Sloths, Skinks, ‘Today Show’ & ‘Late Night’

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The end of this year will mark my 13-year anniversary working with animals on television. If I told you that journey was easy, I’d be lying. For years I toured the country, spoke to various audiences, and volunteered at any chance to share my passion of animals on television- Most of the time in very small markets, where I’m assuming the viewership wasn’t more than a few dozen. As I look back on the last few weeks, it’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around it all: Sloths, Snapping Turtles, Kinkajous, Skinks, Today Show and Late Night. I was living a childhood dream. I’m thrilled to share with you some of my favorite highlights, stories, and incredible animals I was able to work with. Hope you enjoy- Corbin

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Celine the Two-toed Sloth from Babby Farms and my Honduran Milk Snake.

Visiting Boise’s hit morning show on Mix 106 has become a tradition of mine before any national appearance. If you couldn’t tell by the pictures, I was so excited to work with a sloth named Celine! Did you know that thousands of years ago, giant sloths the size of elephants once roamed North America?!

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Top: Arriving in Manhattan. Bottom: My home on the Snake River.

First stop was The Today Show in New York. Oddly, this city is starting to feel more and more like a second home. (Strange, considering my hometown’s population is under 1,000!)

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This trip was quick, “fly in and fly out”. I made the best of my time by visiting the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, eating at a fantastic deli, and walking through Central Park. My favorite was visiting The Pond, which is home to numerous water turtles, that are more than likely “former pets” people dropped off.

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Naked Mole Rats on “The Today Show” from the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.

There are a few animals that make up my “dream list” of what I’d like to present on The Today Show. The Naked Mole Rat has been on that list for years. Let’s be honest, they won’t be winning a beauty contest anytime soon! They are hands-down one of the most unusual creatures on earth. They are neither a mole or a rat, live in underground burrows that can extend the length of six football fields, and they cannot get cancer!

Getting acquainted with the animals in the green room before heading up to Studio 1A.

Getting acquainted with the animals in the green room before heading up to Studio 1A.

Other animals from the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium were a Kinkajou named Pequeno, and a Solomon Island Tree Skink named Goober!

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Reuniting with Tamron Hall on “The Today Show” and anchor Billy Bush.

As I predicted, the Naked Mole Rats were quite a surprise for the anchors and the crew! Tamron even reluctantly touched one, referring them to the texture of a chorizo! You can check out the full segment below:

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Entrance to NBC studios in Midtown Manhattan.

The following week I was back in the Big Apple gearing up for something I’d been waiting for all summer; Late Night with Seth Meyers.

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This Late Night appearance would mark my second time visiting the show.

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Serenity the Two-toed Sloth.

As with any appearance, a lot of time and consideration was taken when selecting animals for this particular spot. Serenity the sloth was a great addition, as sloths are one of the most interesting creatures on earth. Did you know sloths are excellent swimmers? Or it can take a month for them to digest a single meal?

Stella the American Badger.

Stella the American Badger.

Stella was an easy pick, as badgers are seldom seen on late night TV. Often seen as vermin and heavily persecuted across North America, I wanted to shine a positive light on these interesting critters. For instance, did you know badgers are excellent for rodent control?

Holding a 100lb Alligator Snapping Turtle.

Holding a 100lb Alligator Snapping Turtle.

Showcasing one of these living dinosaurs has always been a dream of mine. This particular turtle was over 100 years old and every bit of 100 lbs!

Backstage with Seth before the show.

Backstage with Seth before the show.

Before any show, Seth comes by for a brief meet-and-greet. One of the things I really admire about him, is how dedicated he is to his show. He’s involved in every aspect of it, including who appears. Being invited back was a huge compliment.

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Bobby Moynihan petting Serenity along with Taran Killam and Seth Meyers.

A lot of people ask if I get nervous before such big appearances. The answer is yes and no. Yes, right before I hit the stage, nerves definitely kick in. Once I’m out there though, interacting with the animals and talking with the host and guests, the nerves completely go away. It feels natural. The same feeling I felt at 14-years-old appearing for the first time on The Tonight Show.

Top: Chompers the alligator. Bottom Left: Napoleon the emu. Bottom Right: Home on the Snake River.

Top: Chompers the alligator. Bottom Left: Napoleon the emu. Bottom Right: Home on the Snake River.

After two busy weeks in New York, I can honestly say, there is nothing like home sweet #Idahome!

Until next time,

Corbin