Live With Kelly: Rick Schwartz San Diego Zoo
The Rainforest is filled with unusual and amazing animals, and Rick Schwartz from the San Diego Zoo showed some of them off on “Live With Kelly.” Kelly and Michael got to interact with many different kinds of animals– some cuter than others! Let’s learn about some of the incredible creatures that inhabit the rainforest.
Binturong- “The Bear-Cat”
The first animal to come out and meet the hosts was a Binturong, an unusual looking animal that is better known as “the bear-cat.” As its name implies, the bear-cat looks like a cross between a cat and a bear. It has very coarse hair which helps it repel water in the very wet environment of the rainforest. Michael said that it looks like he has a perm.
Rick pointed out the most odd characteristic of the bear-cat: it has a gland in its butt that makes marking its territory smell like buttered popcorn! Kelly wanted to smell it, but Rick said that the other animals would not appreciate the smell.
San Diego Zoo: Porcupine
A very cute but very nervous porcupine was the next animal. Kelly tried to feed her, but she ended up crawling onto Kelly’s arm instead. Rick said that the quills on a porcupine are made of keratin, which is the same material as our finger nails. Michael was put at ease in learning that porcupines cannot shoot their quills at you!
Amazon Parrot: Rio
Rio is an Amazon Parrot who acts as a Rainforest mascot for the San Diego Zoo. He is 21 years old, which is about middle aged for the Amazon Parrot, who can live 40 plus years. Rio’s special trick is that he can whistle like a cell phone. He can also chat up a storm!
Live With Kelly: Leopard Cubs
Next, Rick showed off some adorable but, sadly, very endangered leopard cubs. There are about 70 in the United States right now, and zoos are working together to keep the leopards from extinction. The cubs were grey and spotted with very big paws, and Rick said that they have amazing agility.
San Diego Zoo: Boa Constrictor
Kelly was all ready to end with the leopard cubs, but Rick had other plans: a giant Boa Constrictor! Kelly, who started out by hiding behind Michael, actually ended up holding the snake. Michael wanted to run away! Rick assured the audience that snakes are not that scary; most people think that their tongue flicking in and out means that they are about to strike, but that it just the snake getting to know its surroundings. Even though Kelly is not a big snake fan, she assured “Live” viewers that snakes are good for the environment. So don’t be afraid!