Published January 13, 2015
This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," July 20, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight we have some very special visitors here at "On the Record." Jungle Jack Hanna (search), the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo (search), joins us live in New York, along with some of the zoo's newest additions and first is Emma.
JACK HANNA, COLUMBUS ZOO: Emma, a river otter. This is from the Niabi Zoo (search) up in Quad City, so up there it was born there. This is a beautiful little river otter and we think of otters as playful and that's what she's doing right now. She just wants to play.
And they're a very playful animal, Greta, and this animal, by the way, is threatened in most of our states because of in years past they were trapped almost to extinction. But now they're coming back very well, especially in the State of Ohio where I live.
VAN SUSTEREN: And she doesn't bite. I mean she puts her mouth on my hand, she doesn't hurt.
HANNA: Right. They can even travel up to 50 miles in about three months to find other creeks. They have webbed feet. I don't know if you can see this or not at home these webbed feet. Come here. Come here. They have webbed feet here, which helps them swim a lot in the water. It's just hard because she wants to play so much right now.
VAN SUSTEREN: What does she eat?
HANNA: And they're very fast. They can go up to 20 miles an hour down snow banks.
VAN SUSTEREN: What does she eat?
HANNA: They eat like crayfish, frogs, amphibians, all sorts of things.
VAN SUSTEREN: She's got very prickly whiskers. Those whiskers are prickly.
HANNA: Yes, look at those long teeth. Those whiskers, a very good point, those whiskers are used to locate other fish and animals for them to eat. Emma, come here. Come here. Come here.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let's see who else is here. Who else is joining us?
HANNA: Oh, this right here, this is neat right here. This is a dwarf rabbit, isn't it something, look at that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Look how little she is.
HANNA: The smallest rabbits in the world full grown. Now look at this rabbit. This rabbit at the Niabi Zoo won first place. Look at this thing. Is that amazing?
VAN SUSTEREN: What is this kind of rabbit?
HANNA: Giant Flemish rabbit, the largest rabbit in the world. This rabbit won the state fair up there at 25 pounds.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are they friends?
HANNA: Oh, yes. I love this rabbit here though.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where is this rabbit from?
HANNA: Giant Flemish rabbit, yes, and it's bred that way. It's what they call a giant Flemish, originally from the Netherlands. Aren't they a magnificent creature? My first animal was raising rabbits.
VAN SUSTEREN: And do they have names do you know?
HANNA: I call this one Jack Rabbit.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what about the dwarf?
HANNA: I don't know.
VAN SUSTEREN: This one is very sweet. All right.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Here come our next special guests.
HANNA: Well, speaking of rabbits, I got to say one thing. It's my wife's 50th birthday today.
VAN SUSTEREN: Fifty, happy birthday. And you got her a big rabbit, right, just a big rabbit?
HANNA: Yes, for her birthday.
VAN SUSTEREN: And this one, this has got a nice coat.
HANNA: Oh, yes, here you go, oh yes. Be careful of that one.
VAN SUSTEREN: With this one?
HANNA: Yes. I'm going to let you stay right here Tom. This is a porcupine from North America. You have the South American prehensile porcupine and you have the North American and you have the African porcupine, which is huge. They have up to 30,000 quills.
They do not throw their quills. Be careful. They do not throw their quills but once you get stuck by one of those quills down in there they have a barb on the end of it — you cannot get the quill out. It's very, very difficult and a lot of infection will take place.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, that's a myth that they throw their quills when they get mad?
HANNA: Exactly. It's a myth. This animal here in Washington State took down all the trees because they got rid of the pine marten. They had to actually bring pine marten back in because the porcupines were killing all the trees because they eat bark in the winter time. They eat like leaves and berries in the summer but in the winter they eat bark and they took out all the trees.
And the pine martens are one of the few animals that can kill a porcupine because they roll them over and underneath their stomach it's very, very soft, very soft here. That's how they kill them, the pine marten. You feel that. Feel that.
VAN SUSTEREN: That is very soft.
HANNA: When they're born their quills are very soft and within 48 hours their quills are as hard as this.
VAN SUSTEREN: How many different types of porcupines do you think there are?
HANNA: Well, there's the South American, the North American and the African, the three types.
VAN SUSTEREN: And does this one have a name?
VAN SUSTEREN: Prickly, all right. I think he just got named right now.
HANNA: Yes, he did. He did.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right and who's this coming in?
HANNA: Oh, now this right here is an animal that when we're in Central and South America this is a young quatimundi. It's called a quatimundi and, oh here we go, come here back here, come back here, come here quati.
VAN SUSTEREN: He likes a banana?
HANNA: Yes. They eat fruit. It's a South American, our version of the raccoon but from South America and they have long snouts, as you can see there. See the long snout?
VAN SUSTEREN: Is this a baby?
VAN SUSTEREN: How big is it going to get?
HANNA: This will get to be about 15 pounds and they're just a neat little creature and, again, very, very inquisitive. They're also killed for their meat in Central and South America. Here you go. Come here.
VAN SUSTEREN: And he even has the mask on like the regular raccoon with the burglar mask.
HANNA: It's called the South American raccoon, the quatimundi.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, all right, here are two more.
HANNA: These are bearded dragons and they're from Australia, look at this. Isn't that neat? The camouflage...
VAN SUSTEREN: Where's the beard? I don't see any beard on them.
HANNA: They're called the bearded dragon, right in here. People think of this as a kind of a beard, the camouflage there, the prickly things.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what do they eat like little insects, flies?
HANNA: Yes, a lot of insects and flies and that type of thing but they're a creature that actually stays this color. They don't change colors like a chameleon, that type of thing.
VAN SUSTEREN: How long do they live?
HANNA: These live about, jeepers, a reptile like this could live anywhere from 15 to 25 years if it's taken care of. They're cold-blooded obviously but they're an animal that loves the sun. It's called the bearded dragon from Australia. We saw quite a few of these when we were over there filming here several months ago.
VAN SUSTEREN: They're pretty friendly.
HANNA: Yes, they are. They're not something you want to take out of the wild though because they will bite.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right.
HANNA: Now this animal here...
VAN SUSTEREN: This looks like just a piece of rock. Where is he?
HANNA: This right here is a hedgehog. This is an African hedgehog. There are some neat things about this. This animal only weighs one ounce when it's born, one ounce and she has one baby. You see that there? That's a means of defense. Now let me try and pick him up. It's hard to do because, oh, there.
VAN SUSTEREN: Where's his face?
HANNA: Right there.
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, there's the face.
HANNA: You can see it there. You've heard of the European hedgehog?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes.
HANNA: This is the African hedgehog and this is a full-grown African hedgehog and they're really, really a neat creature from the standpoint that they will eat — they have very bad eyesight, excellent hearing and smell. They eat little worms and insects and they also eat poisonous snakes.
It's one of the few animals in the world that has never been killed by venom from even the deadliest snakes of the world so we don't know why that is. One reason obviously if you touch it, I don't want your hands. Just go like this and you'll see what I'm talking about.
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, he's not even very soft. Why is he doing that? Is that the way he gets rid of enemies?
HANNA: Well, exactly.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is he full grown?
HANNA: Yes, they're full grown and, again, the European hedgehog is a little bit bigger than the African hedgehog. They're nocturnal so he's getting ready to come out right now. This is his time of the day to go looking for worms and things.
VAN SUSTEREN: And so how many worms is he going to eat during the day?
HANNA: Oh, you know, four or five big worms. I've never see a worm that weighs a pound so just little old worms.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is he friendly?
HANNA: Come here. Somebody pick this thing up. I ain't got any gloves. Yes, yes, see he's brave. This is Tom. He's brave.
VAN SUSTEREN: So, are all these animals and we're going to bring out the miniature horse in a second but do these, do they travel a lot with you?
HANNA: Oh, yes. All these animals are used to this. They love coming on the shows. You know the educational value we think we get out of bringing animals like this to your show is incredible. The letters we get.
People can see a hedgehog, for example, an animal that's never been killed by venom. People have never seen porcupines, you know. One of the greatest thrills I have up in Montana and other places is seeing a porcupine or seeing animals like this in the wild.
VAN SUSTEREN: And in terms of these animals they were on "Good Morning America" this morning.
VAN SUSTEREN: They're here tonight. They're stars.
HANNA: Oh, yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: They're stars?
HANNA: I guess they are, yes. People love to come by the zoo and see them, so they're really ambassadors to their cousins in the wild.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Jack, stand by because we're going to have more animal adventures with these furry, squirmy and prickly guests when "On the Record" continues.
VAN SUSTEREN: We're back with jungle Jack Hanna and his adorable baby animals. Jack, who is this?
HANNA: This is a little miniature horse Julie and isn't it beautiful? This animal was 20 inches, Greta, when it was born, 20 inches tall. Now it's 24 inches and it's an actual breed. This is a miniature horse. This isn't something that's abnormal.
This breed is a fairly new breed of horse and you can see it's just as precious as it can be. Some people, Greta, can't have big horses and so this has become a very, very popular animal. These animals can sell for as much as up to $15,000, $20,000 more dollars than that as far as full registered.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you're not going to ride this horse obviously.
HANNA: No, no.
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean why do people have these horses?
HANNA: A lot of them pull little buggies and that type of thing. Obviously, no one can ride the horse, as you said, unless you weigh about five pounds but they're a beautiful little creature aren't they? And this animal we've seen in the Niabi Zoo as well around the children's zoo there and I hope we can get one in Columbus at the Columbus Zoo sometime in the near future.
VAN SUSTEREN: And she got little baby fuzz around her nose.
HANNA: Oh, yes. She's about five months old right now. She'll probably grow — the registered horse they cannot be over 34 inches if they're going to be registered, cannot be over 34 inches. This one's mother is about 28 inches, so you can see that she probably won't be over 30 inches tall. This is not a dwarf by the way. There are some horses that are dwarfs that don't live very long.
VAN SUSTEREN: But not this one?
HANNA: Not this one, no. This is a fully registered miniature horse.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Jack, thank you as always and always love to see the Columbus Zoo as well.
HANNA: He's counting, look at that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Look at that, all right, Jack, thank you.
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