Thursday, February 15, 2007
The difficulty of spotting nocturnal creatures
Finally, after two sweaty days in the jungle, a couple of mosquito-filled, sleepless nights, and parsimonious meals of power bars, I got to take a shower.

It felt great, but no matter how much I scrubbed, the bluish-black dye, which the Kraho Indians had ceremoniously painted on my arms, wouldn't come off.

These garish bands of ink, which was harvested from the fruit of a local palm, may have some folks thinking I just robbed a bank and got nailed by the ink bomb in the money bag. But truth be told, it's a stigma I'm willing to live with. The Kraho village and the lush jungle surrounding it is a place I'll never forget.

Rarely does one get a chance to spend time with a people who truly depend upon and live off the land around them. The Kraho do so in a manner in which their culture seems as if it is completely integrated into the natural world. The genuine hospitality they extended to Anderson, the crew and me is something I will treasure.

Mornings and afternoons were spent exploring the Kraho culture and their struggle to conserve their way of life in a region that seems, at times, to have failed them. Evenings were spent trail-blazing through dense jungle in search of secretive creatures.

I must confess that the rain forest at night, alive with a cornucopia of nocturnal life-forms awaiting discovery, is one of my favorite places on earth. Amazingly, 80 percent of the creatures living in a tropical rainforest are nocturnal. Many of them inhabit the blanket of leaves making up the canopy high over head.

It's often hard, if not downright impossible, to spot them. But when my eyes meet theirs, illumined by the eerie glow of a head lamp, adrenaline seems to surge through my veins.

Anderson did quite well sloshing through hip-deep muck and trekking into the near impenetrable vegetation. Although a rather curious bat seemed to get the better of him, but only for a moment. Until, that is, the bat decided to swoop by once again.
Posted By Jeff Corwin, Wildlife Biologist: 1:51 PM ET
  16 Comments
Jeff:
I'm glad to see you working with CNN. I think you're fabulous-I'm a fan.
Thanks for your contributions and your work with conservation.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 5:22 PM ET
Wow ! a self sufficient civilization with rich culture now fighting to conserve their culture.The Kraho's should sell the secret ink formula and to the baseball fans for tattoos.This way kraho's get some support too.
Posted By Anonymous Priya Junnarkar , Fremont,CA : 5:23 PM ET
Jeff:
Thank you so much for your blog.....it was such a pleasure watching you on Tuesday night and I can't wait to see the amazing things you and Anderson will show us tonight. Keep up the great work and if you can get Anderson to jump like he did when you showed him the frog.....keep it coming....that was classic :)
Can't wait to hear more from you in the coming months
Posted By Anonymous Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 5:59 PM ET
A BAT? It's a good thing Anderson is with you and not me! I would have been on a plane and out of there before the bat had a chance to undertake a second flyby.

God Bless the man, what he will put up with to keep us informed!
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 6:09 PM ET
Hi Jeff:
I love your enthusiasm for this project, it's quite catching. It's great to hear about all the different species and to find out that there are many many more that haven't even been discovered yet. I imagine though that you fear for their very futures. It is such a shame. I'm thoroughly enjoying your vivid description of these creatures.
One thing though, take it easy on Anderson, he's not getting any younger and you could scare him to death..lol
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada : 6:12 PM ET
"Thriller in the Jungle"!! I can't wait! Perhaps Jeff should discuss the amazing diversity of insect life in the canopy of the rain forest, and how many, many new species are found there every year! The biologists "fog-spray" the canopy with insect-killing stuff, then catch all the dead bugs on sheets of plastic when they fall down. And then they count the amazing ##s of bugs and new species of bugs. "Buggy!"
Posted By Anonymous Stan, Sausalito, CA : 6:50 PM ET
Hey Jeff, or is it "Running Deer"?

I love your passion for animals and creatures. You are a great teacher. Do you know of a natural medecine to calm Anderson down? It's funny to see you guys. It's like your going out in the wilderness being followed by your younger brother. You do a good job of calming him down.

About the blue ink,do you glow in the dark??? Seriously, it's amazing to discover such an amazing site. And to learn about the lives of the Kraho and their love for their land.

Now, go easy on Anderson.
Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 7:15 PM ET
Hey Jeff,

Like lions and tigers and bears --- bats and frogs and vegetation could be a scary thing for some of us. Don't be too hard on Anderson. I'm not a city girl but the idea of a night trek through the Amazon rain forest wouldn't be top on my list of things to do. You make it look like a piece of cake. It certainly is your calling and I love to watch you discover critters and creatures and interact with them. Personally I'm a Chihuahua lover myself but you make it look so easy to love all of God's wonderful creatures. So...keep on coming into our homes and bringing us your take on the creatures out there wandering around on our planet. And by the way keep those big frogs away from Anderson!
Posted By Anonymous Zann Martin, Tennessee : 7:17 PM ET
Jeff & Anderson,

For a super treat, skip over a little further north from where you are to Mt. Rorima area in Guyana (close to the borders with Venezuelan and Brazil) to see the Kaieteur Falls close up. It's pristine and spectacular with a drop of 741 ft. which is nearly five times greater than the drop of Niagara Falls.

Jeff, your one minute lesson on frogs as indicator species was very well done.

Anderson, national and international politics and environmental protection are all related: e.g. it's politicians who make laws and policies that have a direct bearing on natural resources and environmental issues, such as energy, forestry, Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming, etc.

Your enthusiasm and vivid descriptions make me nostalgic. If you spot a small waterfall, don't hesitate to bathe in it - it's fabulous, (no soap, please).

Anderson, watch out for rattle snakes! :)
Posted By Anonymous Doro, Portland, Oregon : 7:32 PM ET
Hi Jeff,
Good work as always. Your enthusiasm is contagious! I can't say I'm at the point where a jungle cruise would be on my top ten list, but it's quite an interesting place to see. I will admit, I'm not the bravest beaver on the dam, so I'll leave the beauty of the bugs, bats and the elusive Mr. Crocodile to professionals who know them best. Take Care. Thanks for your work.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif : 7:44 PM ET
Hi Jeff,

Haha! It must be a lot of fun to show a city boy like Anderson an unforgettable time of his life!

I have a question about the Kraho: where they nomads at a certain point in history?

I am enjoying this episode of educational AC360. Thank you!
Posted By Anonymous Ratna, New York, NY : 8:10 PM ET
Jeff is sounds like you're having WAY too much fun! I do hope you got the bit with the bat on tape!
Posted By Anonymous Colleen, Pottstown, PA : 9:10 PM ET
Jeff,
I enjoy your work...I watch your show on Animal Planet. I think it is great that you have teamed up with Anderson and CNN for this series of shows to spotlight this issue. I look forward to all of your adventures with Anderson. Hope you'll taped the bat episode!! The frog one was priceless!! Just don't torture Anderson too much...he still has a show to do!! But a little torture is good...for us anyways!!
Posted By Anonymous Cynthia Covington,Ga. : 9:17 PM ET
Dear Jeff, Anderson and crew,

I just want to thank each and everyone for not only this report but all the reports you have done in the past and hopefully for a long time to come. Maybe someday we will all learn that everything and everyone is connected and when one tree, animal or person dies even if it is what seems like a world away it impacts us. So it is our resposibilty to take care for all with respect and great respect.

Thank you again and please take care.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa,Norfolk Virginia : 9:29 PM ET
Running Dear"

I'm a big fan of your show on " Animal Planet" your right up there with our missed Steve Erwin, Thank You for educating your viewers on all of the precious and incredible animals that inhabit our world, with your humor and exhaustless dedication to wildlife and the importance of preservation it can make a difference in how we need to now more than ever, take a stand on enviormental issues. Can't wait to see you hanging out with a few monkey's"

Maritza, San Jose Ca
Posted By Anonymous Maritza Munoz San Jose, Ca : 11:18 PM ET
Great work! I've always loved your humor and I really enjoy your shows. It's great that you're doing this with Anderson Cooper.
You know, I think you've got to toughen him up a bit. Come on...a frog? It must have been hard for you to be enjoying, discovering the sights and many living things in the jumgle and also having to take care of a full grown man. (Hee..hee)
It's great, isn't it to be having fun and yet contributing and being part of an important cause when heeded by us in this world will change the course towards salvation of Mother Earth.
Posted By Anonymous LaiPengFoong, Penang, Malaysia : 4:15 AM ET
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