Friday, March 23, 2007
What it's like to be tossed by an elephant

An elephant grabs hold of Jeff Corwin's arm while filming with Anderson Cooper.

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Alas, in the end, the elephant got the better of me. Now I know that pachyderms not only like to gobble peanuts down their gullets, but the occasional elbow as well. Yikes!

Truth is that elephant is easily 15,000 times stronger than my meager self, and if she had wanted to, she could have done far worse than crushing a bit of ligament and muscle. Lucky for me, no broken bones, hopefully no connective tissue torn (will have to wait till I get home to find out about that). (Watch Jeff Corwin get tossed by an elephant)

In the end, this experience is a reminder to me just how powerful these majestic creatures are (same goes for many other species as well). The elephant who took to nibbling on my elbow may be strong, but her strength does not hold up to the impact that deforestation and poaching is having on her species, the Asian elephant.

Just a century ago, there were many thousands of elephants roaming and thriving throughout the rainforests of Southeast Asia, but tragically today, their population has been dramatically reduced, almost to near extinction in the wild.

Today in Cambodia, there may be only a few hundred of these intelligent, mighty and charismatic behemoths left. What a tragedy it would be to lose the Asian elephant. My advice to you, though, is if you're ever taking a bath with an elephant, keep your elbow out of its mouth!

For more information on conservation issues in this region, check out: Wildlife Alliance
Posted By Jeff Corwin, Wildlife Biologist: 10:45 AM ET
Maybe the elephant wanted to do some trick on you just as you did on Anderson when both of you were in the rainforest!

For me, she seemed to be having a lot of fun with you because she knows how much you love her. (She might have looked like a devil for you!) She just did not know how weak humanbeing is.

Anyway, I'm so relieved that you are well enough to type and blog about what happened to you.

Looking forward to a lot of great works during your series of Planet in Peril!
Posted By Anonymous Mio, Oita, Japan : 11:29 AM ET
Glad that you are alright after this mishap with the elephant! It's good to see you haven't lost your sense of humor about it either! That's what I like about you...always seeing through the negative to the funny side of things.

Thanks for your ongoing reports...they are really eye opening. Hopefully they will get people to realize that we can accomplish saving these animals no matter how impossible it may look.

Hope your upcoming journeys with Anderson aren't as painful! Love having you on their team! Would hate to lose you!

By the way..You should get Anderson back for showing that clip over and over. I think he really enjoyed it! Throw a frog, a bug or something on him...maybe a roach..he really hates them!! LOL

Posted By Anonymous Cynthia, Covington, Ga. : 11:30 AM ET
It's a tragic to see all those animals disappear. Cambodia is a poor country, still suffering from the khmer rouge in the 70s-80s. Economically they cannot compete with other countries, and have to resort to selling their country out. The story on selling a 5 yr old girl to prostitution also touched me. I wish I can do more to help. I am also Cambodian and hate to see a country taken advantage off by tourists and sexual preditors, because I know that their mentality is to survive day by day in the absence of the future. They need a new government to control the HIV, sex, animal trade, and tourist taking all the land of cambodia for a little on the dollar. Everyone in cambodia was given a portion of cambodia at one point, because food was more important, they sold their children and land to neibor country that has exploited their need to survive.
Posted By Anonymous Socheath, Elk Grove, Ca : 11:32 AM ET

I am glad you still have your sense of humor in tact after the incident.

Thank you to bring the plight of these gentle giant to our attention. We all seem them in zoo and circus, and we forget they are still wild animal.

At the mean time, let your assistants (Anderson? Charlie?) to wrangle these wild animals for the rest of your stay in SE Asia.
Posted By Anonymous Alice, Houston TX : 11:34 AM ET
Hi Jeff,
It must have been amazing to be so close to the elephants! I'm glad you are ok- that looked painful.
Best wishes and have a safe trip home!
Posted By Anonymous Pamina, Pittsford, NY : 11:38 AM ET

Bathing with elephants can be a hazard to your health---what a frightening moment that must have been for you. Glad to hear you are not seriously injured. I immediately thought of our wonderful lost friend Steve Irwin. Even the most experienced professional can quickly lose control of any situation where wild animals are involved. Their power and cunning allow them to be in control of most situations. Another tragedy that comes to mind is the Sigfreid and Roy incident. Wild animals always have a little bit of the wild in them no matter how domesticated they may have become.
Take care Jeff and I certainly hope you don't have much trouble with your injury. Keep Anderson away from those elephants! Safe journies as you continue to inform us from around the world about "Planet in Peril".. Thanks for all the wonderful information you guys are sharing with us.
Posted By Anonymous Zann Martin, Tennessee : 11:39 AM ET
I'm glad that you are okay. I'm glad to see that there are caring people taking care of these animals.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Toronto, ON, CA : 11:40 AM ET
A reminder that elephants are in fact wild animals and not just something to be gawked at by the public at circus' and second-rate parks. I'm sure the general public had no idea what it takes to break an elephant, lets just say it is brutal. I can only hope the next time we see an elephant toss someone it won't be an animal advocate such as Corwin but a trainer or clown at the Circus.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Columbia MO : 11:48 AM ET
Jeff, I am glad you are okay. I am also glad to see that your experience has not turned you against such beautiful and majestic creatures!
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Arlington, VA : 11:51 AM ET
Kudos to you Jeff..Bless all of you who realize the plight of our planets other citizens. It is an outrage that the human race thinks that they are the only animals that have rights. When are we going to wake up and see what damage has already been caused by us?
Posted By Anonymous Maryanne , Feasterville PA : 11:52 AM ET
Dear Jeff,

Thank you so much for joining Anderson on the Planet in Peril series. I thought I was pretty savvy on most of this, but found out I barely know my part of the world, let alone the rest of it.

I'll always remember your advice and the next time my elephant insists on bathing with me, he has to promise to keep his mouth shut!

Thanks bunches!

Posted By Anonymous Maggie, GV, MO : 11:53 AM ET
Ever notice how much bad stuff happens when Cooper's around?
Posted By Anonymous Pat, Canton, Ohio : 12:02 PM ET
I'm glad you are ok, and even with the mishap, continue to carry the message.

I bet your glad it wasnt a stingray.

Be safe on your adventures. Love your work.
Posted By Anonymous Wayne Ruben, Nutley NJ USA : 12:06 PM ET
What a pro to keep working after that. Glad to know you are ok, looking fprward to more exiting tv. Your work with elephants has always been interesting (I remember learning that elephants are quite gaseous animals, to see your face when it farted was simply hilarious),hope you continue to bring the plight of these animals to the average person. Canada loves you.
Posted By Anonymous Ashley Brown, Brossard, Qc,Canada : 12:07 PM ET
I am not a big animal rights kind of person. Nor am I a fanatic 'back to nature' type. And, no offense to Corwin or Cooper, but I find myself cheering for the animals when these things happen.
Posted By Anonymous LC, Kernersville NC : 12:10 PM ET
Wow,jeff i'm glad you're ok man.And please try to be careful.It was sad to see what happened to steve irwin.Look how that his family and young children have to deal with this loss.Rember jeff the money,nor the desire to feed the american curiosity and even your own love for the animals is'nt worth your life.May we never have to live a moment in your life that shadows irwins.Hope ya get better soon and please don't become the kind of entertainer irwin was.Look at what he lost.
Posted By Anonymous paul West Liberty,Kentucky : 12:11 PM ET

Thank you for handling your very unfortunate situation with such grace and respect for the nature of this endagered wild species.

I hope your injuries heal rapidly and you get right back to doing such great educational and humane work on behalf of animals just like this feisty girl.

I'm a huge fan of your work and your mission.

Get well soon.
Posted By Anonymous MB Reed, St. Paul, MN : 12:13 PM ET

Glad you are ok after your less than gentle bath by the elephant (maybe he was just returning the favor - you bathed him; he bathed you but did it like the spin cycle of a washing machine).

As you said on the program, too often we forget that wild aniamals even in refuges or zoos are still just that - wild and that we need to be careful around them.

Here's hoping the rest of the trip is not as traumatic.

By the way, have you considered covering the giant catfish that made the news a year or so ago from over there. It was endangered; I'm not sure of its status now though. It did seem an interesting story when I saw it.

Good luck to you, Anderson, and all the crew.
Posted By Anonymous Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 12:14 PM ET
I hope for your speedy recovery Jeff. I always enjoy your programs and your love of wildlife. Hopefully you will be back soon doing what you and all your viewers love...showing the majestic animals that make up this planet.
Posted By Anonymous Patrick Mobile, AL : 12:19 PM ET
I don't believe I've ever seen anyone get bitten by an elephant. That had to hurt!! I've watched alot of your TV series, and like them very much!! You're teaching alot of people, good things about wildlife. I hope you'll stay save, and have a long life!! P.S. Maybe you should have bitten the elephant back!!
Posted By Anonymous R. Young, Lincoln, Nebraska : 12:21 PM ET
Glad you are okay, I recall my zookeeping days and how easy it is to become maybe too at ease around "your" animals. They are as familiar as any family member, really - and perhaps as unpredictable! In true conservationist form, you have done a wonderful job of turning your unfortunate encounter into a learning experience for the rest of us. "In the end, we save only what we love and love only what we understand, and understand only what we have been taught." Truer words have rarely ever been spoken
Posted By Anonymous Kate, Seattle, WA : 12:36 PM ET
Dear Jeff,

You did a nice job. I saw what the elephant did and I was sitting there in my livingroom and my jaw dropped as I was watching it happen! I hope you get well soon and that there aren't any torn ligament.

Was the elephant trying to be playful with you and just didn't realize that her strength could hurt you? I know there have been incidents with whales. They soemtimes are playful with a human and then they get a hold of them and drag them all the way down beneath the ocean surface. When they realize that the human is in trouble they bring the human back up to the surface so they can breath and stay with them.

Be well Jeff, take care.


Posted By Anonymous Carole, New York, NY : 12:36 PM ET
Glad to learn you are OK Jeff.
Kudos to you for all you do to teach the rest of us.
Kudos to Anderson and the crew for not missing a beat in helping you as fast as they did. Although I can't imagine the elephant was trying to really harm you, you are a lucky man.
Posted By Anonymous Laura - Mt. Pleasant, MI : 12:38 PM ET
I saw the video of the incident last night. I'm glad you're ok, Jeff. Elephants are truly magnificent creatures. One must never forget they are wild animals and can injure or kill a person. They deserve our respect and help to save them.
Posted By Anonymous Hilary, Telford, PA : 12:39 PM ET
Am I the only one that saw what they did to the elephant after the attack? The person that came into camera view from the left is using what I believe to be what circus use to "train" elephants... a bull hook. Which is a nail driven through the end of a board. They use the sharp end of the nail to hit elephants into doing what they want them to do. Sure sure ... show the plight of the animals, but you're with people that are abusing the elephants to begin with. No wonder the elephant did what she did. You would have to. If you truly want to see the horrible reality of elephant abuse, go see the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee. The elephants there survived years and years of abuse before being rescued and their stories are truly heart-wrenching.
Posted By Anonymous June Omaha, Nebraska : 12:43 PM ET
Hi Jeff,
Glad to see you are doing well. It's really good work you are doing. Keep it up. Although, a close up view of the gullet of an elephant isn't a sight I'd strive to see...I'll leave that duty up to you professionals. Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 12:44 PM ET
Our hearts are still mending, Jeff. Please be careful out there.
Posted By Anonymous Pamela King Lakeside, AZ : 12:44 PM ET
Jeff Corwin:

Sense of Humor to the end, don't ever change! Glad you are okay! Keep up the great work in spreading knowledge and love of all animals. No one is better to help you in exposing and getting the truth out to the world, about what is happening to these animals, is no other than ANDERSON COOPER.

Good luck again!
Posted By Anonymous Helen Nash, Chester, NY : 12:45 PM ET
It's things like this that get my back up. Although animal education is important, considering how quickly they are dissappearing, I can never understand why people put themselves in that situation. It is a wild animal and you are in it's territory. Plain and simple. And for that, the elephant gets speared in the back of the head to keep everyone 'safe' from another attack. Learn to respect these creatures and their natural habitat.
Posted By Anonymous Scott, London, England : 12:48 PM ET
The "nibbling", as you called it, looked very painful! In another blog by Anderson, it said you are in a sling?

You have been very gracious about the whole incident with the elephant and continue to be very dedicated to the wellbeing of these beautiful animals in the wild or in a reserve.

So, was she just being playful?

I hope you recovery soon to continue your work as an ambassador for threatened wildlife.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 12:50 PM ET
That was bizarre! I guess they are called "wild" animals for a reason. Ha ha. Glad that you are OK, Jeff.
Posted By Anonymous Lori, Beaumont, Texas : 12:57 PM ET
May it be a lesson for you. Stick to the zoo.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, Minneapolis, MN : 1:03 PM ET
Hi Jeff~
First let me say how glad I am that you are alright and able to write a blog after being shaken like a ragdoll by an elephant. With that said, what do you think made the elephant do that?
I know wild animals are unpredictictable but don't you think all the televisions cameras, lights, and people make an animals nervous?
I am so glad you are a part of the Planet in Peril series and I appreciate you enthusiasm about animals and the environment, it is contageous to the viewer. You and Anderson make a good team. You with your fearless outgoing exciting personality and cute Anderson with his "library" voice around animals sometimes playing the victim to your antics!
Thank you, thank you for all the education you and 360 have given us this week. I think you have done a world of good, and the world a lot of good. Peace~
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 1:09 PM ET
Good grief- be careful. We couldn't bear for something to happen to you after this past year- my 6 year old son watches your show everyday- he's a huge fan.

Thankyou for the work you do-it is so vitally important- and thank Anderson for having you on his show- what a good alternative to the usual primetime 'news' fare...I'm a big fan of you both.
Posted By Anonymous Wendy, Pleasant Dale, NE : 1:10 PM ET
I know that must have hurt. I had a horse bite my finger due to me not paying attention, just like what happen to you. Ouch!

Be vigilant my friends.
Posted By Anonymous Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA : 1:12 PM ET
Comment #1: Jeff - glad you're OK... and thanks for the work you are doing.

Comment #2: Shame on CNN for sensationalizing the event. The video heading reads, "CORWIN ATTACKED BY ELEPHANT". He was not "attacked"! He was bitten. Again CNN, shame on you; it's antics like this that make me want to go elsewhere for my news.
Posted By Anonymous Greg, Woodland CA : 1:46 PM ET
Love your sense of humor and that you showed such grace under fire and hold no grudges. Keep up the good work. Neither the animals nor us can afford to lose another wildlife educator and activist as we still mourn for Steve Irwin. So stay safe out there!
Posted By Anonymous Miranda, Sacramento, CA : 1:48 PM ET
While I am very sorry Mr. Corwin got hurt I am so glad to read his post where he says, "The elephant who took to nibbling on my elbow may be strong, but her strength does not hold up to the impact that deforestation and poaching is having on her species, the Asian elephant. " Thank you for what you do Mr. Corwin and thank you for respecting my favorite creature in the whole world, the Elephant.
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie, Alexandria, Va : 1:52 PM ET
Elephant, " MMM, Jeff Corwin taste like chicken. Peanut chicken!."
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 1:52 PM ET
Jeff: take care and stay safe. All our family are huge fans. Keep up the wonderful work, educating us about our disappearing wildlife habitats.
Posted By Anonymous The Whyte Family, Dobbs Ferry NY : 1:57 PM ET
Dear Jeff,

I am so glad your injury wasn't as bad as it looked on the program last night. It was painful just to watch! When I read about your injury in Anderson's blog I didn't know what to expect. You are lucky you are in fabulous shape, I'm sure it helped.

Watching you and Anderson "bathing" those magnificent elephants was fun to watch, however, from what I saw I'm not sure who was bathing whom!

Thanks for helping to bring attention to all of these wonderful creatures and the black market trade that is threatening them.

I hope you recover quickly, I am anxious to see your next installment of "Anderson and Jeff's next excellent adventure!"

Take care,
Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 1:57 PM ET
Another moment of the Great Mother giving humanity a reality check. Hope all heals well Jeff, and glad things weren't more severe...the world doesn't need to loose another fighter and hero. A moment of silence for our still-painful lose of Steve Irwin.
Dani Clifton, Molalla Oregon
Posted By Anonymous Dani, Molalla Oregon : 2:11 PM ET
I'm so glad that you're okay! That video is terrible to watch. And then the replay in slow motion, jeez! It looks like serious pain.

You do amazing and absolutely vital work for animals. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that.
Posted By Anonymous Janae G., Surprise AZ : 2:15 PM ET
I am deaf myself and couldn't understand any word you said. I respect you as a wildlife biologist and you are fascinating. I hope I would be able to watch this video on a television because of closed captioning.

Question: I think you know which elphant is danger and dare not to approach that one. You chose that tamed elphant but did you forget to keep your elbow out of its mouth or did you not know that she would hurt you?

Please don't lose humors on a video that makes you the best and a very funny wild biologist!
Posted By Anonymous Mel, Chicago, IL : 2:19 PM ET
I am glad a little mischievious elephant hasn't dampened your spirits and your effort towards educating people about wildlife. Get well soon!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Monica Hobin, Santa Barbara, CA : 2:24 PM ET
SO GLAD you are OK Jeff, Sorry the elephant got rough with you. I am proud of the way Cooper hung in there with you, not being trained with animals, never backed away from what was going on, even stepped in to try and help you. I hope you, your leg and your ego are ok, LOL Just kidding, glad you have a sense of humor, its why I like you, well, besides the whole animal thing.
Posted By Anonymous Kim Roberson, Memphis, TN : 2:25 PM ET
That is why they call them WILD ANIMALS!
Posted By Anonymous Ron McAtee - Annapolis, MD : 2:28 PM ET
Yikes. Glad you were not stomped.

I think we should now call you peanut.
Posted By Anonymous Stephen, Cambridge, MA : 2:31 PM ET
Glad you are ok...don't stick your arm in a tigers mouth. Animals are animals and shouldn't be taken for granted as being tame.....
Posted By Anonymous Bob Farris, Seattle, Wa : 2:36 PM ET
Is that true? That the elephant was then beaten with a bull hook for tossing Jeff around? When Jeff was in the wrong for getting way too comfortable with a WILD animal? I'm disgusted.

And then all these people come on here and throw kudos to Jeff and Anderson for being there and indirectly having that animal beaten? I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

What exactly is the purpose of this "Planet in Peril" series anyway? That you don't advertise or promote at all BTW. To interfer with the planet and then show it for ratings?
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 2:38 PM ET
Teach you all to go swimming with elephants.
Posted By Anonymous Lindsay, Seattle. : 2:39 PM ET
Dude, you're awesome! You speak eloquently, passionately, and show a genuine respect for all of creation--not to mention endure a great amount of physical pain. My husband, sons and I admire your intellect, your representation of your cause and all you sacrifice on its behalf. We watched you speak after losing Steve Irwin and you helped us digest what had happened. It's amazing how much we can come to love those of you who are t.v. as your real selves. Thanks for all you do! The world has a new kind of super hero..and you fit the mold.
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth J. Adams, Jonesboro, IN : 2:48 PM ET
I have to wonder which hurt worse, the bite you received or the pain the elephant got from that bullhook jammed into the back of its ear.

That poor animal.
Posted By Anonymous bill speidel norfolk, virginia : 2:58 PM ET
Your a good guy Jeff and a defender of all things that cannot defend themselves. Hope you have a speedy recovery. All the best
Posted By Anonymous Troy Henley, Columbus OH : 3:00 PM ET
Two words, dude:

Protected contact.

Posted By Anonymous E. Richards, Oakland, CA : 3:01 PM ET
I just love how all of these people feel they have to remind Jeff that these are "wild, unpredictable" creatures. Who's the wildlife biologist again?? Hmm..
These things happen, people. It's called life. Glad you're O.K. Jeff, keep up the good work.

Oh, and June, in Omaha.. if you'd been the one being bitten by the elephant, you would've wanted someone to poke it with a stick too.
Posted By Anonymous Tj- Evansville, IN : 3:08 PM ET
Jeff is the best. Hopes everything is okay with you, and only a left winged Massachusetts boy (self inclusive)would
feel sorry about disturbing the behemoth. Its guys like you that keep the rest of the world up to date on the happenings in the animal kingdom. Once again, thanks Jeff and, as always stay cool.
Posted By Anonymous chris cole salem mass : 3:09 PM ET
Sorry, but when you left-wing environmentalist wackos succumb to one of your lovable fuzzball creatures I just have to chuckle.

Wild animals do NOT love humans. They tolerate us. Or, if they do love it, they love us because we are tasty treats.

Look, when you mix humans and wild life you eventually have tragedy, or close to it. Ask Steve Irwin, Siegfried & Roy, snake charmer Ali Khan Samsuddin and others.

When are you tree-hugging, Global Warming, sandal wearing, granola crunching socialists gonna get it?

I can't wait til some zoo keeper who romanticizes about being a Polar Bear's human brother gets eaten by Knut once Knut gets large enough to realize people are hors d'oeuvres.

Posted By Anonymous T Ayerst, Charlottesville, Virginia : 3:13 PM ET

Your the expert,could you have predicted this female taking a nip at you, regardless of how tame they can be those instincts kick in , these elephants have such complex social structures, they morn the loss of other elephants so emotionally, I've learned so much from you and other's such as Jane Goodall", thanks for your valuable work and dedication, Anderson came to your aid immediately , he's a friend' I watched your special on conservation last night on "Animal Planet" Maybe you could include footage from your" Planet in Peril" contribution onto "Animal Planet" , I'm sure the viewers will want updates on the struggle of these amazing elephants.

Posted By Anonymous Maritza Munoz San Jose Ca : 3:17 PM ET

Many people said they were glad to see you alright after the incident. I must join them now as the footage confirmed me how scary and threatening the "nibbling" could have been. Hope the physicians back home would confirm that no bone fracture or anything.

Looking forward to seeing more of you & Anderson!
Posted By Anonymous Nop, Bangkok, Thailand : 3:17 PM ET
That's what you get for using a wild animal for a photo op... not to mention sticking your arm in its mouth. Just what did you think you were doing there getting all up in it's face?
Posted By Anonymous Paul Sonnenberg, Austin, TX : 3:21 PM ET
Has no one considered that the elephant may not have been 'playing'? The elephant was clearly indicating - by tossing Mr. Corwin away- that she did not like him being in such close contact with her. Had she intended to do serious damage, she would have done so. Instead, she grabbed him and tossed him away. If she had moved away on her own, I'm sure that Mr. Corwin and the camera crew would have followed her around in order to get the 'shot'.

And the elephant gets punished with a sharp prod because SHE was uncomfortable! What's wrong with this picture?
Posted By Anonymous Christine Lee, Lake Arrowhead, CA : 3:51 PM ET
Damn it, man be careful.
Posted By Anonymous Morgan, chicago il : 3:51 PM ET
I saw what happened, it scared the heck out of me. Loosing Steve, was bad enough,Please be careful out there.
You are my kind of people, looking out for the wild creatures on this earth.
Be Safe!! Feel better soon.
Posted By Anonymous Holly DeVries, Atl,Ga : 3:53 PM ET
Jeff, I have a wonderful feeling while looking into the eyes of horses, gorillas, and elephants so I understand your bliss. However, that does not mean I would get close enough for them to eat me.
You were very fortunate and please stay vigilent in the future. Remember Steve Irwin.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn, MI : 3:57 PM ET
So, Jeff... Did you have to type one-handed?
Posted By Anonymous BG, Marietta, GA : 4:06 PM ET
Jeff, you rock -- don't listen to these other losers. I appreciate what you're out there're hot too!
Posted By Anonymous leslie, san clemente, ca : 4:19 PM ET
Maybe you should stop abusing the animals by thinking you actually understand them and give them their space.
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Atlanta, GA : 4:20 PM ET
Hey Jeff,

I just saw the clip on CNN Newsroom. Glad you're alright, man. That looked horrible. You were lucky to get out of there with no serious injuries.

And may I add, you guys continue to impress with your bravery. I wouldn't get within 100 feet of an elephant. You guys earn every penny you're paid.
Posted By Anonymous Phil, Fullerton, CA : 4:21 PM ET
I remember one of my favorite tame and gentle horses who would, when eagerly eating, sometimes try to eat a finger or two or maybe a wrist. I'm glad to hear you are ok. Animals actually are like people; if it is in front of them they want to eat it. Looking forward to all the reports on our imperiled earth.
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Indianapolis, IN : 4:24 PM ET
Wow! You do good work and I enjoy watching your various adventures. Take a break, mend, and get back to it. I'm glad you weren't seriously injured. You have to watch those elephants, they're sneaky little devils!
Posted By Anonymous Bob, Fairfax, VA : 4:26 PM ET
I found myself in tears watching your heartbreaking story about the plights of Asian elephants and vanishing polar bears. Both the maimed baby elephant and Newt the baby bear were just so adorable.
If only the humans responsible for capturing, killing and maiming these beautiful creatures could be punished...jail and force them to watch Born Free, Gorillas in the Mist, Planet of the Apes and An Inconvenient Truth until they sob and beg Mother Earth for forgiveness. That would be a start.
Posted By Anonymous Robin Lyons, Fountain Valley, CA : 4:33 PM ET
Having watched with horror your incident with the elephant, I'd like to have you comment on television about which elephants you were dealing with. As we all know, the Cambodians and others in eastern Asia, beat their elephants with sticks, sometimes use what we'd consider torture, and are quite mean to them to get them to work. As far as I ( a nature lover and television fan who watches most animal shows, including yours)know, the only elephants that aren't wild in Cambodia et al, are those used for working. If this is the case,can you explain to the American people that elephants by nature are not mean and that beating them into subservience may be the reason you were bitten?? If this is not the case, I'd be interested to know. I know the men working with the elephants may not always beat them in front of television cameras, but no one seems to know if this was a "working" elephant?? I assume it was, since they seem to capture and "use" most wild elephants for heavy work. Thanks and I hope you're not damaged for life. Keep up the good work, but please explain why you think this elephant took an unprovoked bite out of you and yanked you around.
Posted By Anonymous Susan Jones, Las Vegas, NV. : 4:35 PM ET
Hey Jeff and Anderson,

First of all, I am really glad that you guys safe and sound. I am pretty sure it was a sharp reality check of the unpredictable nature of wild animals. Second, thanks for being the ones to actively advocate and educate the public about issues such as extinction of beautiful creatures in our planet. I hope you are able to find more people that will help you in your efforts to save all life forms alike. Take care guys and give it your all everyday.
Posted By Anonymous Lois Laguna Hills, CA : 4:36 PM ET
I hope the elephant's ok. It didn't hurt it's mouth or anything, did it? How's it's state of well being? Not traumatized from having silly human in it's mouth, is it?

Glad you're ok. Perils of the job.
Posted By Anonymous Hannah, New York, NY : 4:41 PM ET
Hi Jeff,

I'm so relieved to hear that you only suffered minor injuries. I think the "Corwin Tossed by an Elephant" scared a lot of us! I know that sometimes even my very domesticated cats and dogs can be unpredictable (also when they're feeling a little playful...ha ha), so I can only imagine what it's like to work with wild animals on a day-to-day basis.
Thanks so much for all you do for the animals and for educating the rest of us...stay safe!
Posted By Anonymous Colleen R., Bristow, VA : 4:50 PM ET
Your the MAN corwin! allways have loved your show! and dispite getting tossed around, you still are a professional son of a b*t*h! love it... keep it up. and good luck on your healing!

chris r.
Posted By Anonymous chris r. sac. cali : 4:51 PM ET
I'm guessing after Jeff got tossed, we'll probably never see Anderson let another elephant wrap its trunk around his neck again - right?
Posted By Anonymous Stacey; Ottawa, Ontario, Canada : 6:18 PM ET
Glad Jeff is okay. When I was a teenager, I was bitten by huge pregnant sow while I was out in a field eating Cheetos. At night. At a party. In the South. She heard me munching, I had my arm deep in the bag, and she came running over with amazing speed and tried to root her snout in the bag, but my hand and forearm were still deep in the bag, and she went for it and munched on my forearm/elbow too. I was left with a scar, and lots of teasing about my "Pig Hicky". Her name was "Arnold" and she had nine babies.
Posted By Anonymous Jane Mostoller Tallahassee FL : 6:39 PM ET
We think that the incident with the Elephant was more on the playful side rather than an attack. The Animal was definitely enjoying the water and company, otherwise Corwin would have been hurt a lot more seriously.
These Animals are smart and remember, they will not forget a mishap easily.
Posted By Anonymous E.Lehmann, Concord, CA : 6:42 PM ET
Thank God, you okay. Please keep up the good work you do.
Posted By Anonymous Laura Pomona,CA. : 7:26 PM ET
Hey Jeff,

I'm listening to the news right now on a french speaking channel in Montreal. And guess what I'm looking at! YOU! THey are showing the clip of you and your "little friend" mistaking you for an afternoon snack. You are a popular guy, "peanuts"!
I'm glad you are ok and hope it won't be to much damage to your arm.Take care and get some rest.Thank you for your passion and caring for animals. Thank you for the clear explanations.
But Jeff, next time you want to scare Anderson again, choose another careful,you are needed.As for bathing with elephants,I'll pass until I forget what happened to you.

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 7:30 PM ET
It's unfortunate that while Mr. Corwin seems very rational about his encounter with the elephant, your station CNN chose to describe it as an "attack." Yet again, sensationalism trumps reality, at least where TV news is conerned.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Stelfox, Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada : 1:59 AM ET
Hi Jeff!

Sorry to hear about what happened to you with the elephant. I hope you feel better.

It makes me feel sad and it brings back memories of the tragedy with Stever Irvin.
Posted By Anonymous Farah, Dallas, Tx : 1:59 AM ET
I'm from PETA and I think you must've hurt the elephant in some way, that's why he did what he did. You deserved it, please don't hurt animals.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Knows- NY, NY : 2:01 AM ET
i think it's funny all these people who write to these guys as if they are best friends and as if the news reporters want to hear all about their families and hobbies. sad. sad. get real friends people. celebrity elephant molesters on TV != real friends.
Posted By Anonymous chris mpls, mn : 2:29 AM ET
I think the elephant was just washing the human... If you look at the video the elephant smells the armpit first... then decides it is bath time for Mr. Stinky... The elephant tried to get the smell off by dragging him though the water.

Look at the bright side... at least it was not a stingray accident.
Posted By Anonymous Derek Miller Kansas City Missouri : 2:33 AM ET
I'm glad somebody is doing this story. I visited Cambodia recently and spent a night in the wild with these magnificent animals as part of the program with the Elephant Nature Park. I must say, however, that the headline implying an "attack" is completely erroneous. Clearly the video shows Corwin's arm being mistaken for food and the animal releasing relatively quickly. It's akin to a father putting his finger in his daughter's mouth while she's chewing her froot loops. Please change the headline, but kudos for telling the story.
Posted By Anonymous Brien Barnett, South Pole Station : 2:49 AM ET
Thanks for the laugh. Next time, let's see you wrestle with a hippo.
Posted By Anonymous Libby Zilgelvy, Chicago, Illinois : 8:05 AM ET
I have only watched a few episodes of Jeff's show and had to turn each of them off since I found Jeff to be absolutely disrespectful of the animals and that he displayed sickening machismo and faux-sensationalism. He's no Steve Irwin. I say good for the elephant. Too bad it didn't put Jeff out of commission for longer.
Posted By Anonymous Frank, Atlanta Georgia : 10:20 AM ET
I am sincerely sorry that it happened, but that second, blood-curdling scream Corwin shreiked as he was yanked underwater spoke far more loudly than all of the spin about the poor creature not knowing it's own strength. After all, Corwin himself has written that the elephant's trunk is capable of very delicate and refined maneuvers. The elephant is intelligent. It knew exactly what it was doing. It sent a message that ought to be a sober warning to goofy tormentor's like Corwin, but, alas, he had his clown mask back on as soon as he could use his remaining good arm to get it back on. Much is made of the danger that showoffs like Corwin are in, but little is mentioned of the danger to the animal, having been placed in a situation where it will be quickly injured or killed by a hoarde of handlers (who always seem to know the animal far better than the on-camera performers) if it does not submit to the antics of invading yuppie brats. Whatever happened to true wildlife experts, who display and teach a believable reverence for the worlds they intrude upon?
Posted By Anonymous Gary Lockwood, Fort Worth, TX : 3:03 PM ET
Hey Andy:

I guess you are the lucky one to have to personality that the elephant liked and not your co-worker. I loved the part where the elephant gave you a huge and it made you giggle. You need to get more elephant hugs so we can hear you nice giggle once in a while. Have a great time with the animals.
Posted By Anonymous Tammy L Kitchen Germantown, MD : 3:51 PM ET
Dear Jeff,

I am glad to hear that you are OK after being nibbled on like that! Thank you so much for the fantastic work you do!

June last year I had the privilige of meeting a wonderful female African elephant. She lived at a park outside the Zambian capitol, together with her own keeper. He had been her keeper for 15 years, I think, and when she was moved a few years ago - he moved with her. He spent almost all his time with her. We were really lucky that got to meet her, a very rare opportunity for us Norwegians, a real honor. Because of a disability, I have trouble walking, and my wheelchair was left behind, but I managed to say hi to her. I looked into her eyes, rubbed the base of her trunk and talked to her, telling her how beautiful she was before I started sort of teasing her while laughing and smiling. I could see how she really got it, she responded to what I did. She was so into it, and you could tell she liked it. A while later, after she had greeted the others and a couple got to ride on her neck/back for a little while, I wanted to say bye. By then I think she maybe started to get a bit tired of it all, or maybe she thought it was her turn to tease? She sure started teasing me. She was bumping me quite carefully with her trunk, with this funny look on her face. With my bad muscle tone and balance though, she almost knocked me over, he-he. So I had to seek refuge on the other side of the jeep and call it quits... I will never forget this lady with the beautiful eyes though. Got memories for life. While looking into her eyes, I got the feeling that she was a very wise lady. Almost as when you sometimes feel that a baby has an old soul, if you know what I mean?

Thanks for sharing your story. Keep up the good work! I hope that your arm feels better soon! My sure bet for similar tissue injuries, is icing it twice a day for 20 minutes! It does wonders for healing and also for pain! :)
Posted By Anonymous Aase, Norway : 4:30 PM ET
Dr Corwin does more to help this planet's species in ONE DAY through his TV work on raising awareness about for issues affecting wildlife conservation than Al Gore had done in his ENTIRE LIFETIME with his 'global warming' nonsense.

Shame on those who buy a hybrid or turn their thermostats down two degrees and then call themselves 'environmentally conscious'.

Habitat desctruction is what's killing animals today, not 'globwal warming'.
Posted By Anonymous Randy, Scottsdale, AZ : 4:39 PM ET
At first, I was upset because I thought you were exploiting Jeff's harrowing incident. But when I realized you were using it to raise awareness about the asian elephants' endangerment, I was releaved.

As you reported, this was a rescue elephant - so hopefully people can understand that it may have been abused by humans before. Jeff's response also reveals the level of compassionate understanding he has for them.
Posted By Anonymous Jason, Sherman Oaks CA : 6:53 PM ET
Jeff ..
Glad you are ok, please be careful out there. It would be such a shame to lose such a dedicated man such as yourself the way Steve Irwin was lost!
Posted By Anonymous Stephanie, Harriman NY : 10:44 PM ET
Hi Jeff,
First, glad you made it out of that one ok, could have turned out much differently. Reading your blog gave me goosebumps and a serious case of deja vu -- the very same thing happened to me with an elephant (that I had known for several years). During a team building program with a corporate customer I was feeding my friend and put some watermelon directly into her mouth as I often did. To make a long story short she closed her mouth on my hand and wouldn't let go. It was like my hand was stuck in a concrete wall. When I put my other hand against her face to try and pull it out (big mistake), she got more pissed and began shaking me like a leaf -- my colleagues said I looked like a "rag doll", which I'm sure you can relate to. Next thing I knew I was flying through the air (amazingly without hitting several large trees and a water dispenser -- she'd make a heck of pitcher) and landed in a roll about 20 feet away.

Luckily, like you I didn't have any broken bones, but my elbow swelled up to the size of a baseball for several days and 3 years later I still have some pain there, as well as a thumb that hasn't stopped tingling since the event.

Being shaken and thrown by that elephant was the most powerful force I've ever felt in my life. But like with you, I know she could have easily torn my arm off or stomped me to death. And of course I certainly don't blame her; it was a very hot day and it was around her feeding time so I shouldn't have been messing around with her.

I wish you could do a story about elephants in Bangkok. Yes, the destruction of their habitat is a shame on all of us, and to see these elephants walking around the crowded, noisy and polluted streets of Bangkok (though technically it's illegal -- their mahouts always bring them back) makes one feel both angry and sad. Perhaps with better education of tourists who pose with these elephants there will be no economic reason for them to bring the elephants to the city.

Anyway, welcome to the 'Thrown by an Elephant Club' and I wish you many more great adventures.
Posted By Anonymous Barrett Agent, Phuket, Thailand : 1:07 AM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

• 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006
• 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006
• 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006
• 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006
• 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006
• 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006
• 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006
• 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006
• 03/26/2006 - 04/02/2006
• 04/02/2006 - 04/09/2006
• 04/09/2006 - 04/16/2006
• 04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006
• 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006
• 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006
• 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006
• 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006
• 05/21/2006 - 05/28/2006
• 05/28/2006 - 06/04/2006
• 06/04/2006 - 06/11/2006
• 06/11/2006 - 06/18/2006
• 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006
• 06/25/2006 - 07/02/2006
• 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006
• 07/09/2006 - 07/16/2006
• 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006
• 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006
• 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006
• 08/06/2006 - 08/13/2006
• 08/13/2006 - 08/20/2006
• 08/20/2006 - 08/27/2006
• 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006
• 09/03/2006 - 09/10/2006
• 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006
• 09/17/2006 - 09/24/2006
• 09/24/2006 - 10/01/2006
• 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006
• 10/08/2006 - 10/15/2006
• 10/15/2006 - 10/22/2006
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/19/2006 - 11/26/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/17/2007 - 06/24/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
• 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
• 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
• 11/18/2007 - 11/25/2007
• 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007
• 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
• 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007
• 12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008

    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.