a baby duck. You understand he's not quite flying yet. This is a young duck.

How old is the duck?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's only about a few months old, about four months old.

KING: Can they fly?

HANNA: Oh, yes. Do the Peking ducks fly or are they too heavy?


HANNA: This isn't going to be on somebody's plate, is it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, absolutely not. It's at the zoo.

HANNA: It's at the zoo. I just showed you the AFLAC duck.

KING: I love that. Then arctic fox. Arctic baby fox.

HANNA: This is an arctic fox, Larry. Now, look at the color of this fox. Can you imagine in the wintertime in the Arctic this animal turns solid white? Solid white to match with the snow and everything.

This animal is an excellent hunter. Now what's this animal hunt? He watches the polar bears on the ice caps. When the polar bear go out, the arctic fox will follow. And when the polar bear makes his kill and leaves whatever he's got left of the seals and sea lions and stuff, the Arctic fox goes out and that's what he eats.

And when you see these -- I've only seen these twice. It's very hard to find, because they match the snow and ice so well they're just very, very difficult to spot.

They have two to three babies -- feel that fur. You wonder why people are sought after them for the fur.

KING: Whoa.

HANNA: Isn't that amazing? Just like a chinchilla. Absolutely the softest fur. Not like our North American -- North American fox.

KING: Five of those make a hell of a coat. HANNA: No, no, never.

KING: I'm sorry.

HANNA: OK. This is -- this, Larry, is the largest rabbit in the world. Dwayne from the Nabi Zoo, he has a rabbit like -- wow, that is a big one. Hey, Dwayne. Dwayne's over there. This might be bigger than his rabbit. This is a big one here. How much does this rabbit weigh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About 27 pounds.


KING: This -- these are rabbits.

HANNA: Larry, another animal, one of the first animals I raised in Tennessee, were rabbits. But this is a giant Flemish rabbit, the largest rabbit in the world. Your boys would love this rabbit. Feel this rabbit, Larry. Feel this thing.

Aren't they gorgeous?

KING: They have two rabbits at home.

HANNA: They do? This big? Would you like one this big?

KING: They will.

HANNA: They breed like a rabbit. I can get some rabbits for you.

KING: We have two rabbits at home.

HANNA: You can't just have two. You've got to have -- both males?

KING: Two males.

HANNA: Well, you don't have to worry then. But these are neat animals, aren't they? Look at this. I love rabbits, don't you?

KING: There's something.

HANNA: Isn't that cute? Look at that face on this rabbit.

Oh, man. I may have to take this one back home. I've got three now.

KING: You have three rabbits?

HANNA: I have gray ones.

KING: They don't do anything, rabbits, though. I look at the two rabbits, and they sit there.

HANNA: No, no. They do...

KING: They sit in the cage, they look around.

HANNA: But put them in the house. Let them loose in the house. I can litter train them for you. I'll put your litter in your bathroom and the boys will love it. They'll go around watch TV, run around the house. It will be great.

KING: OK. Right now they're just in the yard.

HANNA: No-no, they've got to go in the house.

KING: OK. I'll tell her (ph).

Prehensile tail porcupines. And baby North American porcupine.

HANNA: Right. Porcupines...

KING: Is this the baby North American?

HANNA: Look at this, Larry. Is that -- is that something? When they're born, they're soft like this. How old is this one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's only about four months old.

HANNA: Four months old. Now when he gets bigger, Larry, those quills will get hard, obviously. They do not throw their quills. If you touch the quills they've got a barb on the end of it. That quill will stick in your hand. They're very, very difficult to get out.

They love to eat leaves and bark and that type of thing.

KING: These people that work with you love animals. Don't you?

HANNA: Oh, yes. They're so dedicated. These people, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

KING: And we have a prehensile tail porcupine.

HANNA: Now this one I don't think you've seen before, Larry. You have three porcupines. The North American porcupine you just saw, the prehensile tail porcupine. OK?

KING: He likes corn.

HANNA: Oh, yes. Larry, you look at the naked eye, you cannot see the barb on the end of that quill, can you? You can't see it.

KING: The what?

HANNA: The barb on the end of that quill. You cannot see it.


HANNA: Impossible. But there's a barb there. When that porcupine, when you touch it like this or you try to attack it in Central and South America, where this is from, when it's like a cougar tries to attack it or jaguar, the animal's quills will come off in the mouth and cause infection. A lot of the animals will die from that infection.

I call this one Magoo because of his beautiful nose here.

But in Baltimore they have this in the zoo. Prehensile tail. Look at this. See the prehensile tail? This means that the animal lives his entire life in the trees.

The African porcupine is this big, huge, huge animal. Quills this long. So you have three porcupines. North American, Central and South American.

KING: And that don't bother them, that ball?

HANNA: No, that's how they live. See, they hang on the tree limbs. You can hold him.

They hang on the tree limbs. See, they hang onto the tree limbs. Let's say this piece of corn was a piece of fruit growing on a limb. They go down like that and eat it. They never come down.

Also smell that smell. It's almost like a pungent smell. Exactly, yes. That's how we locate them. We can locate these a couple miles away when we're filming these in the forest.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Jack Hanna, the director emeritus Columbus Zoo, the host of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild". And when we come back, a keel-billed toucan. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna. We kick off this segment with a keel-billed toucan.

HANNA: This, Larry, is a beautiful bird. I mean, magnificent. This is the national bird of Belize. Look at the colors on this bird. I think you see -- look at that on the monitor. Wow.

KING: Gorgeous.

HANNA: Absolutely gorgeous. That beak doesn't even weigh a quarter of an ounce. Nothing. They eat fruit. They're not a bird -- people say, are they pets? No, the answer's no, you do not have a bird like this as a pet. They're in Baltimore -- the Maryland zoo in Baltimore there and they're a beautiful bird. And again, one that doesn't really have that long of a lifespan in the wild. You can see, I mean, the gorgeous color. We see -- we film these in the wild, against that green jungle, it is amazing.

KING: It makes a funny sound too.

HANNA: It does. Like a croak, like a frog.

KING: Now, if I throw this, will he catch it? HANNA: He should catch it. Yes. He's got to pay attention.

KING: Look at me. Good boy, toucan.

HANNA: Now, see how they squeeze the juice out? Now, that grape will come out in about one hour out the other end. That's how fast.

KING: Toucan.

HANNA: Touckie, touckie, over here. You're good, Larry. Do you play baseball?

KING: A little.

HANNA: But you can see the eyes there. Very good eyesight. And again, they're a fruit eater and one that they do travel in flocks. But again...

KING: I don't think he likes that grape.

HANNA: He's trying to test the grape there.

KING: He's testing it.

HANNA: I want you to see one of the prettiest birds -- how nature provides these colors is amazing to me.

KING: Gorgeous.

HANNA: Unbelievable. Thank you for bringing that...

KING: Thank you. Keel-billed toucan found where?

HANNA: Belize.

KING: That's right. The bird of Belize.

The fennec fox.

HANNA: This Larry, remember we talked about -- we talked about foxes here a minute ago. Oopsy daisy. Come here.

KING: Yes, we had an arctic fox.

HANNA: He looks like something they screwed up at the lab, doesn't it? Look at this. Look at that little face. Isn't that amazing? Look at the ears on that animal. Why does he have big ears, do you think?

KING: To hear better.

HANNA: That's good. But also to keep it cool. Being from the Sahara desert in Northern Africa, this animal like an elephant has big ears, and you look inside those ears, there's little blood vessels everywhere. And then the animal stays cool that way, by all those blood vessels in the ear. So the fennec fox, again, they're nocturnal, in the Sahara desert. They like insects, little worms and little moles and stuff like that. But this is not full grown yet. About another twice as big is all, is full grown. There are different types of foxes from all over the world. But this is the smallest fox, called the fennec fox from the Sahara desert. Isn't it beautiful?

KING: Beautiful.

HANNA: I love this little animal. And we see these all the time at nighttime out there running around.

KING: Beautiful. And now a kookaburra. Ah, kookaburra.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's very chatty.

HANNA: I love this. Now, this is...

KING: He's stealing the show.

HANNA: Larry, this is a laughing kookaburra. When we were little, you and me were little, remember Tarzan, all the movies? You hear this -- you hear those sounds? You'd think that was from Africa. It wasn't. It was from Australia. These are the kookaburra sounds they were using for a lot of the Tarzan movies. And this animal likes to eat snakes and animals like that, frogs.

Look how his neck goes up and down like that. Do that again. Like an accordion. Never noticed that before. That's amazing. And they blend in very, very well with the forest and stuff. It's called the laughing kookaburra. Can you do it one more time?

KING: Talkative guest.

HANNA: Oh, I love this.

KING: Good-bye.

HANNA: From the Maryland zoo. Thank you so much.

KING: That's the kookaburra, and he'll never be back.

HANNA: You didn't like him?

KING: I liked him. I'm only kidding.


KING: Now a screeching owl. What's he going to do?

HANNA: This is a screech owl, Larry. You have, again, 17 different types of owl from all over the world. The owl is the only animal in the world found on every continent except Antarctica.

KING: They turn their heads all around, huh? HANNA: People think they do. Letterman asked me that once, thought he could turn his head around. He'd fall off and hit the floor, they'd be dead. They can turn almost all the way around, most of the owls do. Why is that? Because your eyeballs -- if you see a pretty girl or something you like, you go like this with your eyeballs. Right? An owl can't do that. An owl has to turn his whole head like this because its eyeballs don't move inside of its socket.

This is a screech owl, right, what kind of this? Northeastern?


HANNA: Eastern screech owl, one of the smallest owls in the world. The owl -- you think of the wise old owl. What you don't know is that their senses are phenomenal, but it's mainly echo location that they -- if you put a little bitty mouse in this room, this owl would find it in less than five hours, in total darkness.

KING: They're not wise?

HANNA: Never see it. Their brain is pretty small. It's from their senses, their eyesight, their hearing, their smell. That kind of thing.

KING: Do they get any cut out of the potato chips?

HANNA: Oh, no. Probably not.


KING: Used to eat them all the time. Why are we so fascinated by owls?

HANNA: I think because of their -- just like the penguins.

KING: There's something about an owl.

HANNA: Yes, but you get the big owls, like the barn owls, the big European, Eurasian eagle owls. Those magnificent eyes, and there's just something magnificent about an owl. Plus, they are a protected species in most all states too.

KING: And one more animal in this segment, the green-winged macaw.

HANNA: This is -- the macaw...

KING: Now, another one with the...

HANNA: No, no. The macaw -- this is a baby macaw parrot, Larry. This bird is only what, about eight months old?


HANNA: Eleven weeks. Eleven weeks.

KING: Can they talk?

HANNA: Oh, yes, Larry, there's a bird in Texas -- there's a bird in Texas that knows about 300 words in three languages. Now, this bird -- we have one bird at the zoo that knows three words, they're all bad, so we didn't bring him.

But this bird, Larry, is very important for people to know at home. Some people say do they make good pets? Yes, parrots do make an animal that's accustomed to homes, that type of thing. But be very careful, they're very hard to take care of. If you do get a parrot, make sure it's from a domestic breeder. The second largest smuggling we have in this country is the smuggling of exotic birds. And just several weeks ago, they found about 12 of these in...

KING: For what purpose? Just to sell them?

HANNA: Yes, to sell them. They found 12 of these in a PVC pipe, Larry, wrapped up with tape, and only three survived. So you never want to get a parrot unless it's domestically bred. And make sure you have -- this bird lives to be 100 years old, Larry. So you've got to get your great great grandkids to take care of them.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Jack Hanna, the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and the host of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild," on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. We want to especially thank the Columbus Zoo. The Nayabi (ph) Zoo, is that it?


KING: And the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

And now we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, hopefully briefly, the Indian python. From India, I would guess.

HANNA: That's exactly right. One of the largest snakes in the world. Gets up to be 300 pounds, up to 30 feet long. Go ahead and touch it, Larry.

KING: I've got no worries here, the worry's there.

HANNA: Exactly. The worry's there. They have 220 teeth shaped like fish hooks, Larry. You feel the muscles in this thing? Can you -- obviously, you can appreciate what I'm talking about.

KING: Sure can. Could they kill?

HANNA: Oh, yes. This snake...

KING: The bite kills or they wrap around you?

HANNA: No, no, they just wrap around you. The teeth are 220 teeth shaped like fish hooks. When they do bite, you cannot let go. Mother Nature gave them the ability, that it takes about 30 minutes for the jaw muscles to relax, and then the teeth come back. Even if the snake wanted to relax it, it couldn't do it. That way, it holds on, suffocates its prey, you know, wraps around you every time you breathe and strangles.

KING: But doesn't have killer venom.

HANNA: No, it doesn't. It just -- I was bitten -- worst part I ever had was in this part of my hand was a 17-foot one, it almost took my hand off until they told me not to try and bring my hand back out.

But this animal can go through one year, Larry, without ever eating. Look at the Anaconda, which is also a very, very large snake. It's in the constrictor family along with the Boa constrictor. They are cold-blooded and you can feel this one. It feels nice, doesn't it?

KING: Very nice.

HANNA: Your temperature's 98.6. This snake's temperature is whatever the outside temperature is, in this room or outside, whatever it may be. But they are a beautiful creature, and again they control a lot of rodents and a lot sick animals. They can just lay there and wait for a long time before they have to eat. Aren't they fascinating? Some people have them as pets and obviously if you have one as a pet like this, you'd better be prepared to know what it's all about?

KING: Prepared to be insane.

HANNA: Yes, prepare to be eaten. I'm just kidding. No, it takes a lot of work. It really does and snakes are beautiful creatures. A lot of people don't like snakes.

KING: They are beautiful.

HANNA: I know you love them.

KING: I don't dislike them.

HANNA: That thing's heavy, Larry. Help pick it up, Larry. That's it. The boys, you ought to get the boys one. They'd love it.

KING: The boys would love this. My children have something about the Anaconda that drives them nuts. The Palm Civet. The Civet.

HANNA: It's a Palm Civet. You can go and sit next to Larry.

KING: What is a Civet?

HANNA: Yes, he won't hurt you. Go ahead and feed him a banana. The Palm Civet, Larry, is the animal everyone remembers the SARS disease in China. The SARS disease, remember, Larry?

KING: The what?

HANNA: The SARS disease, killed a lot of people. This is the animal that caused the SARS disease. Not this animal.

KING: Why are you giving him to me?

HANNA: Because we had him before the SARS disease. Anyway, Larry, this is considered a delicacy in China. Serves for about $200 in a restaurant. What happened was last year one person died of SARS and they destroyed tens of thousands of these animals. So it's like Mad Cow Disease or the Bird Flu, whatever. So now there are, we don't know how many left in the wild. We don't think they're endangered. But they live in Palm Trees. Again, they have a prehensile tail, spend their entire life in trees. They're nocturnal.

KING: You want to know something weird?

HANNA: What?

KING: It feels nice.

HANNA: It's not bad, is it?


HANNA: You like it?

KING: I'm getting to like it.

HANNA: I knew you would. I knew you would like it because his name is Todd. He's a neat animal, isn't he?

KING: I want to take this home. I'd like to walk around with this. I think people would notice me. I think if I did this show from now on with this on me it would increase the ratings.

HANNA: Unbelievable is what it would do.

KING: I think people would think what has he got on him today?

HANNA: If you got SARS it would really increase the ratings.

KING: OK, Good-bye Civet.

HANNA: Palm Civet, yes. That's in the Mongoose family, Larry. You have different types of Civets, by the way. That's from the Columbus Zoo.

KING: Now a Bog Turtle.

HANNA: Now Larry this also, now tonight we've had on two of the most, now this looks like a regular turtle right?

KING: A regular small turtle.

HANNA: No, this is the northeast United States, Larry. And this, again, is one of the most endangered, if not the most endangered turtle in the world.

KING: Why?

HANNA: Loss of habitat from the Northeast. Was used for the pet trade, not anymore. Again, a turtle is an animal found in water.

KING: This looks like a pet you'd find when you go to buy in a pet store.

HANNA: Exactly, that's what it was. Now you see the animal is very endangered, Larry, very endangered.

KING: Very nice.

HANNA: People need to think about this when they do get a little turtle for a pet or something, be careful because they can carry Salmonella. It's just not a good idea anymore anyway because turtles just aren't found. When you and I were little, Larry, you're a little bit older than me, but anyway, we're little, these animals were, everybody had them. Today we've lost 40 percent of our amphibians on the planet today from overpopulation, from pollution.

KING: They live a long time, don't they?

HANNA: Oh yes, exactly, 50 to 100 years.

KING: And finally in this segment a Sloth.

HANNA: Bog Turtle from the Maryland Zoo.

KING: I love this.

HANNAH: I love the Sloth. I'm sorry, I know we had him on several years ago but I had to have the Sloth back.

KING: The Sloth returns.

HANNA: From the Nawabi Zoo, this is Larry, the Two-Toed Sloth. Now this is a prehistoric animal. This animal has changed very little in thousands of years. They live their entire life in three or four trees. They come down to the ground once a week to go to the bathroom. Because if they went to the bathroom on the treetops, it would fall down on the ground and people would hear that, or people, the Jaguars or Harp Eagles would hear that and go up and eat them. They climb down to the ground and go to the bathroom and then go right back up in the trees. They eat upside down. They breed upside down. They have their babies upside down. Everything's upside down.

KING: They know this instinctively, to go down as a protection.

HANNA: Exactly. So they don't go to the bathroom. It's amazing what nature does. They are still hunted in that part of the world. When we filmed them, Larry, for their coat, for their fur, for coats and stuff. We filmed them. It's hard, rain will get on them and algae will grow on them and they look just like a blob of moss in the treetop's moving. It's very difficult to find. It looks like a big old blob of green up there. You can feel his hair. It's just very coarse hair, beautiful hair. KING: I like them. Crazy name, Sloth.

HANNA: See the Two-Toed Sloth, see there?

KING: You're a good boy, Slothy.

HANNA: They eat leaves, too. So they're very, very slow.

KING: When we come back, the Leopard Tortoise and others. Don't go away.

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And from Larry King's Wild Kingdom I'm John Roberts in Washington, sitting in tonight for Anderson Cooper. Tonight on "360," the latest on our one-two weather punch. Hurricane John hammering some popular tourist spots in Mexico, and Ernesto, the tropical depression that has made life miserable for millions on the Eastern seaboard. We're tracking both storms. We're also looking into the Pentagon's latest assessment of how things are going in Iraq, not well by the latest count. And we've got a "360" special edition on the followers of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. All coming up in about 15 minutes' time on "360." Stay tuned. We'll see you then.


KING: We're back, in the home stretch with Jack Hanna, one of my favorite folk. And now we meet the Leopard Tortoise.

HANNA: This is Maggie. And Maggie's brought out the Leopard Tortoise.

KING: Hi, Mag.

HANNA: And the Leopard Tortoise, Larry, can grow to about 30 pounds. They call it the Leopard Tortoise because obviously it looks like a Leopard. You have leopard tortoise from Africa. You find these in Kenya.

KING: Makes a good noise on the table.

HANNA: Oh, yes. You wonder how do you tell the difference between a male and female tortoise, OK. I'll show you. This is a male. You know how you can tell? OK. No, this is a female. That's right. Sorry. Now you got me confused. The male tortoise, Larry, is the shell is concave. You understand what I'm saying? Think about this. If this was a male tortoise trying to breed a female it would just slide off like this. Do you follow me?

KING: It happens in real life.

HANNA: That's pretty good. Anyway, the shell is like a burrow. Do you understand what I'm saying?

KING: I got you. So this is a female.

HANNA: A lot of people don't know that. I just wanted to point that out. This tortoise can live to be over 100 years old. They lay eggs, they live in burrows, the leopard tortoise. They are threatened. We found one of these tortoises in Columbus, Ohio. Somebody has a pet, which is against the law.

KING: It is?

HANNA: Yes. They like Tomatoes, vegetables, that type of thing. They can go their entire life without ever drinking any water. All the water they drink comes from the bushes and stuff that they eat.

KING: Wow.

HANNA: And they use the shell too for jewelry and stuff like that. So, trying to stop all that. They go pretty slow too. This is their house, by the way. Thank you, Maggie.

KING: And now? This is a weird-sounding name. The Blue Tongue Skink. What is a Skink?

HANNA: This is from Australia.

KING: Is a Skink like an Alligator?

HANNA: It's a lizard.

KING: A lizard.

HANNA: A lizard. Look, Larry. Look at this. Look at that blue tongue.

KING: Blue tongue.

HANNA: Isn't that beautiful? Look at that.

KING: It's got a blue tongue.

HANNA: Let's see if he thinks I'm a worm. I just want you to see this tongue one more time, because he bites.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well it could. It's omnivore and they travel during the day in Australia.

HANNA: Trying to get you see the blue tongue.

KING: Don't fool with it Jack.

HANNA: No, you're right. They're not poisonous. But feel this, Larry. Now, the neat thing about the skink, Larry, a lot of times -- the tail kind of looks like a head. The predator -- the skink will turn around sometimes and turn its tail where the predator will bite the tail off and think it's the head, so he can now go eat the tail and this animal will leave and go grow a new tail.

KING: It will grow a new tail?

HANNA: Yep, grow a new tail.

KING: And it's got a blue tongue.

HANNA: Blue-tongued skink from Australia. Thank you.

KING: Next is the legless lizard.

HANNA: Legless lizard. A lot of people think this is a snake. Joe has it here. Look at this. Now, why isn't that a snake, Larry?

KING: Why isn't it a snake?

HANNA: Number one, if you look here, it's got ear openings on the side there. You see little ear openings? Right there. You see right there, there's an ear opening right there. It's also got eyelids. Also, feel this. Those aren't scales. That's lizard skin. Called legless lizard. Plus if that animal had scales, it could really slither away real fast. They have a very difficult time moving as you can see here. They almost have to move their entire body.

KING: Where are they found?

HANNA: European legless -- this is European? European legless lizard. Europe. But you see, sometimes -- look at it, it has to live around sand and those type of things. Can't move hardly at all. Like a snake has scales that allows it to move. Not this animal.

KING: How did Noah get all these people on the ark?

HANNA: Golly, you know, I thought about that before. That would be a lot of work.

KING: Had to be a big ark.

HANNA: This is a legless lizard.

KING: I don't think the python did too well on the ark.

HANNA: No. No.

KING: Anyway. A hairy armadillo.

HANNA: I've never had one of these on, Larry. This is a hairy armadillo. Because it's got hairs on it.

KING: It's got hair.

HANNA: Isn't that something?

KING: Wow, it's got hair.

HANNA: See, they're hairy armadillos...

KING: We've had armadillos but never...

HANNA: No, this is non-banded. This is -- how many bands is this one? (inaudible). It's got hair. You talk about prehistoric, Larry. These animals have no teeth. They have... KING: They have a pungent smell.

HANNA: Yes, they smell. Very poor eyesight, good hearing, though. So they can locate insects -- they can locate insects and worms about four inches underground.

This animal also, Larry, like the alligator, has changed very, very little over thousands of years. They can dig very, very well. They've got real sharp claws. And people in this part of the world eat the armadillo. It's like a taco. They just cook them in the shell.

KING: Do they?


KING: They're tasty?

HANNA: Look at the head. Look at the head. Doesn't that look like a dinosaur of some sorts?

KING: Yes. Ooh.

HANNA: Isn't that amazing?

KING: Move along pretty good, too.

HANNA: The nine-banded we have in Mexico and Florida, moves much faster than the hairy armadillo.

KING: And finally, in this segment, the three-banded armadillo.

HANNA: Three-banded armadillo from Brazil. This animal, Larry, is threatened, is more threatened than the hairy. Three bands. One, two, three. This is an endangered animal. Again, this is full grown, Larry. Full-grown, this three-banded armadillo.

KING: Three-banded?

HANNA: See here? That's his main defense like this here.

KING: Curls up.

HANNA: Like a ball. See, look at this, right there. That's his main defense. The jaguar can eat this animal. The jaguar has very great, great crushing power with his jaws. A few animals in the world that can eat the armadillo.

KING: Why does the jaguar like it, though?

HANNA: People eat these things. But they -- again, their hearing and -- aren't these something?

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments with Jack Hanna. We're going to meet a hedgehog. And my favorite, cockroaches. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with our remaining moments, and we have a hedgehog.

HANNA: You've heard -- all the kids have these little stories about hedgehogs, you know the little books they're reading. This is the African hedgehog. It's full-grown. Pygmy hedgehog. And you can touch it, Larry. I want you to -- it doesn't throw its quills. It just -- see there, it's kind of hard to pick up. It's got, again, very, very good eyesight. See, I was trying to...

KING: Give it a name like Herbie the Hedgehog.

HANNA: Yes, exactly, Herbie. That's what we'll call him now, Herbie. Isn't that amazing? This little thing. Almost looks like a mole, doesn't it?

KING: What do they eat?

HANNA: Insects. Like, let's see here, if he'll eat some crickets here.

KING: Oh, my God.

HANNA: Oh, yes, look there, Larry.

KING: Nobody likes me, nobody wants me. I'm going ...

HANNA: These photographers are great, Larry. These guys are great. They've got to go to Africa with me and film. Look at that, right there.

KING: Oh, they're the best here, this crew.

HANNA: I know, but look at that there. Have you ever seen a hedgehog eat?

KING: Never have.

HANNA: Well, look at this.

KING: Can't say as I have.

HANNA: Now, these are frozen crickets and worms, OK? Next time I'll come on, I'll bring some to hop around here for him to catch them.

KING: Let's meet melipodes (sic)?

HANNA: That's pretty funny. I have never heard that said before. Melipodes.

KING: Why is that funny?

(CROSSTALK) KING: You've been too long in the wild.

HANNA: No. It's a millipede.

KING: A millipede. So melipodes (sic).


KING: These are the jokes you make in the wild, right?


KING: Out in a tent at 4:00 in the morning. You sit around going, boy, he said melipodes. We'll remember that for a long time.

HANNA: Anyway, look here, they call them millipedes. See, that's why.

KING: Oh, the thousand legs.

HANNA: Exactly. A whole lot of them there, see that?

KING: All those legs.

HANNA: That's a lot of them, isn't it? Look at that, look at them. See them moving? They're not moving too much right now. You can hold him, but be careful. Wash your hands because they have -- cyanide. It's a cyanide -- no, they give off cyanide. It will kill you, it will hurt your eyes. I'm not kidding, I'm not screwing with you.

KING: They like to go for your eyes.

HANNA: No, they don't go for your eyes. The cyanide if you itch your eyes. But if you're a little insect, they put the cyanide on you. They eat mainly like old leaves and stuff like that. You find them in, like, I've seen them in South America in the jungles, I've seen them in Africa. See, look at all this? See this stuff falling? See all that?

KING: What is that?

HANNA: That's just muck. That stuff -- it's not bathroom. It's just stuff.

KING: I wonder what they're thinking about, you know? All right. One more.

HANNA: Hold on a minute. Yes, these are my favorite.

KING: These are your favorite. Would you ask me...

HANNA: I'll leave you two of these for the boys. My famous cockroaches. I'll show you, one for each son. One for each son. One for one boy, one for the other boy. And one for your wife. There you go. That's the male there. No, wait a minute. Those are all -- no, there's the male right there with the horns. These are the female right here. This one here, that's what lays eggs right here. Lays eggs. You don't want to get it near your hair because it will lay eggs in your hair.

KING: Why do you like cockroaches?

HANNA: Because I can take them in a sock, I can take them to speeches. Kids like them. I feed them my leftover dinner. Think about it. Not much work.

KING: Kids do like them, though.

HANNA: Oh, they love cockroaches.

KING: They come to birthday parties.

HANNA: Yeah. Just make sure that you have nice cockroaches.

KING: Are there different kinds of cockroaches?

HANNA: Yes, these are Madagascar cockroaches from Africa. This isn't just regular old cockroach.

KING: This is only the best.

HANNA: Only the best cockroach.

KING: OK< I'm going to leave them on to close the show.

HANNA: Oh, yeah.

KING: Thank you, Jack.

HANNA: Thank you. This has been great.

KING: Always great having you. Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, host of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild." And we want to thank all the folks who assisted us here tonight, our great crew at the studio in New York and the folks at the Columbus Zoo, the Nayabi (ph) Zoo, and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

And me and my three friends, Larry, Mo and Curly...

HANNA: You're going to Rwanda with me. I'll take you there to film. See the gorillas.

KING: I'd love -- you know, I really ought to do that.

HANNA: We're going to.

KING: And a reminder before we go: This weekend, my man Jerry Lewis with his annual muscular dystrophy telephone. It's a great event, and a great cause. Don't miss it. I'll be there.

Anderson Cooper and "AC 360" starts right now.