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Jeff was cage diving to study the sharks. That means he was lowered into the ocean inside a protective steel cage. From inside the safety of the cage, Jeff could film and study the sharks.
In order to be able to breathe while he was under water, Jeff was wearing a heavy dome-shaped metal helmet that had oxygen pumped into it through a tube. It was so heavy that it took two people to put it on. If something went wrong, it wasn't possible for him to get it off by himself.
Suddenly, the fresh oxygen wasn't replacing the carbon dioxide Jeff was breathing out fast enough. Jeff began to sweat and feel uncomfortable. He started to panic, and signaled the other divers and crew for help. But n.o.body seemed to see him! So in order to save himself, Jeff squirmed out of the shark cage. He swam toward the surface of the water and was about to be pulled back onto the boat. And that was precisely the moment when a sixteen-foot great white shark swam up behind Jeff.
The shark circled within only a few feet of Jeff, who was still bobbing around in the ocean. Great whites, or any other type of shark, rarely attack human beings. Jeff's crew remained calm and dragged Jeff back into the boat. It wasn't until after Jeff was safe that the crew informed him that he had gone swimming with a great white shark!
For another episode of Corwin's Quest Corwin's Quest, Jeff jumped off one of the world's highest bridges. That's right, Jeff jumped off a bridge! But he didn't do it just the one time. Jeff plunged from a six-hundred-foot bridge in Italy ten ten times! He was attached to a bungee cord, of course, and had a 16-mm video camera attached to his chest. And he did it all in the name of science. times! He was attached to a bungee cord, of course, and had a 16-mm video camera attached to his chest. And he did it all in the name of science.
The goal was to compare the speed of Jeff's fall against that of a trained falcon. But the bird didn't cooperate the first time, so Jeff had to keep bungee jumping until he got the shot he needed. For each bungee jump, Jeff stood on the rail of the bridge staring down at the rocks below. That's right-there were rocks, not water, below him! Whenever the falcon trainer was ready to release the bird, Jeff was told to jump. Jeff said it was very scary to jump off something so high.
After each jump, Jeff hung upside down four hundred feet in the air until he was lifted back up again. He says, "My back was killing me." It got to the point that Jeff was in too much pain to continue doing more takes. So a member of the crew was chosen to be Jeff's stunt double for the last few jumps. Normally, Jeff does his own stunts, but this time, he was relieved to have a stand-in!
In another episode, the show was being filmed in Uganda, Africa. Jeff and his crew found themselves in the middle of what is known as a chimp hunt. A chimp hunt is a phenomenon in which a group of about twenty to thirty chimpanzees organizes to attack simultaneously another group of smaller animals. It is a group hunting behavior rarely caught on film.
In this case, Jeff and his crew watched as chimps moved in toward a group of about fifty colobus monkeys in the treetops. Some of the larger chimps climbed into the trees, moving up to the branches where the colobus were. Other chimps stayed on the ground to capture any colobus monkeys that might fall or try to escape by way of the ground.
The colobus leaped from branch to branch, tree to tree, and even over a two-hundred-foot ravine to try to escape. It was a matter of life and death for the medium- to large-size monkeys, so they would do anything to survive the attack. But it was also a matter of life and death for the chimps, too, who needed to eat. Jeff didn't know which animal to root for! In the end, the chimps captured a few of their prey, and rejoiced in their meal. Jeff felt proud of the chimps for the capture, but also felt awful for the poor colobus victims. Nonetheless, it was marvelous for him to witness.
On another trip to Africa for Corwin's Quest Corwin's Quest, Jeff was in the mountains of Uganda searching for gorillas. He had been feeling ill during the entire trip, and had lost a lot of weight. He eventually came to realize that he was very sick with malaria and African tick fever, at the same time at the same time! It was a taxing trip for Jeff's health, certainly. But he pushed through, taking off only one day from filming. And in the end, it paid off! After days of endless trekking, Jeff found himself sitting just a few feet away from an entire troop of gorillas, including the amazing giant silverback gorilla!
It was also for Corwin's Quest Corwin's Quest that Jeff had his teeth cleaned by a live shrimp! Jeff wanted to show viewers how cool cleaner shrimp are. Cleaner shrimp are very valuable to the coral reef community. They survive on tiny, parasitic crustaceans and dead skin. These things often build up on fish, so cleaner shrimp remove them. The cleaner shrimp have a meal and the fish can swim free of irritation-everybody wins! Several cleaner shrimp will clean a single fish at a time. They dash around over the fish's body, munching away the parasites. that Jeff had his teeth cleaned by a live shrimp! Jeff wanted to show viewers how cool cleaner shrimp are. Cleaner shrimp are very valuable to the coral reef community. They survive on tiny, parasitic crustaceans and dead skin. These things often build up on fish, so cleaner shrimp remove them. The cleaner shrimp have a meal and the fish can swim free of irritation-everybody wins! Several cleaner shrimp will clean a single fish at a time. They dash around over the fish's body, munching away the parasites.
To show how this process works, Jeff ate a large meal, and was sure to leave bits of food in his teeth. Then he went scuba diving in the ocean near the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia. Jeff found a cleaner shrimp and put it to work. He put the live shrimp in his mouth, and the cleaner shrimp proceeded to eat the food remains from Jeff's teeth!
For the next several years, Jeff's career continued to thrive. He was experiencing tremendous success in all areas of his life, and having a great time doing it. But he wanted to do a project that reached a new audience. That's why he approached the news network CNN with the idea for a new TV series called Planet in Peril Planet in Peril.
Jeff's idea was to show people how environmental conditions are interconnected: climate change, habitat loss, pollution, and human population growth. Each of these problems affects the next. In an interview with UMa.s.s Magazine Online UMa.s.s Magazine Online, Jeff once explained, "Everything is knotted together to make one great living fabric."
CNN really liked the idea, so they agreed to make the show. Jeff had appeared on CNN many times as an animal expert, so it was rewarding for him to present them with an idea, then see it come to fruition.
In 2007, Planet in Peril Planet in Peril aired as a four-hour doc.u.mentary that examined our changing planet. It also featured correspondents Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. To create the series, Jeff traveled the globe, from the Brazilian rain forest to the arctic tundra. He was greatly affected by what he saw during filming. For example, when Jeff was in Southeast Asia, he walked into silent rain forests. They were silent because every bird, lizard, and mammal was gone, and had likely died. aired as a four-hour doc.u.mentary that examined our changing planet. It also featured correspondents Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. To create the series, Jeff traveled the globe, from the Brazilian rain forest to the arctic tundra. He was greatly affected by what he saw during filming. For example, when Jeff was in Southeast Asia, he walked into silent rain forests. They were silent because every bird, lizard, and mammal was gone, and had likely died.
During his time in Madagascar, an island off the coast of Africa, Jeff found himself feeling bittersweet. He realized that he could potentially discover a new species there. But at the same time, anything he discovered would probably not survive long because its habitat was being completely destroyed by humans.
Jeff also traveled to the North Pole to study polar bears for the series. He had the chance to work side by side with one of the world's best biologists, tracking and observing the bears. Polar bears are one of nature's most powerful predators, but Jeff says, "Their future is uncertain due to climate change."
Jeff recalls staring out onto an abyss of ice, being awestruck by nature's power, and how cold it was! He says the temperatures were around 60 degrees below freezing, and that every time he had a runny nose from the cold, there was an instant icicle hanging from the tip of his nose!
It was during the filming of Planet in Peril Planet in Peril that Jeff had one of his most frightening animal experiences. An Asian elephant attacked him. The incident happened on March 22, 2007, in the country of Cambodia, in Southeast Asia. that Jeff had one of his most frightening animal experiences. An Asian elephant attacked him. The incident happened on March 22, 2007, in the country of Cambodia, in Southeast Asia.
Jeff was reporting on Cambodia's wild elephant population. As little as one hundred years ago, there were thousands of Asian elephants in the rain forests of Southeast Asia. But today, Asian elephants are nearly extinct in the wild. There are only about thirty thousand of them left. This is because humans are tearing down the forests in which they live, and because humans kill elephants for their tusks.
Jeff was at a wildlife rehabilitation center, where he was helping workers handle three of the elephants. Twice a day, every day, the elephants were taken to a lagoon to be washed and exercised. Jeff was talking to Anderson Cooper and turned his back on one of the elephants. Elephants are complicated animals that experience emotions, such as happiness, anger, and jealousy. When Jeff turned away, the pachyderm decided to let Jeff know he didn't want to be ignored.
Suddenly, the enormous elephant was right over Jeff's shoulder. Before Jeff could react, the elephant grabbed Jeff's arm in his mouth and thrashed Jeff back and forth several times. Asian elephants grow to be as much as twenty-one feet long, stand up to ten feet tall, and weigh up to eleven thousand pounds. They are thousands of times stronger than humans. In fact, the trunk of an elephant can lift a seven-hundred-pound tree limb. So in the creature's mouth, Jeff was nothing more than a rag doll.
When the elephant grabbed Jeff, he instantly crushed many of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in Jeff's arm. Jeff screamed, and thought he might black out from the pain. Within seconds, the elephant handlers stepped in. They got the elephant to release Jeff from its jaws. If the handlers had not reacted as quickly as they did, Jeff probably would have died.
The entire incident was caught on film, as CNN cameras were rolling at the moment the elephant attacked. And in spite of the pain Jeff was in, he continued reporting the story! In an interview after the incident, Jeff said, "I was there to investigate the conflict between elephants and humans. You don't get a better example of the story than what had just happened to me."
In the end, Jeff healed fairly well. He felt lucky to be alive, and was reminded just how powerful animals can be.
Of all the animals in the world, it's only the human variety that Jeff fears. Jeff believes people are far more unpredictable, dangerous, and destructive than any other animal. He has been in small planes that nearly crashed or had emergency landings. He's witnessed coups d'etat and revolutions, and had his hotel set on fire. And he'd still prefer a cobra that's a little peeved to any of them.
No matter what kind of journey Jeff is on, or where in the world he is, he always exercises extreme caution. While he does want to create a unique experience for his viewers, he would never do anything to jeopardize the wildlife or himself. Jeff has a family that loves him and needs him to return from his adventures in one piece. Even Jeff's wife, Natasha, doesn't worry too too much about her husband: "Jeff is a big boy and he's a smart man. He has the utmost respect for wildlife." much about her husband: "Jeff is a big boy and he's a smart man. He has the utmost respect for wildlife."
Jeff is also responsible for keeping his TV crew safe from harm. That's why he and his staff do a great deal of research on the region and its wildlife before going into the field. And if Jeff senses that something could be dangerous, he simply won't do it. While Jeff treasures his wild times, safety always comes first.
After Jeff completed Planet in Peril Planet in Peril, he wanted to turn his focus on his own country-the United States. He approached the Travel Channel with an idea for a new series about travel in the United States. Jeff wanted to use the medium of television to explore his home-land. Jeff is best known for his work with animals, but the new TV series gave Jeff the opportunity to explore another of his pa.s.sions-adventure travel.
The first program in the series is called Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin. Into Alaska Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin. Into Alaska is an eight-part series in which he investigates the amazing natural wonders of Alaska. The show was tremendously successful, thanks to Jeff's pioneer spirit! He did everything from working on a commercial crab boat to scaling parts of Mount McKinley. Mount McKinley is the coldest mountain on Earth. It is so tall that it creates its own weather! Nonetheless, Jeff decided to climb it. He battled slippery ice, blinding light, and thin air as he ascended. But the amazing view at the top made it well worth it! is an eight-part series in which he investigates the amazing natural wonders of Alaska. The show was tremendously successful, thanks to Jeff's pioneer spirit! He did everything from working on a commercial crab boat to scaling parts of Mount McKinley. Mount McKinley is the coldest mountain on Earth. It is so tall that it creates its own weather! Nonetheless, Jeff decided to climb it. He battled slippery ice, blinding light, and thin air as he ascended. But the amazing view at the top made it well worth it!
While in Alaska, Jeff also explored Ruth Glacier, where it can feel as cold as 148 degrees below zero! Glaciers are essentially enormous mounds of ice that are constantly moving, flowing, and s.h.i.+fting in the ocean. From the snowy surface, they appear solid, but underneath, huge creva.s.ses can form, which present danger. So Jeff and his crew had to be especially careful when hiking the glacier. These crevices can be hundreds of feet deep, and become blue in their deepest parts. To get a better look at one, Jeff was lowered down into a crevice. He was suspended several feet below the surface and just hung there above an icy abyss until being lifted up again.
Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin gave Jeff a chance to get friendly with Alaska's animals, too. Jeff guided a team of sled dogs across the G.o.ddard Glacier and kayaked with humpback whales. He even had a fis.h.i.+ng compet.i.tion with brown bears! One day, while fis.h.i.+ng in the Margot River, Jeff noticed that there was a brown bear fis.h.i.+ng just down the river from him. Brown bears are America's largest land predator. These monstrous creatures can weigh up to fifteen hundred pounds. To get that large, brown bears in Alaska feed on live fish in Alaska's icy-cold waters. They have to feed heavily during the summer in order to fatten up for winter, when they hibernate for up to eight months. gave Jeff a chance to get friendly with Alaska's animals, too. Jeff guided a team of sled dogs across the G.o.ddard Glacier and kayaked with humpback whales. He even had a fis.h.i.+ng compet.i.tion with brown bears! One day, while fis.h.i.+ng in the Margot River, Jeff noticed that there was a brown bear fis.h.i.+ng just down the river from him. Brown bears are America's largest land predator. These monstrous creatures can weigh up to fifteen hundred pounds. To get that large, brown bears in Alaska feed on live fish in Alaska's icy-cold waters. They have to feed heavily during the summer in order to fatten up for winter, when they hibernate for up to eight months.
As Jeff caught fish, he noticed that the bear down the river was also catching fish. Jeff was equipped with a tool-a fis.h.i.+ng pole-and could certainly outfish a bear, which just had its mouth and paws to rely on. Or so he thought! So Jeff spent the afternoon trying to catch more fish than the bear. It was a fis.h.i.+ng compet.i.tion! In the end, Jeff's manmade fis.h.i.+ng tool couldn't beat out the bear's natural tools, or its hunger-driven determination!
Jeff spent nearly a year filming in Alaska. He says, "I had a rich, complete, fulfilling experience working on that show." Travel Channel viewers loved Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin so much that it was followed up with a second show called so much that it was followed up with a second show called Into America's West Into America's West. Jeff explored the length and breadth of the West Coast, from the Canadian Rockies to New Mexico, all the while on the lookout for America's wildlife, like mountain lions, bobcats, and black bears, to name only a few. For Into America's West Into America's West, Jeff did everything from working on a cattle ranch delivering calves to following the trails of Lewis and Clark.
For the show, Jeff investigated the Grand Canyon, Mount Baker, the plains of Montana, and Yellowstone National Park, learning how some of these incredible places were formed, and how they are still changing.
Jeff found the Into Into series enjoyable to create, not only because of the adventures, but because he feels that Americans forget that there is still an incredible frontier in their own backyards. He wants Americans to feel excited about the rich diversity of their own country. Jeff hopes to do another program for the series, perhaps series enjoyable to create, not only because of the adventures, but because he feels that Americans forget that there is still an incredible frontier in their own backyards. He wants Americans to feel excited about the rich diversity of their own country. Jeff hopes to do another program for the series, perhaps Into the East Into the East.
And Jeff Corwin certainly is not slowing down. Jeff has been working on numerous projects, including a doc.u.mentary on polar bears in the Arctic. He has also created another doc.u.mentary called The Vanis.h.i.+ng Frog The Vanis.h.i.+ng Frog, which aired on Animal Planet in late 2008.
In The Vanis.h.i.+ng Frog The Vanis.h.i.+ng Frog, Jeff investigates the ma.s.sive and somewhat sudden extinction of amphibians around the world. Amphibians are becoming extinct at a rate matched only by how quickly the dinosaurs were wiped out. Two hundred species of frogs and other amphibians have become extinct in the last decade. Jeff predicts that in the next three decades, the situation will become even worse: we'll lose 50 percent more of those that remain.
Amphibians are important to predator-prey relations.h.i.+ps, agriculture, and science. But amphibians are also an indicator of environmental quality, water quality, and temperature. When amphibian species are suffering, it is an early warning sign that something is wrong within an ecosystem. It could mean the other wildlife in the ecosystem will suffer as well. That is why Jeff feels it so very important to investigate the problem of our vanis.h.i.+ng frogs.
In addition to his upcoming television work, Jeff is also in the process of writing several new books. His second book for adults, 100 Heartbeats 100 Heartbeats, explores a very scary ecological situation-the moment when there are fewer than one hundred life-forms left before extinction. He's been globetrotting to study the final moments of failure or success for particular species. Jeff is also in the process of creating a series of kids' books about nature. The series is published by Penguin Young Readers Group and combines nonfiction and fiction books-including this biography, a fascinating book about U.S. ecosystems, and a fun, fictional Junior Explorer series. These books come from Jeff's heart because he is the father of two daughters. That's right! In 2008, Jeff and Natasha became the parents of another baby girl, named Marina. When Jeff looks at his children, he is constantly reminded of how important it is for humans to leave behind a planet that is biodiverse and healthy.
Jeff hopes that his books for kids will help children realize they have the power to change the world. Jeff says, "Sometimes I think that young people don't think they matter. But everyone leaves behind an ecological footprint. (An ecological footprint is a measure of how much of Earth's resources we each consume.) I think it's important that people recognize that- realize that every day, you are going to do something that impacts the world. Do you want that impact to be positive or negative?"
Jeff wants kids to begin taking small steps toward saving Earth's resources. Remember: every step is a step in the right direction! You can begin doing this by just looking at your daily habits.
For example, think about the plastic water bottles from which we all drink. Drinking a bottle of water provides you with the liquid your body needs to survive. But at the same time, by drinking water out of a plastic bottle, you are using a container that will last for thousands of years. If you drink that water through a straw, you are using even more plastic that will remain on Earth far longer than you.
You can also try the Trash Challenge that Jeff often poses to kids when he gives speeches. Rather than throwing things away, save every single piece of trash you produce in a single day. That's every water bottle, every sc.r.a.p of leftover food, every wrapper, every piece of product packaging, every piece of paper . . . you get the idea! Jeff says, "No toilet paper, please! But save everything else."
At the end of the day, you will probably be shocked at your impact with regard to waste: In any given twenty-four-hour period, the average American creates about five pounds of tras.h.!.+ As Jeff says, "If you think you don't have an impact, just look at your garbage. Think about how much energy it took to create it, and where it will all end up." Jeff says that simple examples like these can make kids realize firsthand how much of an effect they have on Earth's health.
Jeff 's kids' books also explore the idea that all of Earth's creatures play an important role in their own ecosystem. He worries that many people judge animals: they think some are better, more important, or more valuable to the world than others. "I don't look at animals as one being nice and one being bad-the pretty feathers of a bird as opposed to the fangs of a rattlesnake," Jeff says. In Jeff's mind, all animals are created equal! Jeff adds, "It's important to understand that no one creature is greater than another. All species are significant and have earned a place at the table of life."
To see this in your everyday life, Jeff urges kids to look in their very own yards and communities. You might find a frog in a stream, a bald eagle in a tree, a mountain lion, a bear, or a box turtle. It's easy for everyone to recognize the importance of saving tigers or monkeys. But in your community, it's unlikely that it is a tiger that needs saving. Instead, it could be a local animal species or a particular habitat. There are examples of wildlife failures everywhere. But there can also be examples of success! And that part is up to us.
Jeff wants others to know that for many threatened species and habitats, we are nearly at the point of no return-but we aren't there yet. He says, "While we live in what could end up being the dark days of conservation, we also live in a time of incredible hope." We can still save what remains.
So what if you want to go even further than taking small steps? What if you want to help Earth in the same ways that Jeff has? Well, you can follow in his footsteps! Start by going to the sources: books, magazines, and Web sites are great resources of information. Jeff says, "Read up on areas and animals that interest you."
Even better, interact with other people who share an interest in nature! Sign up for cla.s.ses, attend nature camps, or volunteer at a local science center or preserve. And, of course, try your best to do well in school. School would have been easier for Jeff if he had been able to study hard and get better grades. Jeff reminds kids, "Your formal education is crucial. These things will help you hone in on an area of naturalism that most appeals to you. The most important thing is to be active and involved."
Jeff firmly believes that if kids work hard and trust in themselves, there is very little they cannot achieve. There may be obstacles to achieving your dreams-there were for him! "Many people in my life thought my goals were impossible or silly and that they wouldn't materialize. But I didn't believe them," Jeff says. He learned that the people who really succeed are those who are persistent. He offers, "If there isn't a path carved out for you, blaze a new trail. Carve your own own path; find alternative ways to get there. Always believe in yourself because no one else will. Retain personal pa.s.sion, drive, and the confidence that you can do it." path; find alternative ways to get there. Always believe in yourself because no one else will. Retain personal pa.s.sion, drive, and the confidence that you can do it."
where everybody Knows Your Name.
Jeff Corwin's fans know him as the funny, charm ing face of animal conservation. But who is Jeff when the cameras have shut off? Jeff wears many hats in his life: he is a husband, a father, a runner, a chef . . . you name it! Let's take a look inside what it's like being Jeff Corwin!
When it comes to life experiences, Jeff Corwin has seen and done a lot! Take his television appearances for example. Not only does Jeff have his own shows, but he has been featured on Iron Chef America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Access Hollywood, Iron Chef America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Access Hollywood, and and Extra. Extra. He even made a cameo appearance on an episode of the hit crime show He even made a cameo appearance on an episode of the hit crime show CSI: Miami CSI: Miami, in which he helped detectives retrieve a human foot from inside a live crocodile. Jeff won an Emmy for Best Performer in a Children's Series, and Men's Journal Men's Journal once called him "the world's greatest animal show host." Jeff appeared in once called him "the world's greatest animal show host." Jeff appeared in Maxim Maxim's fall fas.h.i.+on issue and on Entertainment Weekly Entertainment Weekly's highly regarded It List.
And then there're the places he's been! Jeff says, "I've been around the world probably five or six times. There are countries that few people go to, like Borneo, that I've been to many times. I go to Africa probably three or four times a year. But there are still a few places out there that I'm longing to go . . . like Antarctica and mainland China, especially to see the giant Chinese salamander."
Despite Jeff's fame and incredible achievements, he still feels he is a humble guy. And his family helps him stay that way. As Jeff's wife, Natasha, said when People People magazine named him one of the Most Beautiful People, "Okay, Mr. Beautiful, take out the trash." Jeff's family is proud of him, of course. But it's not because of his success on television. They just appreciate that Jeff is a good son, husband, and father. He says, "I don't live in a TV world. I live a regular life. I don't live around a lot of animals. . . . I live five miles from where I grew up." To Jeff, fame is just a moment in his life-it's fleeting. And that's okay, because he knows that, at heart, he will always be a conservationist and naturalist. magazine named him one of the Most Beautiful People, "Okay, Mr. Beautiful, take out the trash." Jeff's family is proud of him, of course. But it's not because of his success on television. They just appreciate that Jeff is a good son, husband, and father. He says, "I don't live in a TV world. I live a regular life. I don't live around a lot of animals. . . . I live five miles from where I grew up." To Jeff, fame is just a moment in his life-it's fleeting. And that's okay, because he knows that, at heart, he will always be a conservationist and naturalist.
Jeff realizes the blessings in his life: "My career has a value. It is a tool to allow me to share the message I want to share, and to build a life for my family that I want them to have. But that's all it is, and life outside of that with friends and family is far more significant."
Downtime is rare in Jeff's life. He's usually traveling from continent to continent. But when Jeff is at home, he's at his house-a hundred-year-old farm-house set on a twenty-two-acre island. The island sits a mile off the coast of Boston's south sh.o.r.e and is shared by twelve other families. But only five families, including Jeff's, live there year-round. It can be reached only by water or on foot after the tide has gone out. It contains woods, marshland, and a fruitful animal habitat-all of Jeff's favorite things.
Jeff shares his home with his wife, Natasha, and daughters, Maya and Marina. When Jeff thinks about his home and family, he says, "If there is a heaven, I hope it will be something like this." And the only pets the Corwins have are two cats. "I don't have any exot ics living around me. My personal philosophy, after a lifetime of working and living with animals, is that exotic, nontraditional animals should only be kept for acceptable purposes, such as wildlife rehabilitation, outreach education, and conservation programs. But I do love animals, and I love being around them," he says.
Jeff's parents still live in the house in Norwell where Jeff was raised, which is one of the reasons he still lives in the area. He also just can't imagine living anywhere else! Jeff says, "I have always loved the seasons, culture, architecture, sense of community, food, coastline, and history of New England."
Jeff admits that when he was younger, he was very driven, and didn't stop to enjoy his success as much as he should have. "But now I don't feel the pressure to plow on through and not smell the roses," he says. And smell the roses he does!
When Jeff is home, he enjoys many hobbies, like hunting for beach gla.s.s and foraging for mushrooms with his daughter Maya. Jeff also likes to go antiquing with Natasha, fish, and practice photography.
Jeff also loves cooking for his friends and family when he has the time. He tries to cook and eat locally grown foods, like the blueberries, apples, and raspberries he grows on his own property and the lobsters, clams, and mussels he catches from the waters around his house. He says that people should know where their food comes from and how far it had to travel in order to get to our tables. It's one small way that we can save Earth's resources.
When Jeff is home, he also spends time with friends, hanging out on the beach by a fire or enjoying a meal together. Jeff and Natasha's friends are teachers, artists, businesspeople, and more. Some of Jeff's friends are people he has known since he was a kid in Norwell, and others are people he's met more recently.
One of Jeff's great pa.s.sions in life, aside from animals and family, is running. He runs about forty miles a week. But he never, ever runs to music. In a Runner's World Runner's World article, Jeff explained, "The last time I listened to music, I almost got hit by an airplane. I was jogging on a jungle runway in the middle of Belize and I kept feeling this weird wind every ten minutes that would blow by me." It turns out that "wind" was actually a plane trying to land! But the music in Jeff's ears was so loud, he could not hear the plane or the local villagers telling him to move! Needless to say, Jeff survived. But the plane's pilot was very upset with him! article, Jeff explained, "The last time I listened to music, I almost got hit by an airplane. I was jogging on a jungle runway in the middle of Belize and I kept feeling this weird wind every ten minutes that would blow by me." It turns out that "wind" was actually a plane trying to land! But the music in Jeff's ears was so loud, he could not hear the plane or the local villagers telling him to move! Needless to say, Jeff survived. But the plane's pilot was very upset with him!
So what does the future hold for everyone's favorite animal enthusiast? Jeff wants to continue to grow in his career, whether that's through books, different types of shows, or different types of audiences. At the end of his life, Jeff would like to be remembered as a naturalist and not just as an entertainer. He, of course, enjoys the entertainment element of his shows. But he feels that teaching people about endangered species and the environment is more important.
Though Jeff has no immediate plans to stop doing television shows, he envisions a calmer life for himself in the future. Jeff once said, "I see myself as a quirky science professor at a New England college. But I refuse to be boring! I'll be the teacher who makes you laugh." There would be no shortage of students signing up for that that cla.s.s! cla.s.s!
Wherever the future endeavors of Jeff Corwin will lead him remains to be seen. But one thing is certain-it's sure to be a wild time!
Resources Defenders of Wildlife: www.defenders.org Events near you: http://www.defenders.org/take_action/upcom ing_events/index.php
JASON Project: www.jason.org Rescue your local ecosystem and protect diverse species from extinction. Register for JASON: http://www.jason.org/Public/Get Involved/GetInvolved.aspx?pos=7
New England Wildlife Center: www.newildlife.com
United Nations Environmental Programme: www.unep.org