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August 2nd, 2013
05:24 PM ET

“If he has one bad day, you’re going to need your belt for a tourniquet” – Tonight, Piers Morgan meets "Fred," the alligator

Coming up this evening at 9, Piers Morgan is joined in studio by Jeff Corwin and several scaly friends for a special "Reptiles and Sharks" edition of the primetime program.

Morgan's tenure with CNN includes interviews with numerous guests - heads of state, powerful newsmakers, and sensational celebrities; tonight, however, he goes face-to-face with a gentleman known simply as "Fred." Fred, the American alligator.

Paced by an “incredible temperament,” Corwin notes that "Fred" was captured in New England where he was living in a pond:

“He was someone’s illegal pet,” says the host of Animal Planet's "The Jeff Corwin Experience" and "Corwin's Quest."

“A lot of people, believe it or not, keep them as pets. And they don't make good pets; they belong in the wild.”

As a keystone species, alligators are critical to keeping diverse ecosystems healthy - Corwin likens them to landscape architects. Alligators, despite their prehistoric appearance, are apt to surviving and thriving in their natural ecosystems:

“If he was in predator mode, basically, what he would be doing is just sort of hunkered down like a submarine low to the water,” Corwin tells the "Piers Morgan Live" host. “Basically most of his head would be covered.”

As tame as Fred seems, alligators have the capability to be very dangerous creatures:

“If he has one bad day, you’re going to need your belt for a tourniquet,” says Corwin.

For much more from both Jeff and "Fred," catch tonight's "Reptiles and Sharks" edition of "Piers Morgan Live" at 9 on CNN.
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