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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Jack Hanna

Aired January 01, 2007 - 21:00   ET


JACK HANNA, ANIMAL EXPERT: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Rudolph is a girl.

HANNA: Well, I didn't say that. You did.

KING (voice-over): Tonight, Jack's back to start the new year off with a bang. The one and only, Jack Hanna.

(on screen): Is this dangerous?

HANNA: I don't know.

KING: "I don't know"?

(voice-over): ... and his flying, crawling, furry, scaly, feathered friends.

HANNA: This is what caused the SARS disease, not this one, but this...

KING (on screen): Why do you do this?

(voice-over): It's a jungle in here, next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening, and happy 2007. What a way to kick off the year, with the host of the upcoming new TV series "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild," Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. His Web site is

By the way, he was just on the Rain Bird float in the Rose Bowl Parade today, his tenth year in a row in that historic parade. He's done a lot of work in Rwanda, just back from Rwanda. And a historic birthday at the Columbus Zoo. Colo the gorilla turned 50 last week, the first captive-born gorilla.

Did you have a party?

HANNA: Oh, big party. The party is incredible, only because this animal was the first one ever born in the world in captivity. It was on the front page of "Life" magazine all over the world, because you've got remember, Larry, the gorilla is one of the most endangered species in the entire world. So it's a big deal. She's 50 years old. She has like four generations out there. She's a great-great grandmother, and she's still a pistol at 50.

KING: Is she kind?

HANNA: Is she kind? Colo has her own way, let's put it that way. We probably spoil her too much, but I think she knows who she is, being the first one ever born in the world.

And what's so amazing is what we've done from the gorillas from 50 years ago in zoological settings to today. Back then, they used to pull a lot of these gorillas right away when their mothers had them. And, of course, socially, they couldn't learn how to breast-feed their young or they couldn't really learn how to be gorillas. And now, of course, we never do that unless it's absolutely necessary.

KING: I'm going to ask you in a little while about Rwanda, but we've got animals featured today. And a most appropriate one kicks things off.

HANNA: Oh, yes, this time of year...

KING: We've never had one of these on the show, a reindeer.

HANNA: Hear the clicking? Hear that clicking?

KING: Yes.

HANNA: All right, people -- now, you've heard of the "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." And we've all heard that, and you hear the clicking on the roof. Remember that? Reindeers click because of the tendons in their feet, Larry, is that when they're following each other in the wild, when it's snowing so hard they can't see, they follow the clicking. Isn't that amazing, how Mother Nature takes care of that?

It's the tendon in their hooves that click that allows the reindeer to follow each other. It's a prominent clicking you'll hear. And, of course, we heard the song. The amazing thing, Larry, is, if you look at the antlers here, the male loses their antlers the first of December. So I think we've got things a little backwards. It's really the females that are pulling the sleigh. I'm not trying to ruin our story or anything, but in reality...

KING: So Rudolph is a girl?

HANNA: Well, I didn't say that; you did.


HANNA: But look at this antler here, though. It's the perfect time of year. You rarely get to see this. Look at the velvet, Larry. You see, it's coming off now? Because you usually see antlers that -- the velvet means that, when these animals, especially up in -- this, by the way, is a caribou. Reindeer are caribou. And up in the Northwest Territory, up in Alaska, way up there over and toward Russia, these animals are in the tens of thousands when they migrate.

KING: Is that where they're from?

HANNA: Yes, way up there. And this is an animal, obviously, that wolves will take down, those types of animals. But those antlers are their sparring partners. So when they're in velvet, they've got a bad mood, let's put it that way. It's like an elephant musk. And so now it's just now finishing its velvet, and then those antlers will obviously drop off here very, very shortly. But he's pretty tired right now, Larry. He's had a very busy...

KING: She.

HANNA: She -- now you've got me confused. Is that a male or female?


HANNA: OK. Anyway, she is now very tired from making all the runs to all the houses.

KING: OK, that's right. She had a very busy Christmas.

HANNA: A very busy Christmas. That's Rudolph.

KING: Watch it. Watch it.

HANNA: Now, you talk about...

KING: A Canada lynx.

HANNA: Canadian lynx, Larry. Isn't that gorgeous? Look at that cat. This is the single largest cat in the North American continent. And you can tell it's a lynx, Larry, by the little tufts on its ears. You can see those little tufts there.

And look at the feet. This is what is amazing. Anita Jackson is from Zoo to You, a great conservation organization. And you notice the back feet. Come here. Come here. Come here. Come here a minute. And you see these back feet. It's almost like a snowshoe. Look at this. No cat in the world has a back foot. Look at this. See how the back foot, how it's long down here?

KING: Yes, beautiful.

HANNA: That's exactly what a snowshoe is. For example...

KING: Do they make them into garments?

HANNA: Yes, they do, yep. It's controlled hunting, but my understanding is it still takes place, not commercially. Now, this Canadian lynx is only about 16 weeks old. They'll get to be about twice this size.

Again, you have the North American cougar, that's the largest cat in North America, then the Canadian lynx. You also have the Siberia lynx, which is very, very -- almost extinct to the wild. Not this cat.

This cat here goes from, obviously, Canada right into northern Montana, Idaho, and then it stops, because the main prey for this animal, Larry, is a snowshoe hare. The snowshoe hare, the population of the snowshoe hare, the rabbit, it's a lot of them. We have a lot of Canadian lynx.

KING: I think he likes me.

HANNA: This animal can leap, Larry, about 15 to 20 feet in one leap. They turn white in the winter, and that way they follow the animals -- they turn white in the winter, and that way they match with the snow.

KING: Fifteen to 20 feet in a leap?

HANNA: Yes, in one leap.

KING: That's the Canadian lynx. We're with Jack Hanna on this New Year's Day. What a way to begin the year.

HANNA: Thank you, Anita.

KING: And now we meet the return of the arctic fox. I know this fox.

HANNA: Right. We brought the arctic fox, because he's a wintertime -- now, this is from SeaWorld San Diego. You've been down to SeaWorld San Diego...

KING: Don't remind me.

HANNA: What happened?

KING: Namu, the killer whale...

HANNA: Oh, Shamu, yes.

KING: Shamu, the killer whale...

HANNA: Spit on you?

KING: I was there with the whole family. The family was here. By the way, my boys will be on the show later. And I was taking pictures for publicity, and Shamu got jealous, and he went around the tank, and got me.

HANNA: No, he didn't.

KING: Complete head to foot.

HANNA: Oh, my gosh.


HANNA: He likes you, yes. KING: Yes, he likes me.

HANNA: I love SeaWorld. But this animal here is an arctic fox in their arctic habitat down there, Larry. And this animal is very important, from the standpoint it cleans up the mess. Like the hyenas might clean up after lions, the arctic fox cleans up after the polar bears.

And they are white in the wintertime to match the snow, and then they obviously turn darker in the summertime. But you can see that the animal does live in very, very cold weather. And when you see the animals, Larry, in the wild, you can't hardly even tell that they're there, because they match so well with the snow. They can have up to 20 -- now, the record is 25 babies at one time, 25 babies in one time.

KING: Twenty-five babies?

HANNA: They're usually 10 or 12, but 25 at one time is the record.

KING: Wow.

HANNA: There are very few places in the world you'll see these, Larry. And it's (INAUDIBLE) look at the tail.

KING: Beautiful animal.

HANNA: Oh, yes, Larry, this tail here, this tail wraps around their face to keep them very warm when it gets like 50, 60 below zero, keeps them all warm. Thank you for bringing that from SeaWorld.

KING: And now the mamosets, or the marmosets.

HANNA: The marmosets. Oh, this is a primate. Look at those things. Aren't they neat? I think these are very unique, Larry. These are from like Brazil, down into that part of South America. They almost look like they're dressed up, don't they? Look at that face. Isn't that something?

One of the world's smallest primates. You have the pygmy marmoset, which is smaller. These are also, Larry, pollinators. They defecate from tree to tree, and they're also great pollinators. They have like one or two babies at one time, but this animal -- look at this thing. They're very, very unique, aren't they?

KING: Beautiful.

HANNA: They leap about 10 to 15 feet. Oh, by the way, they are trying to be smuggled into this country. Some people are trying to have them as pets. Never have one of these as pets. Number one, it's illegal in most states. One lady had them in -- had a big, old hairdo, and tried to stuff it inside of her hairdo and get through customs and it hides in there. Didn't quite make it. But you definitely...

(CROSSTALK) KING: They look like they'd be pets.

HANNA: Yes, they do look that way. And some people try it. But these animals are very temperamental and very, very difficult to raise.

KING: We'll be right back with more with Jack Hanna. His upcoming new TV series is "Hanna" and "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild." Later, Chance and Cannon King will join us. And when we come back, a camel and a zebra. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. What a way to kick off the new year, with our dear friend, Jack Hanna. Another rein of animals coming up in segment two. And we begin with our old friend, the camel.

HANNA: I don't know if we've ever had one of these.

KING: Never had one.

HANNA: Nope, nope.

KING: How did they get in the elevator?

HANNA: Of course, you know, being this holiday season, we know about the camel. The camel has always been a beast of burden, Larry. It's an animal that's very, very valuable in many, many parts of the world.

You've got to remember something. There are more camels in Australia than there are in the Middle East and Africa. The camel is an animal -- this is, by the way, a dromedary. Now, how do I know that? See the one hump? Take a D. D is dromedary. Bactrian is a B. So you have two humps. Bactrian is a two-hump; dromedary is one hump. This youngster here is, again, about 16 weeks old.

KING: That's all?

HANNA: Yes, that's all. Some people think the hump is water. It's all fat, Larry. He can go about two to three weeks without eating or drinking out in the desert.

They have two different eyelids. If a sandstorm comes toward them, they can shut that inner eyelid. Look at their ears, how small their ears are, compared to the body size. Those ears at that small, again, because of sandstorms bothering the camel.

KING: She's only 16 weeks old?

HANNA: Right. And you've got to remember, also, as far as wild camels, the only wild ones we know are the Bactrian camels that may be up in Mongolia, way up at high altitudes. By the way, if you are a Maasai and you want to get married, let's say, you know, and you see this lady you want to marry, you've got to have a lot of camels. So you just can't have one camel and get married to Maasai. I'm not talking about you. I'm just...


KING: I got the same thing in Beverly Hills. It was a joke.


HANNA: If you have a lot of camels, it's like having a lot of cars or a lot of houses and things. And, hey, hey, hey! This animal, Larry, again, people use this camel for everything, for example, not just a beast of burden, but to ride. I've ridden a camel for a couple of days, and I still have the scars on my bottom to show it. But this animal, if something happens to it, they use the fur for coats. They use the bones for needles and tools.

KING: How long do they live?

HANNA: Oh, they can live anywhere from 15 to 25 years. In the wild, you know, probably a little less. But people take care of these animals like you wouldn't believe in that part of the world. And, again, more in Australia...


HANNA: ... than there are in Africa and the Middle East.

KING: The camel. And now...

HANNA: That's a dromedary, everybody, one-hump camel.

KING: The one-hump camel, and there he goes. And now, a zebra. Is this a baby zebra?

HANNA: Yep, Larry, this is a little baby zebra. This is a Grant's zebra. You have about five or six different types of zebra, Larry. Some of them are very endangered. This is a common zebra, by the way. Now you see the black on white, white on black. I don't know really...

KING: Yes, which is it?

HANNA: What is it? Is it white or black?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's white on black.

HANNA: White on black. This is Anita.

KING: That looks brown, though.

HANNA: Yes, it does, but they get a little darker as it gets older. Now, Larry, why is a zebra black and white? People always want to know -- that's great camouflage, Larry, because let's say African lions were hunting in Africa. We've never had a zebra on, by the way.

And it's really interesting, because when a zebra gets by itself, it will be hunted very quickly by a lion. But if they get into big groups, because a lion sees in black and white, that big blob of black and white is confusing to the lions. So that's their protection. Zebras can bite and kick. That's one of the main means of defense. But they also are one of the main prey for whether it be the cheetah, the lion, the leopard...

KING: How big will he get?

HANNA: Oh, this animal will get to be about...

KING: Like a horse?

HANNA: Not quite as big as a horse, but also, you know, 400 or 500 pounds. And the zebra -- Larry, in the great migration, in the Serengeti, you should see it, the thousands of zebra that go through the great migration. It's just absolutely magnificent.

KING: Beautiful animal, too, the zebra. We're having some exclusives tonight. We've never had these before.

HANNA: Never, no, the Jacksons do a great job...


KING: Now comes my wife's favorite. This is Sean's, no doubt, favorite animal.

HANNA: What is that?

KING: The turkey.

HANNA: Oh, the turkey.

KING: She can probably call the turkey.

HANNA: Now, this is not a domestic -- this is a wild turkey.

KING: Wild turkey.

HANNA: Wild turkey. A lot of the big, domestic turkeys get much, much bigger and much quicker. The turkey, by the way, Larry, people need to understand, the turkey was an animal -- in a lot of states, it was extinct and now has been brought back to a lot of states that -- like in Ohio, Florida, Texas, they brought back -- the game and fishing commissions throughout the country have done a great job bringing the wild turkey back. So I wanted people to see what a wild turkey -- this is a young one.

KING: Gobble, gobble. She can gobble. Gobble, maybe he'll come to you.

HANNA: That is good. Your wife can gobble good.

KING: Put the camera there. Put the camera there, Steve.

HANNA: Yeah, do that one more time. KING: Put the camera there, Steve.

HANNA: This is good.

KING: Do it. Do it. Lean over towards Chance. He's got a mike.

HANNA: No, let your mom do that. I love that. That might be the best thing of this whole show.

KING: And now you know what life is like at home.

HANNA: Thank you.

KING: OK, wallaby. There's a song about wallabies.

HANNA: What's that?

KING: A famous song years ago about wallabies.

HANNA: No, tiny kangaroo down...

KING (singing): "Tie me kangaroo down, boys. Tie me kangaroo down."

HANNA: That's right.


HANNA: That's a good song. This is a wallaby. And a wallaby, by the way, everyone, is a kangaroo. Some people think it's a whole different species. It's a kangaroo. It's just a different size of kangaroo.

For example, a wallaby can only get to -- like, the Bennett's wallaby gets to be about three feet tall, full-grown. This is a marsupial, as we all know. And I'm going to talk more about the marsupials here in a minute, with a red kangaroo, which is the largest marsupial in the world.

You have wallabies, Larry, that are -- the Bennett's wallabies are three feet tall, and you have the little ones that are up to 12 inches tall that are full-grown. So many different types of wallaby. Again, that means -- a marsupial means that they're raised inside the pouch, not in the womb. They develop in the pouch.

And the wallaby is from Australia. The place to take the kids, Larry, by the way, if you go to Australia, Kangaroo Island in the south of Australia. Go there. Wallabies, kangaroos, koalas, penguins, incredible island, coast of Australia.

KING: Wow.

HANNA: Thank you so much for bringing him.

KING: I've never been to Australia. HANNA: You've got to go to Australia.

KING: And finally in this portion, a civet. What is a civet?

HANNA: All right, now these are -- get Larry to hold one. Now, Larry, this is a palm civet. You remember the SARS disease?

KING: Huh?

HANNA: Remember the SARS disease?

KING: Yes, sure.

HANNA: Remember SARS killed -- all right, this is what caused the SARS disease, not this one, but this type of animal.

KING: Why do you do this?

HANNA: No, no, I'm not joking. I'm being dead serious. Larry, the reason they caused the SARS -- these are considered a delicacy in China. Now, these are just youngsters, all right?

KING: They're eaten in China?

HANNA: Oh, yes, like you would -- they cost about $200 in a restaurant. But what happened was somebody was skinning them, what happened last year, one person died last year, and then a lot of these were destroyed, like, for example, mad cow disease or like bird flu or that kind of thing.

But look at this. They like little worms. Let's see. Here, you want to eat a worm? They like little worms, fruits. And they also have stink glands, Larry, underneath their armpits here, arms there, that they're used to mark their territory with.

KING: They go upside-down, around?

HANNA: And they're in the mongoose family, by the way, too, which means they eat just about anything, live in trees, eat snakes. They love poisonous snakes, by the way. Love poisonous snakes.

KING: Love poisonous snakes.


KING: They don't get poisoned by them?

HANNA: No, they're so quick. They circle around the snake and get them dizzy.

KING: OK, there you have the civets. And when we have come back, the return of Larry the lemur. It's a big day here.

HANNA: He's been coming for 10, 12 years.

KING: He's back. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Jack Hanna, just back from Rwanda. What was that like?

HANNA: It's an incredible country, Larry, probably the safest country in Africa now, the most democratic country. And President Kagame is doing a tremendous job. I encourage people to go there, because you won't believe what you're seeing, not just the gorillas, Larry, but they have the chimps in the Nyungwe forest.

KING: And how about the rest of the problems?

HANNA: I've never -- you know, I've been going there since 1984, and it was terrible what happened there, but I call it the greatest turnaround in the history of Africa. Why? One word: non-corruption. Corruption doesn't exist in Africa -- a panda fell off there.

KING: All right, here he is, returning for his 10th...

HANNA: From Rwanda.

KING: ... 10th appearance on LARRY KING LIVE, Larry the lemur! Yes, in all his glory, he's back.

HANNA: Come here.

KING: The king of the Columbus Zoo.

HANNA: This really -- tell me, Dave. Dave does a great job on conservation. Tell Larry about this. This is the first of the world, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, this actually the very first primate we have successfully bred in man's care and then released back in the world. Since 1987, we've been putting black and white ruffed lemurs, this particular species, back on to the island of Madagascar. It's a great conservation success.

HANNA: It really is amazing. You've got to understand something, Larry. What you're seeing here, Larry, is an animal that, at the present rate of destruction, 85 percent of the forest in Madagascar has been destroyed, 85 percent. At that present rate, in 20 years, this animal could be extinct in the wild. Not in zoological setting, but extinct in the wild.

His tail is used to locate its mates, as far as -- when he's out there in the trees, they live up in the trees. And they won't go down on the ground. These little hands are opposable thumbs here on these. This is a prosimian. Prosimian means pre-monkey and pre-ape. This animal has been around for -- but the only place in the world, Larry, you find these are on the island of Madagascar. It's an amazing creature, isn't it? You have, what, about three different types of lemurs left?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, at least. We keep discovering new ones. HANNA: New ones. Some of them, Larry, are little, tiny, little lemurs that will fit in the palm of your hand. And some of them, of course, as large as this lemur here.

KING: Be good, Larry. There goes Larry the lemur. And now we meet African crowned cranes.

HANNA: Larry, I've never had these on before.

KING: Already, already spilled the cup. Sheesh!

HANNA: OK. Larry...

KING: I thought they were trained.

HANNA: They're trained.


KING: Are there two of them here? Is there one on down here?

HANNA: Hey, Larry, look at this. He loves worms. Larry, you've got to understand something, these are babies.

KING: These are worms, right?

HANNA: Yeah. Now, Larry, these are young African crowed cranes. When this animal gets larger, Larry, you will not believe the color on his head. The color on their head, Larry, it's one of the most gorgeous colors of any bird in the entire world. This is the national bird of Uganda, Larry. This animal eats snakes, loves snakes, insects. And this animal also...

KING: Wait a minute. These worms are movin'.


KING: These are live worms.

HANNA: Uh-huh. They're called meal worms. Isn't that something? This is like "National Geographic."

KING: How would you like to be one of those worms? You had a good life, you're walking along...

HANNA: Larry, look at the top notch, though. That top notch -- I just wish I could show you. Maybe I can get you a picture to show you what these animals look like when they're full-grown. They live a lot in marshes, Larry. In a lot of parts of Africa now, they're no longer there. They were hunted for their feathers, as well as for food.

And we're trying to bring these animals back to a lot of parts of around Uganda, around Kenya, Rwanda. Isn't this -- oh, look at this, Larry. Come here. Look.

KING: No, no, I'm not going to feed him.

HANNA: You better not feed him.

KING: No, he scared me enough.

HANNA: Isn't that neat? Look at that, Larry. First time ever. You won't ever see an African crowned crane on a show ever, other than LARRY KING LIVE, right here.

KING: LARRY KING LIVE presents crowned cranes.

HANNA: We should name these birds Larry and Sean. How's that?


HANNA: Is that nice?

KING: You got it.

HANNA: Have you ever had a crane named after you?

KING: Larry and Sean will now exit.

HANNA: Thank you so much.

KING: They can never (INAUDIBLE) a crane now. We won't get over this. She won't stop talking about she's a crane. I've got to live with this. "Hello, Dad. Guess what? I'm a crane." The fennec fox.

HANNA: Yes, this is a fennec fox. The fennec fox, Larry, is the smallest fox in the world. Remember, you had the arctic fox, the fennec fox, the red fox, the gray fox, all sort of foxes.

This animal is full-grown. It's from the Sahara Desert in northern Africa. And those ears are big, obviously, for hearing. People say, "Yes, they can hear." They can hear little insects and worms underground.

But the main thing, Larry, about their ears, it keeps them cool. It keeps the animal cool in the heat of the day in the desert. It's like little blood vessels in there, like an elephant that has big ears. They go back and forth to keep it cool. Same thing with the fennec fox.

And they love to eat little scorpions. I don't have any scorpions to show you, but they love poisonous scorpions. They can eat them like that.

KING: Beautiful animals.

HANNA: This is full-grown fox.

KING: And now the red fox returns. This is a beautiful animal.

HANNA: This is the red fox. And the red fox, Larry, it's very important. The foxes are adapting to our environment everywhere. In London alone, how many foxes do you think there are in London, in England?

KING: How would I know?

HANNA: Two million. Two million in London itself, London proper. And the fox can adapt to -- now, some people say, "He's as cunning as a fox." They are very, very -- they're very social. They're very bright. And these animals take care of their sick and the young first.

And they actually even scout. I had little chickens out in Montana, and they scouted my chicken pen for a couple or three days. And then they got in there. I don't know how they got in it and got my chickens. They're that intelligent. They scout first and look around first before they go in and make the kill.

But they're also obviously an animal that does carry rabies, so no one wants to ever pick up a red fox if it's in your yard. Call the wildlife department.

KING: Great face. Foxes have great faces.

HANNA: Thank you, David. He rescued that fox.

KING: Prehensile tail skink.

HANNA: Prehensile tail skink.

KING: And a blue-tongue skink. Are they both...

HANNA: Which one is nice?

KING: Are they together?

HANNA: This is a blue-tongue skink.

KING: OK, they're both together, the prehensile and the blue tongue.

HANNA: Yes, is this from the Solomon Islands?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This one's from the Solomon Islands.

HANNA: Oh, that's a prehensile tail skink right there. Look at this, Larry. This is interesting. Look at this skink here.

KING: What is a skink?

HANNA: A skink is a lizard, but it's a prehensile tail. See here, Larry? They live in the trees, spends all of its life in the trees, holds all its little claws here, you can see.

Now, the blue-tongue skink -- oh, there. But the blue-tongue skink has a blue tongue, Larry, because what it does -- it can't go fast at all. You see its little legs? It can't move fast. And what he does -- you know, when people were bullies, they go like that, stick their tongue out, and sometimes you run -- that's what this thing does. He sticks his tongue -- there it goes. He sticks his tongue out, scares his prey. It's a long, blue tongue like this, but he's not stinging it out very far right now.

KING: But what does it -- it can't poison you, can it?

HANNA: No, it's bite. This is from Australia and the Solomon Islands, these two, these two lizards. Aren't they neat? Look at that. Hope they can see together like that.

KING: Still to come, Thai monkey and an albino Burmese python and a Burmese python and a skunk. And the boys will be here later with baby kangaroos and pot-bellied pigs and cane toads and a toucan, still ahead. Don't go away.


KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE with Jack Hanna, kicking off 2007. And we begin this segment with the Thai monkey. What a cute, little -- hello there, Thai. What's happening? Oh.

HANNA: This, Larry, Larry, this is a macaque.

KING: A macaque?

HANNA: There are different types of macaques throughout the world, Larry. This is from Thailand. And a lot of these animals, Larry, get in streets, get downtown, raid the houses, do all sorts of things. Now, this animal, Larry, is 48 years old. It might be one of the oldest macaques in the world.

KING: Forty-eight years old?

HANNA: Forty-eight years old. That is old.

KING: Wait a minute. He eats the pistachio nuts without taking the shell off.

HANNA: Oh, yeah, and, Larry, they also have...

KING: How does he eat it without the shell?

HANNA: No, see, he can get the shell open. See, watch. See, watch, Larry. Now, you talk about intelligence. What are you doing?

KING: I'm eating a pistachio.

HANNA: Oh. Well, what the heck then?


KING: Germs?

HANNA: Are these good pistachio nuts?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're good. She's actually shoving them in her cheek pouches, because she likes to keep them. HANNA: See, Larry? Tell them about this. It's interesting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She can hold a whole stomach's worth of peas in her cheek pouches. She has big pouches like here so she likes to shove it in just in case something will come up and scare her.

KING: What, what, what, what?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She thinks you're good looking.

HANNA: She thinks he's good looking.

Oh, here.

KING: I'm done.

HANNA: You can hand it to them.

KING: Oh, hey, do you want a nut? Do you want a nut?

HANNA: He likes the worms, first, I think. You see what happens, Larry? All that food she's eating is going into her pouches.

That way when she's not full, let's say she can't find food in three or four hours, they'll take that food out of the pouches, Larry, and swallow it.

KING: thanks.

HANNA: Larry, this is an animal again that some times macaques can swim, sometimes macaques, Japanese macaques in the mountains can go 30 to 40 below zero.

KING: I like him.

HANNA: He is a neat animal. One of the oldest in the world right there.

KING: OK, next.

HANNA: Thank you. Remember, he's a senior citizen. It just takes a minute.

KING: We continue now with the albino Burmese python.

HANNA: Right. This is a python. I know you love snakes. You don't see many pythons that are albino. At the Columbus Zoo, Larry, in April, we will have the largest snake we know of in the world at a logical setting.

Twenty-six feet long, 306 pounds. Larry, this animal here is only eight or 10 feet long and weighs maybe 30, 40 pounds. Can you imagine a snake that big? Do you want to come and see him? I'll get you get your picture with them. I'll let you in with him.

KING: I'm not afraid. I'm going to do that. HANNA: It's an amazing animal. Feel the power of this animal, Larry. Just put your -- let him wrap around you. Here, put him around Larry. I just want you to feel the power.

The reason I'm doing this for you is to feel the power. I want you to feel this. OK, boys, say good-bye to your dad. Say good-bye to your, dad. Take him around him.

Now, do you feel that?


KING: She's smiling. She read the will.

HANNA: Isn't that something? It's cold blooded. Notice it is a little cool because it cannot -- can't keep his temperature at 98.6 like we do. The snake's temperature is the same as the outside temperature. So he's kind of cool right now. The more he's on his body he will heat up. They grab you and then they strangle you and then swallow you whole. They have about 220 teeth. They're not poisonous.

KING: They're not poisonous, they just swallow you.

HANNA: Swallow you. Yeah.

KING: In other words,, you don't die from the bite.

HANNA: No, you die from the squeeze.

KING: How do you get in there?

HANNA: How do you get in there? They reach their jaw like this. That one you're not -- You might be a little big for this one. In another three or four years, once they get the head in the mouth, then you're gone.


HANNA: OK. Just wanted you to realize that. I want you to see how powerful that thing is.

KING: That's powerful. Ooh.

HANNA: I told you. Wrapped around your chair. There we go.

KING: And now the Burmese python.

HANNA: This is a bigger one. Take that over there to Larry, too, if you would. This one here is even bigger. I'll hold this end. You get the rest of him.

KING: Is this dangerous.

HANNA: I don't know.

KING: I don't know?

HANNA: No, no you hold the head.

KING: I don't know?

HANNA: As long as you hold the head. Hold the head. Don't let the head get near him. Look at this snake, Larry, this snake is about 10 or 11 feet long. Again, the one we're getting is three times as large in the Columbus Zoo in April. This is a Burmese python. Larry, this animal again can grow huge. In the wild they say it can get to be 34 feet and 350 pounds.

KING: You know, they're kind of comforting.

HANNA: This one is warming. Feel this one.

Larry, this snake can go up to one year without ever eating. Can you imagine that? One year without even eating. Once they eat they lay there and wait for something to sick or something come by.

KING: How many pairs of shoes would you get out of this?

HANNA: We wouldn't - this poor (ph) thing. But they are beautiful creatures. People have a misconception about snakes. I think you like snakes a lot more than what you used to.

KING: Wrap it around yourself, Shawn. Try it. Wrap it around her. It's no big deal. You'll like it.

HANNA: Make sure you hold the head. Show Larry's wife. Where did the boys go? The boys are gone.

S. KING: I think I'm just a little afraid.

HANNA: I want you to feel the power, Shawn. Feel the power.

S. KING: Wow!

HANNA: As nice as Shawn is, make sure you take your sneakers off before he eats you. It's a joke! It's a joke.

S. KING: I took them off. You had me.

HANNA: I was just joking.

KING: Now we have a roughneck monitor. Look at this boys and girls.

HANNA: I'm not going to hold this.

KING: Look at this.

HANNA: Look at that. Larry, look at the tongue on this animal. You've heard of the komodo dragon. I'm sure you have.

KING: Of course. HANNA: That animal's bite is what's lethal. Not that the bite will kill you, it's the bite, the bacteria, that animal can track you with that tongue. You see that tongue coming out? That's molecules, it senses heat senses, it sense smell with that. Mainly smell. So that's what the animal does. When it bites it will track, whatever it bites down. The komodo dragon can go miles doing that.

KING: Whoa, look at that tongue!

HANNA: Exactly. The claws are very, very sharp, Larry. The defense, the tail has razor tops on the end of it where it slaps its tail as well. What type of monitor is this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a water monitor.

HANNA: Water monitor. So loves the water. Different types of monitor lizards throughout the world.

KING: What is this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the water.

HANNA: What's that one?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the roughneck.

HANNA: This thing -- what are you doing?

KING: All right. This is the water - whoa.

HANNA: It's a water monitor there. He bites sometimes.

KING: Bites.

HANNA: Look at the tongue on this one. This is the water monitor?

UNIDENTFIED MALE: This is the water, yeah.

HANNA: Where is this from?


HANNA: Southeast Asia. So he loves swimming in water obviously.


HANNA: See it, Larry? See the back of the tail? Very, very sharp ridges on the back. Slaps.

KING: Who?

HANNA: Who he wants to.

KING: Is he uncomfortable out of the water?

HANNA: No, no. They're on land, too. Yeah. So if this one bites, teeth on this one or mainly gums?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yeah, got a lot of teeth.

KING: Fantastic.

Jack Hanna is with us, his new show is "Jack Hanna's into the Wild." He is director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and his Web site is

We're now going to meet three-banded armadillo, a hairy armadillo. Oh, look at these. I love these.

HANNA: Look at this here, Larry. This is neat. This is a three ...

KING: They hide under the thing, right?

HANNA: Larry. He likes a little meal worms, too. The interesting thing about this animal is they can't see hardly at all. But the hearing and smell in this animal is some of the greatest of any in the world.

This is a three-banded armadillo from Brazil. South America, full grown, Larry. Full grown.

KING: We're running close on time. Bring this one.

HANNA: You have this one. This is a nine banded armadillo. This is from America. You've seen these in Florida, Texas, Mexico. That's got nine bands. All right? These are very prehistoric animals. Very prehistoric animals. Been around for a long time. Since the dinosaur era.

KING: Live them.

All right. We're running short of time so we've got to take a break. We'll be right back with more of Jack Hanna. Later the kids. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Jack Hanna, one of my favorite people of "Jack Hanna's into the Wild." That's his new show. Let's meet the next animal up for grabs on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

HANNA: That's a nice shot.

KING: A skunk.

HANNA: Go ahead. Right toward Larry. No, this is a skunk, Larry. And I brought this on because a lot of people have misconception about skunks from the standpoint they think they make good pets. Number one, they don't. Number two, it's illegal in the house. Number three, they can carry the rabies virus. It's very important to remember this.

When you find a baby skunk in the yard, again, call the proper authorities and don't go messing with it.

KING: And that smell it releases is its protection.

HANNA: Exactly. Every animal has different protection. Black and white, Larry, again, for mainly black and white will scare an animal, believe it or not. If you feed your cat outside, make sure you don't do that. Try to keep your cat food out because that's what they love to go find. Food outside for dogs or cats.

KING: They will eat the dog's food or the cat's.

HANNA: Exactly. That what brings them. Thank you so much.

KING: And now, an opossum.

HANNA: The possum, Larry ...

KING: Like playing possum.

HANNA: Exactly. Remember, Larry, we have two different types of possum. Is this female?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Male and a female.

HANNA: Remember, Larry. I brought these because we had the wallaby on, that's a marsupial. This is the only marsupial we have in the country, Larry. Show the pouch. I don't know if the camera can see this or not. If she doesn't mind. If the camera can ...

KING: There it is.

HANNA: See there. Hold on here. Let me see if I can ...

KING: We got it.

HANNA: Did you get it? Right there. See this opening right here? Let me see here. Right in there? That's the pouch. There are about 12 nipples in there, Larry, where all the babies get in there and attach to the nipple. That's where they're raised. The mother has those baby possums, Larry and less than nine weeks they're gone and in six weeks they're breeding again. That's how quick the baby develops. Not like a kangaroo.

KING: This is funny looking.

HANNA: This is an older possum. Again, the prehensile tail, Larry. A lot of people think it's dead on the road in the winter time. Make sure everyone understands. They get on the road in the wintertime to keep the asphalt - to keep them warm. So don't go running over a possum if you see him on the road because he's just staying war.

KING: They're playing possum.

HANNA: Playing possum. Exactly.

KING: That's where that comes from.

HANNA: All right.

This is a California king snake. King snakes are very important, Larry, from the standpoint they eat other snakes. The California king snake I'm not sure -- is it a protected species in California? I'm not really sure if they are. I don't know how prevalent they are. But they're a beautiful animal.

KING: They sue are.

HANNA: They eat other snakes. I want you to stay right here. I'll bring the next one on.

KING: Mexican.

HANNA: Yeah. You stay right there.

KING: Whoa.

HANNA: This is a Mexican king snake.

Same thing, Larry. They eat other snakes. But look at the beautiful underside of this snake. Look at that.

KING: Whoa.

HANNA: Isn't that gorgeous?

KING: Here comes in albino corn snake.

HANNA: This is the corn snake, Larry. Put him in the middle here. We won't let these snakes ...

KING: Why is it called a con snake?

HANNA: Because they stay around corn cribs where people do the corn. They eat mice and rats. That's why they're called the corn snake. Underneath it's gorgeous, too, as well. This is the corn snake. Look at that.

KING: Beautiful. And finally in this segment, oh, boy ...

HANNA: Oh, my gosh. Now you notice I'm not -- I'm not an expert in alligators or crocodiles but Davie Jackson, he has raised this from a youngster. He tells me that this alligator knows him which is amazing to me because alligators have a very small brain.

KING: This is different from a crocodile. Steve ...

HANNA: Steve Irwin. Exactly. Steve knew crocodiles and alligators like nobody in the world. That guy had a sixth sense as you well know because ...

KING: These are in Florida, aren't they? HANNA: Yes. These are Florida. And the crocodile's nose is much more like this but, Larry, the neat thing is they have sensors right here. Little sensors. They feel vibration. So when the alligator hunts it is not necessarily by eyesight or smell, it's by vibrations. You're kicking swimming in the water and they go right to where that vibration is.

This animal's been around again -- of course, until Steve came around and taught us the alligator and crocodile were neat creatures on the planet.

KING: You bet he did.


KING: OK. Next, we'll be joined by my kids, Chance and Cannon as they join Jack Hanna, one of their favorite people as we explore more of the animal kingdom. Don't go away.

HANNA: Move the alligator first.

KING: Huh?

HANNA: Before the kids, move the alligator.

KING: Move the alligator first.

HANNA: Before the kids.


KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE with Jack Hanna. We're joined now by my two sons, Chance, who is seven and a half, second grade, Cannon, six and a half, first grade and what are we joined here by?

HANNA: Now look at these. What is this?


HANNA: That's right, kangaroo. What do you have?


HANNA: Kangaroo. These are obviously red kangaroos, Larry. They can grow to be five to six feet tall. And you guys, when you were first born you could jump in these pouches, believe it or not.

But now the kangaroo, when it develops, it develops in the pouch. Unlike when you developed in your mommy's tummy, these animal when they have their babies, they come out of the birth canal and crawl up like a worm on the outside of the stomach and go into the pouch and attach to the breast. They live their six months in the pouch. It's a marsupial. What do you call a baby kangaroo?

CHANCE KING: I don't know. HANNA: Joey. A joey. Not many people know this. What do you call a whole bunch of kangaroos, not a herd, what do you call it?

CHANCE KING: I don't know.

KING: I don't know.

HANNA: A mob.


HANNA: Thank you very much.

KING: A mob?

HANNA: A mob of kangaroo and they go 35 miles an hour and can jump like 25 feet at one time. And the neat thing about the kangaroo, everybody. Let me show you this. You guys, look at this. You see this back foot here? See this back foot? You see it's back foot.

CANNON KING: I can't see it.

HANNA: You can't see it, can you, but right there is the back foot. See this back foot right there?


HANNA: When that kangaroo gets big that back foot is like a knife. It will kicks out like that and when a dingo or a person is trying to hurt him he can rip you wide open with this back foot here, this back claw if it has to.

CANNON KING: They can rip me white wide open?

HANNA: They wouldn't rip you wide open, no, because they're nice. I know you wouldn't chase a kangaroo, would you?


KING: OK. Here we go. What's next?

HANNA: Here we go.

KING: It's down on the floor.

HANNA: Thank you, Steve.

KING: That's an -- what's that?

HANNA: Larry, this is an aoudad. The aoudad is off the Barbary Coast. They love to live in rocks. They live in places, Larry, that you couldn't imagine an animal could even survive in that part of West Africa -- I'm sorry, off the coast of Africa. The Barbary Islands. It's called a Barbary sheep is what it is. They like to eat dirt and salt and minerals as well as they eat grasses that you wouldn't think any animal could consume. It's almost like a mountain goat in a way. That's a Barbary - look at this. Sit up here for a second.

You won't believe this animal. See that over there? See him over there? No, over here. Down here. See. That's a Barbary sheep. Isn't that amazing?

KING: Now we have following him, a warthog.

HANNA: Now, look at this here. You will never see, Larry, a warthog on any show like this.

KING: Look at that.

HANNA: Now, a warthog, Larry, is an animal we just got back from Africa, Larry, working with warthogs over there. Filming the warthog. The Jacksons have done a tremendous job with these warthogs.

This animal has a tail on the back, it's like an antenna. It's happy now you can hear it -- You see it wiggle its tail there. When it's being chased by lions it will raise the tail to warn the other warthogs to stay away. It kneels -- its legs are so long, Larry, it has kneel on its knees like this to eat off ground, the warthog does.

I don't know if he's doing it or not. Yeah, he is. Yeah, he is, Larry. Right there is a great shot. See there, Larry. His legs are so long he cannot stand up and eat. He has to kneel on the ground, there.

KING: And now we have ...

LHANNA: Larry, these are little pigs here.

KING: Pot bellied pigs.

HANNA: We're not -- Larry, we're not -- the pigs are not being harmed at all. For those of you at home, the pigs always squeal. I don't care if they're happy squeals. They're not hurting these little pigs. These are the pigs that - these are the little -- what kind of pigs are these?

These are pot bellied pigs. A lot of people, Larry, have these as pets. A lady in Beverly Hills six years ago, I did a show on her, had had 10 of these in her apartment. Now, I don't advise that. These pigs, guys -- Pigs are intelligent, by the way.

Pigs are very intelligent animals. Some people tell them how to pull little carriages and this type of thing. After the Vietnam War, Larry, these animals came back over here by a great deal in the 1980s. And so many people - George Clooney, IO think, has one that weigh 300 pounds in his yard.

KING: He does. Oh, it died? Greg tells me it died.

HANNA: Well, he had one.

By the way, these animals get to be - some species about 200. These get about 40 to 50 pounds. Very intelligent. Again, called Vietnamese pot bellied pigs. They're not going to hurt you. They like to eat.

I love pigs. I raise them at home.

KING: George Clooney's was 18 years old.

HANNA: Eighteen years old. Wow, that's an old pig.

KING: One more on this segment and then we're heading to the ...

HANNA: You guys like these pigs?


HANNA: I'll give you one to take home. Do you have a big yard, Larry?

KING: Yeah, very big.

HANNA: Would you like to have a pot bellied pig? Where's your wife?

Would you like to have a pot-bellied pig?

S. KING: I think I'm going to pass on that one.

HANNA: You're going pass? I'm sorry. Darn.

KING: No sense of humor. He'd give you one right now.

S. KING: Yeah. Right now, huh?

KING: Livliv (ph) would take it.


HANNA: This is a cockatoo, Larry, a very young cockatoo from Australia. Cockatoos over there -- this is a young baby, as a matter of fact.

KING: Look, Cannon.

HANNA: These cockatoos, boys, live to be over 100 years old some of them, 50 to 100 years. Very, very good. They imitate the sounds of a lot of animals. And they cover the field, sometimes they cover the fields and trees with white. They love to eat seeds. And again, they're a protective species in Australia, or in this country.

CANNON KING: How old is this one?

HANNA: This one is only about, I'd say he's what, 12 weeks?


HANNA: Seven weeks. Very young bird. Thank you so much. From Australia. KING: We'll be right back with our remaining moments and more animals with Jack Hanna and Chance and Cannon King as well. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with our remaining moments. Let's meet the African porcupines. An adult and a baby.

HANNA: Look at this now.

KING: He is a very strong -- don't touch the thing. You can touch them if you go back with them, right?

HANNA: You've got to be careful, though.

Everyone, this is an incredible animal.

KING: That's OK.

HANNA: David Jackson -- there are few people who raise this animal. I love the porcupine because, Larry, look at the quills here. This is the largest porcupine in the world. You've got the African porcupine, the prehensile tailed porcupine from South American, and then you have -- this is another African porcupine here -- North American porcupine.

This is African. This is a baby African porcupine. See this quill here? They don't throw they quills, right, but they're very sharp -- oh, real sharp.

KING: Touch this, whack. Take a hand off.

HANNA: Be brave. Be brave like gentle Jack.

What happens is they use these quills. They rattle Larry, to keep you away from them. They rattle them like a rattlesnake. And then if you get too close, and you try and bite it like a lion would, get in the mouth and cause infection or get in his paws. And then the quills come out of the body. It's Mother Nature's means of -- are you enjoying this?



But see there, look how gorgeous. Look at that -- Look at how he brings that.

KING: It is pretty.

HANNA: It's a gorgeous animal.

They use these for like weapons and all sorts of things. These quills. Thank, you David, for bring that.

KING: Thank you. That was great.

HANNA: I love this animal.

KING: Don't touch one of those quills. Touch one.

HANNA: Hey. Hey. Hey.

KING: If you touch it the wrong way ...

HANNA: This porcupine likes you. I don't know how David does it. I wouldn't pick up a porcupine for all the money in the world. OK, men. Rest up. Rest up, easy.

KING: Here we come ...

CANNON KING: Thank you.

KING: Here comes the bush baby.

HANNA: This is a bush baby. Look at this. Isn't this something? When I'm out in Africa filming in nighttime, you guys go with me to Africa, we'll go out at night and film, see all these little eyeballs out there when you put a light on. It's bush babies.

CANNON KING: They look cute.

HANNA: They live like 30 or 40 of them all live together in trees in the daytime and then they come out separately at nighttime and eat like little insects, all sorts of insects and fruits and that type of thing.

They leap like 25 feet, one leap bush to bush, little trees to trees. Look at the hands on those animals. I don't know if you can see his hands or not. Look at this. Just like your hands. Look at the little opposable thumbs there. They're called a bush baby.

CHANCE KING: My hands are bigger.

HANNA: Oh yeah. A lot bigger. This is a nocturnal animal. I love these little animals.

CANNON KING: Why is his hand like a spider?

HANNA: Because that helps him grab on the trees. Good question. Very good. Just like your hands, grab like this.


HANNA: Look at what he does.

KING: Now we meet a kookaburra ...

HANNA: A cockatoo from Australia - a kookaburra, I'm sorry, not a cockatoo, kookaburra from Australia. This is Steve Marain (ph), he is a tremendous animal guy here in California.

Steve, do you think he's say something?


I might need a little help. Help me?

ALL: Kookookoo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe if everyone does it.

ALL: Kookookookoo.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, that sound? That's the sound of this bird making a fool of us on national television.

HANNA: That is a kookaburra, Larry. And they are from Australia. And they do have a sound like Steve said. They also love to eat snakes and those types of things. But that's a beautiful Australian kookaburra.

KING: Two more to go. A cane toad.

CHANCE KING: Could you get the pig to do the sound in karate so I could care the people away.

KING: And they have karate now.

HANNA: And don't touch that one.

This is a cane toad, everybody. All right? If you notice, those have poison glands. Need help right there?

This is a cane toad. Those right here are poison glands. This toad, Larry, one is the one that came over from South America. Brought into this country, southern Florida. It's causing a lot of death with dogs. Dogs try to eat this. This is poison glands right here, right back there.

So the dog eats it -- He's not going to hurt you.

CHANCE KING: Get him off of me! Get it off of me!

KING: It's OK. It's OK.. It's OK.

HANNA: It's a toad. It's OK. I don't like toads. Chance, I don't like him either.

KING: Chance, you're OK?

HANNA: Chance is good.

KING: Get it out of here.

HANNA: You were good, chance. That was good TV. Give me five. Give me five. Woo-wee.

KING: Say good-bye to the toad. CHANCE KING: Good-bye.

HANNA: Chance, you were great. Oh, God, that was great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's a furry one for you.

KING: Toucan?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can pet him. There you go. Good job.

HANNA: I laughed so hard, Chance, I about lost my pants. Anyway, that's the ...

KING: You don't have to ...

HANNA: They don't bite. It's the poison on their back that will hurt you. It won't hurt you. It's only if you eat it. You can't eat it.

KING: You didn't eat it, did you?

CANNON KING: You can't eat what?

HANNA: You can't eat the toad.

Anyway this is a kinkajou honey bear. That David has.

That's the call in the wild. That is how they call each other. Now the kinkajou is an animal called the honey bear because they have a honey coat. They have a long tongue and a prehensile tail, live in Central and South America. Isn't that beautiful?

Kinkajou or honey bear, climb up and down trees. Tremendous animal. Very hard to film in the rain forest.

KING: Thank you for everything, Jack.

HANNA: Thank you all. Have a great night.

KING: Thank you, Cannon. Thank you for being with us. Chance, thanks for providing one of the highlight moments of the start of this year.

HANNA: Thanks for taking a chance with the frog.

KING: It sure will make the highlights.

HANNA: Chance, thanks for taking a chance. I want to thank Steve Marou (ph) and Jackson (ph), for bringing all these animals, too.

KING: And Jack Hanna is the host of a new TV series called "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild," he is director emeritus at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. His Web site is and he was earlier today on the rain bird float in the Rose Bowl Parade, his 10th year in a row. Happy 2007. Thanks to Chance and Cannon for helping us and thanks again, Chance, for providing one of the great moments to start the year. It's definitely going on the highlight reel.

Thanks to Greg and the whole crew and Kelsey, stay tuned for AC 360 and good night.