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Jack Hanna Interview

Aired December 24, 2009 - 20:00:00   ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, real-life pet detectives, animals to the rescue, true cases of dogs, cats, even pigs fighting crime, cracking cold cases, saving lives. Tonight, animal "CSI." Jack Hanna with the Columbus Zoo -- his show "Jack Hanna Into the Wild."

Our first guest tonight is Robert Kornfeld. He is out of the East Hartford Police K-9 unit. And with him, his special guest, Sergeant Joe Friday. Tell me all about Sergeant Friday, please.

ROBERT KORNFELD AND "FRIDAY," RET. EAST HARTFORD POLICE K-9 UNIT: Well, Friday`s a 9-and-a-half-year-old German shepherd, and both us just retired recently. I`ve been retired for about a month, him about the same. And we`re both enjoying retirement. He still has a work ethic, and he really wants to go and work when it`s really not the correct time for him.

GRACE: Like when?

KORNFELD: But he had a great career. Oh...

GRACE: Like when you`re having your morning coffee?

KORNFELD: When I`m having my morning coffee. Right now, we have a nice life. We`re living on a boat. And so we`re patrolling the marina, and he really enjoys that.

GRACE: Now, tell me, how did you get involved with police dogs?

KORNFELD: Well, I`ve been an officer now for about 20 years.


KORNFELD: And I started doing patrol work and I realized I needed something else to do besides just doing patrol work, so I started the K-9 unit. And right now, it`s grown to -- we`re up to five dogs, and I can`t believe where it`s gotten to so far. We`ve done a lot of competition. We`ve found lost children and catching the bad guys.

GRACE: What are Sergeant Friday`s specialties?

KORNFELD: Specialties are -- is his nose. And he can track for scents that have been long gone. We`ve tracked a missing child, went away in a big-wheel and just forgot to tell Mom where he was going. So for that 20 to 30 minutes, the parents were just in absolute terror, didn`t know where their child were -- was, so we just started tracking. I didn`t think he could do it. I wasn`t sure. But I got nothing to lose but try. And he was able to track a big-wheel.

JACK HANNA, DIR. EMERITUS, COLUMBUS ZOO & AQUARIUM: You know -- you know, Nancy, can I interject something?


HANNA: These dogs are amazing. I`ve worked with them over the last 10 years on two separate shows. They actually -- when they had the earthquake in California, these dogs found me in rubble. I went to a fake place, a fake earthquake thing, and they found me in rubble that it was impossible to see where I was. You know, you see this on TV, but until it happens to you -- then I went in the woods up in LA -- went in the mountains up there and went out there for half an hour, hiding, and they actually, at that point, found me then. And the stories go on and on, what these dogs can do.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Watch him. Show me your hands! Police with a K- 9! Stop or I`ll send the dog! Get him! Get him! Bad guy, stop moving or I`ll release the dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good dog! What a good boy!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good dog, buddy!


KORNFELD: Some of the dog behavior he`s doing now is he`s thrashing it. It goes back to his primal instincts.

Use your nose. Use your nose. Where is he? Use your nose. That`s a boy. Use your nose. Use your nose. Run! Run! Where is he? Get him! Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!

That`s it. Slip the sleeve. Stand still! Break!


GRACE: And to take a deeper look at the animal kingdom, there`s no greater expert than Jack Hanna. He is with the Columbus Zoo, and he also has his own show, "Jack Hanna Into the Wild."

Here on the set, an agouti and a sloth. I`ve always wanted to meet a sloth.

HANNA: Yes, but a lot of people don`t know that much about sloths, even though they`re not -- they`re threatened in some areas, not really endangered. This is a two-toed sloth -- or it`s a three -- this is a two- toed, right? And the three-toed. Now, the sloth, as you see -- feel that fur?

GRACE: It`s so soft.

HANNA: Very, very soft. Remember something. The sloth can spend his entire life in two or three trees, number one. Number two, they go so slow that algae grows on their backs. So when we film them in the wild, it`s very, very difficult to even tell that they`re a sloth.

They hang upside down. They eat upside down. They breed upside down. They have their babies upside down. And they come down on the ground once a week to go to the bathroom because if they went in the trees, the jaguars, the harpy eagles would hear that and they would attack them. So this is from the Niabi Zoo, as well, as from -- Tom (ph) brought it down here because I`m so fascinated by this animal every time I see it.

GRACE: Oh, he`s trying to go up!

HANNA: You see how slow he went?


GRACE: Yes, but where is he trying to go?

HANNA: He saw a light up there he wanted to go to.

GRACE: You know, that is amazing. Instinctively, they know not to urinate or defecate right below their tree or predators would find them.

HANNA: Exactly. Exactly.

GRACE: And what about the agouti?

HANNA: The agouti is from central South America, as well. It`s in the rodent family. And this animal is hunted a great deal for food, the little agouti here. And they also -- they`re an animal that is a -- I`ll use the word pollinator. That`s not exactly correct. This animal goes around and eats a lot of the Brazil -- a lot of nuts, for example. And they`ll take the nuts and hide them, and then they`ll come back and maybe not -- forget where they are.

So what this animal is doing is actually taking tree seeds and planting them all over the rain forest. So this is a very important animal to the rain forest, as well as a source of food for many people who live there. It`s called the agouti. You would think it`s a big rat, and some people say that. The largest over there is the capybara.

GRACE: Where is your next trip? You just got back from Kenya.

HANNA: Yes. We`re looking at going maybe into the -- over into Borneo and Sumatra with orangutans or going into Australia. We just got back two years ago from Australia, and go back in the outback again.

GRACE: Jack, what do you think when you hear these stories, like from Elizabeth Wictum, from Jane Velez-Mitchell, like the cat that dialed 911? When you see animals in the wild, how do those stories strike you?

HANNA: Well, I`ve often said, you know, people sometimes refer to people and say, That guy`s acting like a -- let`s say a murderer -- That guy`s an animal. I don`t like it when they say that because animals wouldn`t usually do that. And so when I`m in the wild and I see animals in their native -- where they live, whatever continent it is -- you must remember that these animals wouldn`t -- most animals wouldn`t abuse their young. Most animals wouldn`t kill each other. Most animals do kill because they...

GRACE: Speaking of child abuse, remember what you told me? Would you tell the viewers?

HANNA: Right. In Columbus and other cities, when you find animal abuse in a home, bad animal abuse, a lot of the times, a great percentage of time, you find child abuse or spousal abuse. So it just shows you, people have to learn -- and I`m a very big proponent of young people having pets when they`re young because it really helps. It really does. Probably one of the...

GRACE: You`re now about to meet two very special guests joining us. Gosh!

HANNA: Isn`t this beautiful? These are beautiful...


HANNA: ... white lion cubs. Isn`t this something, this one here? I`ll let you take the bottle. Aren`t they beautiful? These are one of the few in the world. And the white lion cub...


HANNA: ... is not an albino. They carry a recessive gene. The first ones I ever saw, Nancy, were about in the early `80s, in the Pretoria zoo in South Africa. They`re the ones that had the first ones.

GRACE: Oh, my gosh! Isn`t this beautiful?

HANNA: Isn`t that something? Now, you know, we talk about -- how do we tie this into what were you just talking about. A lot of people think that the lion...

GRACE: Quick, more formula!


HANNA: ... the lion being the king of beasts -- what people don`t know is...

GRACE: You are the king of beasts!

HANNA: Well, they refer to it as the king of beasts, but...

GRACE: Please do not eat my finger. I need that!

HANNA: But -- but really, the lions -- you know, they will -- elephants, they don`t particularly run and attack elephants or rhinos or that type of thing, but...

GRACE: Will he bite me if I hold him?

HANNA: I don`t know.



HANNA: Are you allergic to cats?

GRACE: No, not this one.


HANNA: But they get to be about 400 or 500 pounds. They rely on their numbers when they hunt. They rely on the numbers of cats. They each have a certain job to do in a hunt like that. So the lion is the animal that -- it is very powerful, but they`re also a very social cat. A lot of cats are not that social.

GRACE: What is this one named?

HANNA: This is -- which one is this one?


HANNA: Atlas. This is Atlas.

GRACE: I think he likes me.

HANNA: By the way, one of the other few breeders there are is also Siegfried and Roy, who did a beautiful job breeding the white lions, as well.

GRACE: Now, where do you -- this is a very rare animal.

HANNA: Right.

GRACE: How many are there of these in the world?

HANNA: Well, it`s hard to say anymore. You know, we used to know, back in the `80s, there were very, very few, like, you know, maybe 30 or 40. But today, they say there are upwards of maybe, you know, 100, 150 of them throughout the world.

GRACE: Now, what were you saying about them having individual jobs when they hunt?

HANNA: Well, yes, they have individual jobs when they hunt, you know, the lions do, as far as...

GRACE: The bottom of his paws feels like fingers and flesh. They really do.

HANNA: The one lion, for example, would go out -- and let`s say a herd of zebra would see one lion. And they would see -- and they`d pay attention to that, while the others ones go way, way around, who knows, maybe a mile away on the back side. And so then they start chasing them towards the one that`s in the bushes. The zebra obviously don`t know that. And then another one could be on the left flank. So to watch a lion kill is an incredible thing. It takes us about three, four cameras to really get the entire process. It`s a...

GRACE: So the instinct -- they actually have a division of labor.

HANNA: A division of labor. Exactly. Right. And they even keep -- the one female -- they`ll choose which female stays back and stays with the cubs while the others go out and hunt, unlike a tiger, which is solitary, unlike a jaguar, solitary. These animals are social. That`s how they live as...

GRACE: Is it true that you met your wife through a donkey?



HANNA: Well, yes, I did. At college...

GRACE: So animals are not just pet detectives, they`re match-makers.


HANNA: I never thought of it that way but...

GRACE: You know!

HANNA: ... you`re right.

GRACE: You know!

HANNA: I tried to get her to breast-feed a chimpanzee once, when my daughter was born.

GRACE: Wait. Wait. OK, we can edit that out. I want to hear about...

HANNA: There`s nothing wrong with that.

GRACE: ... meeting your wife through a donkey.

HANNA: Well, she said no, anyway. What?

GRACE: OK, good. I want to hear about you meeting your wife through a donkey.

HANNA: Well, I played football in college, and I raised donkeys in Tennessee on our farm. And I told the guy at the school I wasn`t going to come there unless I could bring my donkey. So he let me bring the donkey.


HANNA: And I put him behind the place I lived, the dormitory. And I had a little barn built for him. And she was a cheerleader, so it became our mascot at Muskingum College. I had -- put a little "M" blanket on it, you know? We`d take him out there, run him on the football field. His name was Doc. I had donkeys -- I had, like, 12 of them.

GRACE: Now, when you hear these stories of pet detectives, how does that strike you?

HANNA: Well, you know, it used to strike me as something -- I just, Is this a hoax? I didn`t believe it. But I want to tell you something. It`s amazing what these animals can do as far as detectives. The dog is a -- I can tell you story after story about German shepherds and what they have done to help detectives.

But animals -- animals have DNA. Animals have -- you know, there was even a story where -- where -- I think you had it here, where a person had murdered somebody, and the dog urinated on a truck, and then they found out -- the robber because of the dog`s urine, the DNA.

GRACE: That`s right.

HANNA: Bugs, insects, for example, incredible animals as far as DNA. If you killed a person that`s out here in Central Park and then you move the body, some of the bugs would be water bugs that`d be on the body.

GRACE: Wait! Discovery. I think that he`s ticklish. He keeps trying to move his foot away.

HANNA: Oh, I thought you meant he was tickling, or tinkling or something.

GRACE: Rosie, do we have Jane Velez with us, Jane Velez-Mitchell?


GRACE: Jane, can you -- hi, friend. Can you tell us...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How`re you doing?

GRACE: I`m good. Oh, you know, I know you`re an animal lover. I wish you were here. Jane, tell us the story about the dog that urinated on the tire and a murderer was caught.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is an absolutely amazing story. To show you how animal fibers and animal hairs and animal urine can be instrumental, Nancy, in solving crime, a woman in Iowa was attacked by a man who showed up in a truck. It was an extremely traumatic experience for her. She couldn`t pick him out of a line-up, she just had fragmented recollections. And one of her recollections was looking over and seeing her dog peeing on the tire of this man`s truck.

GRACE: Jane, we don`t say "pee" on this show, OK?


GRACE: So look what I`ve got. OK, go ahead. And please, no, no "P" word.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. So in any case, they decide they`re going to test the tire. They`re also going to take a DNA swab from the dog. Guess what? It was a match! And the guy ended up pleading guilty.

And I want to say very briefly, while animals are doing so much to save human lives, humans can save animal lives. This is a little guy who was just rescued from the LA dog shelter, dumped there when he was just a couple of days old, and he now has a home right here with yours truly.

GRACE: Yay, Jane!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are many, many shelter dogs that need help.

GRACE: Jane, we`ll meet your dog in a moment, but I`m about to have a bond forfeiter. Someone is trying to break out.

Let`s quickly go to tonight`s dog tracking. There you go, Jack. Here he comes.

A tiny puppy named Midge joins an Ohio sheriff`s department as one of the world`s smallest detectives. Midge, a Chihuahua/rat terrier mix, weighs in at 5 pounds. Midge focuses on drugs. Pet detective Midge`s weapon? A keen sense of smell. Go, Midge, go!

When we come back, animals take a bite out of crime.



KORNFELD: The two suspects are sitting down next to the door. The one suspect who answered the door with the joint decides to kick the dog in the face, opens the door and starts running down the hallway. He closes the door behind us. We -- give chase, open the door, running down the hallway. He goes down a stairwell, and it`s three floors. He`s got about a stairwell lead ahead of me. And I jump over the railing and land on his lower back. And he goes down to the next landing. I`m thinking, All right, he`s not going anywhere.

Then I have -- I`m looking for my dog, who`s not behind me. But it happened his leash got caught in the stairwell door, so he couldn`t get down the stairs. So I go back up the stairs, open the door and start running down to handcuff this guy, but he`s gone. He makes it out the back door. And I look out the back door, he`s not left, he`s not right. I can`t see him. Then my dog starts air-scenting him because now he`s all pumped up with what`s called apocrine. He`s got a lot of sweat going on. So he`s air-scenting to the left.

He`s got about a 70-yard lead on me. And he`s going to make a left to the front of the building. I know it`s about 2:30 and kids are going to be getting off the bus. I decide not to send my dog until I`m around in front of the building and I see that there`s no children there because he would have by-passed them but I didn`t want to scare the kids.

So I went from the building (INAUDIBLE) about 60 yards, and I send the dog. The suspect goes into a garage-way. I lose sight of him. I lose sight of the dog for about 10 seconds, and then I hear that the dog has got him. Now he`s -- the dog has latched onto his leg, and he`s still trying to get over a chain-link fence with the dog on top of him. So I get there and we get him into custody, take him (INAUDIBLE) search warrant (INAUDIBLE) found 21 pounds of marijuana (INAUDIBLE)


GRACE: Tonight, we are focusing on real-life pet detectives, animals from the wild kingdom that solve crimes. And we`re taking a look at all types of animals. You`re a pig!

HANNA: No, this is not some pig...

GRACE: Actually, he is a hog.

HANNA: This is...

GRACE: And you have bad table manners. You need to wipe -- yes, OK.

HANNA: This, Nancy, is a warthog. I just got back from Africa...


HANNA: ... with our show, "Into the Wild," and this -- this warthog here has...

GRACE: Oh, he`s cute!

HANNA: ... incredible smell -- incredible smell. You were talking about smelling...

GRACE: You mean sense of smell or stinky smell?

HANNA: Stinky smell. No, no. Well, a little of both, if you smell smell. But -- but he -- this smell of this animal, finding tubulars (ph) and roots in the ground...

GRACE: That was my finger!

HANNA: Be careful of your fingers because, I`m not kidding, they have teeth...

GRACE: No, I know.

HANNA: They`re like scissors.

GRACE: Oops!

HANNA: They have little teeth up there like scissors.

GRACE: I just got gummed!

HANNA: But the warthog, if you notice, it`s kind of ugly, you think, that -- some people think...

GRACE: Well, I`m kind of getting used to it.

HANNA: But pigs are very intelligent, OK? Hogs and pigs are very intelligent. I saw an act once with pigs, and it was unbelievable.


HANNA: No, that`s with pigs. Pigs jumped up and went down slides and rode bicycles, an incredible act. Now, the warthog has a little tail. You can`t see it back there, but -- hold that up, will you, please?

GRACE: Look at his long hair!

HANNA: See this little tail? It`s like an antenna. Don`t know if you can see that or not. Hold it up there, if you would, so they can see that. See that little tail?


HANNA: That tail stays flat. When the animal`s alarmed, it takes off, it puts that tail up as a warning to all the other little warthogs, like this, straight up like this, real hard...


HANNA: ... and it stands up like...

GRACE: ... to warn them off...

HANNA: ... to warn the other little warthogs that something`s coming. And they`re very, very fast. The warthog actually is a very difficult animal. Lions love warthogs, and other animals in Africa, but you have to be very careful because their teeth are like scissors.

GRACE: Are they angry animals?

HANNA: Angry?


HANNA: No, not really. They`re not angry. I mean...

GRACE: What do they -- OK, this one`s eating apples and carrots, but what else do they eat when they can`t get apples and carrots fed to them?

HANNA: They eat roots and tubulars down in the ground, underneath the bushes, and plants and that type of thing. They`ve very a social creature...


HANNA: ... as well.

GRACE: I don`t know how, with these table manners.

HANNA: No, no. They -- do you know -- have you ever seen a warthog this nice?

GRACE: Not this close up.

HANNA: No. You haven`t. People think of a warthog as, like, one of the ugliest animals in Africa, but if you look at it real close...

GRACE: That`s what I thought.

HANNA: ... they really are attractive animals.

GRACE: But he`s really -- and look, he`s got a little Mohawk.

HANNA: Right. Right. That`s exactly right.

GRACE: OK. OK, Jane, have you ever met a warthog?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I have actually had encounters with pigs, and they are extremely intelligence...

GRACE: Well, you know what? I...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... animals.

GRACE: You`ve had encounters with pigs? Is there anything you need to share with us?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, actually, because I`m an animal activist and I go to rescue organizations...

GRACE: Oh, there she goes! I was wondering how long it would take! Go ahead, Miss PETA!


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I go to a group, like Animal Acres here in Los Angeles, where they rescue farm animals that have been abused and they allow them to live the way animals should live. Pigs are incredibly intelligent animals, as intelligent as dogs. They have an incredible sense of smell. As you`ve just been seeing there, they are sentient creatures with feelings. They are being used by some in some test cases to sniff out drugs and as...

GRACE: Oh, drug pigs!

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... law enforcement creatures.

GRACE: Have you heard of that?

HANNA: Yes. Yes.

GRACE: Hold on just a sec, Jane. Have you heard of that?

HANNA: No, no. She`s -- Jane`s right, as far as their smell. They could easily -- if they were taught about drugs or heroin or marijuana or whatever, they could -- I think, really, a pig could be a neat animal. I don`t know if you could control it...

GRACE: OK, so...

HANNA: ... and have it in an airport...

GRACE: ... those of you that have never met a warthog -- what`s his name?


HANNA: What?


HANNA: Arusha.

GRACE: Oh, it`s a girl. And you`re beautiful. You`re beautiful.

Quick break, everybody. Let`s go to tonight`s "Cat Tracker." In Columbus, Ohio, Tommy the cat is a local hero. Tommy`s owner fell from his wheelchair and could not call 911, but police did get a call from the home, although no one used the phone. When police arrived, Tommy was lying by the telephone. Somehow, this miraculous cat called 911, pushing the right buttons for help.


GRACE: Right now, I`d like to introduce you to -- what is its name?

HANNA: Monty Python.

GRACE: Right.


GRACE: I`m not a snake person, and I`m detecting a bulge.

HANNA: Well, no, it might have eaten something that...

GRACE: Did that used to be a rabbit?

HANNA: I don`t know what it was.

GRACE: A widdle wabbit?

HANNA: I don`t know what it is. But -- but there might be a little bulge...

GRACE: I`m not holding it. I`m going to leave that to Britney Spears.

HANNA: But -- but...

GRACE: She can hold a snake. Now, what were you saying about losing your hand?

HANNA: No, no. This part of my fingers here -- in 1972, I was working with a snake about twice this big. And I was taking the -- it was shedding. See, this one`s shedding? You got to be very careful when a snake sheds...

GRACE: Oh, because...

HANNA: ... because their eyes get covered and they don`t know -- they protect themselves. And he just grabbed that part of my hand. But what you got to know about snakes, their smell is great, but they have 200 teeth like fishhooks, these snakes do. And this -- their teeth (INAUDIBLE) up in their jaws. So when they bite, the hooks go into you and you can`t pull your hand out because it has to relax its jaw muscles for about 20 to 30 minutes, and then you can remove your hand.

GRACE: If this bites, why is it here?

HANNA: No, not this one! I didn`t say this one bit. That was the one I was working with in the wild.

GRACE: How do you know it`s not this one? Can you do a snake line- up?

HANNA: No, you never know. That`s a good point. You never know that. You never know that.

GRACE: How many defense attorneys could this thing digest?

HANNA: A lot!


GRACE: I mean, there are lumps, people. There are lumps. This thing is clearly -- it`s like it ate a bowling ball, and it`s, like, going...

HANNA: But they can get up to 30 to 32 feet and weigh over 200 pounds.

GRACE: How long is this one?

GRACE: This one`s about 12-and-a-half feet. This is from the Niabi zoo up in the quad cities in Iowa. So it`s a beautiful -- this is a beautiful snake, isn`t it? Well...

GRACE: I keep seeing pocketbooks and shoes.

HANNA: No, no, no, no, no. Not anymore.

GRACE: No, no, no. That`s wrong. That`s wrong.

HANNA: But this is a Burmese python from Asia. And these animals are -- lay eggs. They`re not live bearers. They lay their eggs, and they circle around and they twitch every 20 or 30 seconds to heat the eggs up. Hatches -- or they hatch in about...

GRACE: This is from where?

HANNA: ... 40 days. The Niabi Zoo, quad cities in...

GRACE: You`re from...

HANNA: Yes. Tom is, yes.

GRACE: And what is the -- what is the variety -- this is the python?

HANNA: A python, yes. You have the python, the boa constrictor and the anaconda, your constrictors. You know, the anaconda, the big old TV show...

GRACE: I saw the...

HANNA: Oh, you saw the movie?

GRACE: No, no. I saw the trailers for the movie and...

HANNA: Yes. They like the water. This likes the land.

GRACE: OK. Good. OK, so this is -- how long did you say?

HANNA: This is about 12 feet. Yes.

GRACE: You know, it seems so much bigger.

HANNA: Well, yes, but it`s not. You see how this lays here? That`s its means of defense mechanism. You talk about how an animal hunts or crime solvers, or whatever you call it. But this -- the smell -- not the eyesight, it`s just they lay there like a log. So if you have a young animal, a young antelope that doesn`t really know much, and they just walk up thinking this is a log. And the snake strikes in, like, a split -- you can`t even film it, it happens so fast. It strikes and circles around its prey and it squeezes. Every time you take a breath, it squeezes. So then you can`t breathe and...

GRACE: So this is the snake that actually can...

HANNA: The eyeballs pop out, and he swallows it whole.

GRACE: I thought that was a -- OK, does the python squeeze?

HANNA: Oh, yes.

GRACE: I thought the boa constrictor squeezed.

HANNA: They squeeze, too, and the anaconda squeezes. All of them squeeze.

HANNA: How can a snake eat a whole baby antelope?

HANNA: Oh, they can do it. I`ve seen them eat a larger antelope in Africa.

GRACE: You mean swallow the whole thing?

HANNA: No, the -- sometimes the antlers get stuck in the mouth. But see, their jaws -- their jaws unhinge, you follow me? They get -- this snake could probably -- he could probably -- (INAUDIBLE) a guy in Pittsburgh got eaten four years ago by his pet python in his basement. They found half his body hanging out. He couldn`t swallow the whole body. So you got to be careful when they get this big.

GRACE: I don`t like the way you two are looking at me!




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At about 5:00 in the morning, fire and smoke began raging through the Wolfolks` home at 220 Robinson Street. That`s when Zoe, a four-year-old akita, sprang into action to save Barbara Wolfolk, her disabled daughter Sigal, and Sigal`s children.

Zoe woke up Sigel who then woke up her mother. Seeing the smoke and flames, Barbara ran to get her grandchildren. In the meantime, Zoe was helping guide Sigel down the stairs through a thick blanket of smoke. When Sigel`s his leg brace came off, Zoe took over.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The dog was literally pulling her out through the living room out on to the front porch and out on to the handicap ramp that my husband had built.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says she may have lost possessions, but she has what really matters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have no one but the lord to tank for that because I because he did place the dog in your house to do just that.



NANCY GRACE, CNN HN HOST: Animal lover, activist, director emeritus at Columbus zoo, Jack Hanna and exotic wild animals.

Jack Hanna, he is director emeritus at the Columbus zoo and he has his own show "Jack Hanna into the Wild." He even met his wife, his life mate through a donkey. Now, what are they?


GRACE: When I saw the beak, I thought buzzard. Now I`m guessing condor?


GRACE: What?

HANNA: These are red tail hawks. These are only four weeks old. Do you remember in New York they had a red tail hawks outside of a hotel in New York and they tried to move him?

GRACE: Yes. Pell-Mel was his name.

HANNA: These birds are only four weeks old.

GRACE: You`re not supposed to touch birds, are you?

HANNA: The bird flu, right.

GRACE: If they smell the humans on them -- their feathers feel like silk.

HANNA: Aren`t they amazing?

GRACE: They`re cuddling. They`re cuddling.

HANNA: Look, I don`t know if the camera can see their feet, how big their feet. This animal grows quicker than almost any animal there is, Nancy. You have to remember something. The American bald eagle was born and in about 12 to 14 weeks it`s full size. These animals are only four weeks old and they gain literally ounces every day, aajor amount of weight every day.

See this little baby. Isn`t that amazing? It`s soft.

GRACE: Four weeks old.

HANNA: The mother will come and catch rats and mice and feed the little birds.

GRACE: What are the characteristics of these?

HANNA: Eyesight. We talk about the defense mechanisms. The eyesight of this bird is six to eight times greater than yours. Some people say that a bald eagle could read a newspaper at the end of a football field.

Without their eyesight they have nothing. When they`re soaring up there and they come down about 125, 150 miles an hour and grab their prey with those talons...

GRACE: Remember, when you grow up and you`re a predator that I`m your friend.

HANNA: They`re not going to hurt you. Predator, Nancy, also their beaks. These are for tearing. A parrot doesn`t have a beak like that. This is used for tearing meat.

GRACE: What do you feed them?

HANNA: Suzy here, she has to grind up mice.

GRACE: Now I know why I went to law school.

Now, who is this little creature.

HANNA: This is Chucky, the ground hog.

GRACE: They`re cute.

HANNA: They`re born, Nancy, without any fur. Looks like a little mouse or a rat when they`re born. They`re born usually around April or May. They go to sleep around November or December and comes up March or February. When is Groundhog Day?

February what?


HANNA: No, it`s not. That`s too early. He goes back to sleep.

GRACE: You`re not a morning person.

HANNA: The groundhogs are pretty good at eluding. If somebody is trying to come after a ground hog, they go and they burrow. They have different burrows, and they hide in this one, and yet the night before they might have been in this burrow. They fake out the predators.

GRACE: What is this one`s name?

HANNA: Chucky

GRACE: Suzy, what do you have?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a baby fisher.

HANNA: This is a baby fisher cat?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not a cat. It`s in the weasel family.

GRACE: You have to watch it here.

HANNA: I`m sorry.

GRACE: He`s just starting to look.

HANNA: The fisher cat --

GRACE: What`s the difference between that and kikachu (ph).

HANNA: A kikachu (ph) is from South America, a honey. This is out in the western coast. The interesting thing about this animal is this is the animal, one of its main diet is the porcupine.

GRACE: That`s not very nice.

HANNA: How would this animal do that? When this animal gets grown, it`s pound for pound this animal will go after anything, basically.

GRACE: Can I hold it or will it try to eat my jacket?


HANNA: Just don`t put him with the ground hog.

Now, the fisher, Nancy, it`s very important, because the fisher cat was almost trapped to extinction back in the 1920s, all right. What happened to the porcupine population? It exploded in the west, in Washington State exploded because all the fishers were gone.

GRACE: It said something. Hey, hey, hey you. Don`t go down there, please.

HANNA: He just wants to go inside a little cave.

GRACE: That`s not where he`s going. You`re rude. Did you know that`s a criminal offense? OK, go ahead.

HANNA: But they`re an animal, they have very sharp teeth. It`s almost like a weasel in some ways. It`s like a wolverine, exactly. A wolverine will try to go after an elk if they have to.

These will actually circle a porcupine like this real fast, and then try to bite him on the bottom, and the porcupine is real sofy.

GRACE: It`s going down my back, people. You might want to catch him.

HANNA: You can hold this, Nancy. This is beautiful here. This is an albino wallaby.

GRACE: It`s beautiful. And it has pink eyes.

HANNA: Exactly. Just like an albino snake. That`s why the white lion -- they have a recessive gene.

GRACE: Is this a boy or a girl?

HANNA: It`s a girl.

GRACE: It`s beautiful.

HANNA: You know what this is? A marsupial. When this animal is born, it comes out of the birth canal, it looks like a lima bean. It comes outside of the tummy and then goes into the pouch where it`s raised. It attaches to the nipple and stays there six months in the pouch. That`s why it`s marsupial.

The wallaby can have three babies at one time. It can be coming out of the pouch, going into the pouch, and breeding at the same time. The wallaby is a kangaroo. It`s just smaller. They`re about 30 different types of wallabies.

GRACE: Where does it come from?

HANNA: Australia.

GRACE: Where will this one go when it grows up?

HANNA: They have a beautiful Australian habitat. He`ll be hopping out.

In the zoological world when the mother pushes one out prematurely it will die in the wild. She will push them out because the other one is trying to get in the pouch.

GRACE: When you went to Kenya, did you observe the lions there?

HANNA: We`ve observed lions in many different places, in the Serengeti, the migration, in Rwanda. We went a lot of places.

GRACE: OK, when we come back, we`re going to be joined by Lucky the turtle. Will you quickly tell the story about what he does every morning?

HANNA: Lucky the tortoise -- Lucky comes out of his little enclosure, goes down the hall way 30 feet, a left turn ten feet, a right turn ten feet, sits in front of the refrigerator until we feed him two tomatoes, and then he goes back to where he lives. True story.

GRACE: We`ll be right back everybody, stay with us. Jack Hanna`s with us, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo. His show is "Jack Hanna Into the Wild."


GRACE: When we come back, Jack Hanna and more real life pets.


GRACE: More real life animal detectives and our special guest, Jack Hanna.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re never the smoking gun in a case, but we`re definitely able to help with other evidence. Yes, this person was at this spot. They make the claim that they were in Mexico or somewhere else, and we`re able to say no, you weren`t.


GRACE: Welcome back, everyone. Real life pet detectives, our furry and scaly friends from the animal kingdom are with us tonight.

Here on the set with me, a very special guest. You know him well, Jack Hanna. He is with the Columbus Zoo. He also has his own show, "Jack Hanna, Into the Wild."

Also with us, investigative reporter and pet lover Jane Velez- Mitchell. And Janis is a new mother. Do you have your baby with you?

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST, "ISSUES": I do, Nancy. Here he is, Cabo. He`s just a sweetheart who was rescued from an animal shelter here in Los Angeles.

GRACE: Go teach him to solve crimes, then bring him back.


Also with us, Elizabeth Wictum. She is the supervising forensic scientist at U.C. Davis veterinary genetics laboratory. Thank you for being with us, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, first to you. It seems like CSI is everywhere. But your lab is different. How does your lab function?

ELIZABETH WICTUM, U.C. DAVIS VETERINARY GENETICS LABORATORY: Our lab only does animal DNA testing. Our laboratory does dogs, cat, deer, elk, sheep, goats. Pretty much you name it.

GRACE: How is what you do different from other crime scene investigation labs?

WICTUM: Of course the obvious difference is we do animal DNA. We only DNA, not ballistics or any of the other disciplines.

And so we deal a lot with trace biological evidence. And we also do work for the general public. If somebody wants to find out if a neighbor`s dog killed their cat, for instance, we can do that.

GRACE: The epiphany that animal DNA and hair from animals can be used in criminal cases is a very recent discovery.

Speaking of analyzing hair, let`s take a look at Jack Hanna`s harry armadillo.

HANNA: Have you ever --

GRACE: No, I`ve never.

HANNA: I wonder if she has ever had animal DNA from a hairy armadillo?

WICTUM: Not yet.

HANNA: I`ll get you some.

GRACE: You may very well soon because I think we`re about to have a crime.


HANNA: This is a hairy armadillo, a very prehistoric animal. They don`t have teeth.

GRACE: You just said he would bite.

HANNA: I was joking.

The armadillo is the only animal that we know of in history when leprosy was prevalent that carried leprosy.

GRACE: Good to know.

HANNA: It`s from the dinosaur era. You can see that they roll up into a ball.

GRACE: Are you sure it doesn`t bite?

HANNA: No, they have no teeth.

GRACE: I want to touch it. Look that way.

HANNA: They`re really a different type -- their eyesight is very bad.

GRACE: It hissed.

HANNA: It`s breathing. Their smell and hearing are some of the finest as any in the world.

GRACE: Is it going to eat the eggs?

HANNA: It doesn`t seem to like eggs.

GRACE: What does it normally have?

HANNA: It loves little insects and worms, that`s what they eat mainly.

GRACE: When you said bugs, it reminded me of something. I want to go to Jane Velez-Mitchell, investigative reporter.

Jane, the new discovery of forensic entomology came into play, especially you and I uncovered the Danielle Van Dam case where the defense argued to a jury with a forensic entomologist that the larva, the maggots on this child`s body -- he wanted to make the jury believe the child had been discarded at a time that the perpetrator, David Westerfield was under police surveillance.

In other words, Westerfield could not have possibly have discarded the body based on the age of the larva. So we`re seeing a huge surge in forensic entomology.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. And DNA evidence from animals is just as significant as DNA evidence from human beings. There are many examples. Look at the tragic case recently in New York City. Cat hairs and rabbit hairs found at the crime scene are extremely crucial evidence that could ultimately result in a conviction.

GRACE: Jane Velez-Mitchell, you`ll be happy to know that our next guest appears to be a vegetarian.

HANNA: This is a porcupine, obviously. You have to be very careful.


The minute the quill touches you and goes in you, even the cameras cannot pick it up. There is a little barb there you cannot see with the human eye. The big quills are back here. If this animal is alarmed, that quill would release from its body. It would go into your hand and cause an infection.

And it can cause a severe infection. For example, if a cougar or a mountain lion takes down porcupine, he knows the underside here is very soft. So he tries to turn the porcupine over.

Meanwhile, if the quill gets in the cougar`s face of the mountain lion, it could die of infection.

GRACE: You said it doesn`t throw a quill?

HANNA: No, but the minute you touch it -- if you`re attaching a porcupine, that quill will come out in you because you grab him like this.

GRACE: It`s got very good table manner, unlike the warthog.

HANNA: This animal eats leaves and barks.

GRACE: Is it basically a vegetarian? Does he eat fingers?

HANNA: No, no.

But this animal was very, very vital to the west.

GRACE: Why are their eyes almost on either side of the head? Ours look forward and a lot of animals are on the side of their head.

HANNA: Why is that, Tom?

GRACE: Pretending you don`t know the answer.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What it is, it`s the difference between predator and prey. Most prey animals will have animals eyes side to side, and they`re looking to make sure there is nothing hunting them.

An animal that is a predator like a lion or tiger may have eyes forward so it gives them more of an opportunity to hunt, more success.

GRACE: You knew. Yes just wanted to make sure that he knew.

HANNA: Exactly.

Your eyes are forward. We`re predators.

GRACE: I`m the predator in this scenario.

To Elizabeth Wictum. She is with the U.C. Davis veterinary genetics laboratory. What you`re doing is really incredible to all of us novices. We`re amazed. What case sticks out in your mind, Elizabeth over the years?

WICTUM: Well, there`s one in particular that really stands out. It was a case we did about ten years before we had a dedicated forensic laboratory, but it demonstrated that there was a real need for animal forensics, and also that the tool was a very powerful tool.

And in that case, there was a woman working in her farmyard and a man mull pulled into to ask for directions, and he attempted to sexually assault her, but she fought him off. She then described the vehicle to police, but she wasn`t able to pick the owner of the vehicle out of a lineup.

So she recalled the dog, her dog had urinated on his tire prior to the attack. So they took a swab on the tire and we matched the DNA there to her dog and thereby we placed him at the scene.


GRACE: On this Christmas Eve, with our brave men and women away from the ones they love, serving our country, tonight we stop and remember and honor our American heroes.

Army Sergeant Brandon Wallace, 27, St. Louis, Missouri, killed Iraq. Awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, also served Kosovo. Marine lance corporal Daniel Olsen, 20, killed Iraq. He loved the marines, band of brothers bond.

Army staff sergeant David Kuehl, 27, North Dakota, killed, Iraq. On a second tour, awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart. Army sergeant Jason Shaffer, 28, Derry, Pennsylvania -- killed Iraq. On a second tour, awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Iraq campaign medal. Loved music, photography, outdoors, dreamed of being a cop.

Army private first class Brian Holden, 20, Claremont, North Carolina, killed, Iraq. Awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, national defense service medal. Had a smile that lit up a room, loved the outdoors, loved rock music. Favorite foods -- spaghetti, and his grandmother`s biscuits and gravy.

Army Private First Class, Steven Wahlberg, 18, Paradise, California, killed Iraq. Army staff sergeant Jerry Burge, Jr., 39, Mississippi, killed, Iraq. On a third tour, also served Kosovo. Awarded the Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts, five army achievement medals.

Navy petty officer second class Joseph Schwedlor, 27, Crystal Falls, Michigan, killed Iraq. A Navy SEAL, left studies at Michigan State to enlist. On second tour, awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, global war on terrorism service medal, sea service deployment ribbon.

Army specialist Alexander Rosa, Jr., 22, killed, Iraq. On a second tour, awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, loved cooking, good food, playing spades, hip-hop, New York Mets, reading. Left behind recordings of baby books he read for his little girl.

Thanks for being with us and inviting us into your homes. And as we approach the wondrous day of Christmas, peace be with you as we welcome the prince of peace.

I`ll see you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp eastern. Until then, goodnight, friend.