Jeff Corwin is one tough act to catch.
He spoke to The Post and Courier recently by email from the deep jungle of Madagascar where he hunted for rare lemurs with a film crew in tow. The crew chased him there from Grand Cayman and the Seychelles. From Madagascar he was off to Tanzania.
Then, "I go home to shower and shave then go to South Carolina for SEWE," he said.
With him come the critters.
Corwin, 51, the acclaimed nature conservationist and television nature host, presents live animal shows at 3 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at the Gaillard Center. Seating in the 2,750-person, balconied performance hall will be first-come first-served. A general admission ticket gets you in: $25 for a one-day ticket, $50 for a three-day ticket.
The center is at 95 Calhoun St.
The animal shows are considered one of the highlights of the annual exposition and have featured species from lynxes to alligators.
Corwin will be bringing a few "giant bizarre" reptiles, he said, along with raptors, predators and other creatures he'd rather not tell you about yet.
"I don't like to give away what's in the magic hat. I like there to be some anticipation," Corwin said.
Get ready to gape. Corwin doesn't shy away from strange critters. In 2015, he was part of a team that corralled a 700-plus pound freshwater stingray in Thailand, possibly the largest freshwater creature ever caught.
Don't expect the stingray, though. The 14-foot-long ray was released.
Corwin is currently the host and executive producer of "Ocean Mysteries" on ABC. He has become a leading spokesperson for the most threatened species in the world, maybe best known for his work on the Animal Planet and Discovery networks.
One of his more quoted sayings is, "I think a human animal is far more wild and unpredictable and dangerous and destructive than any other animal."
Elaborating on that, Corwin said "I would say if you're walking in the woods and you see a bobcat or a coyote nearby slinking around, you might be a little nervous. But if you're walking by yourself at night and you see a human being hiding behind a tree, the hair rises on the back of your neck."
This from a man who in 2007 had his arm grabbed by the mouth and trunk of an elephant during rough play in Cambodia. He was slung back and forth then thrown into shallow water. His arm doesn't work right to this day.
In Madagascar, 90 percent of the native wildlife is gone that was once found only there, and most of what's left, including the lemurs, is endangered, Corwin said.
"A conservation message is incredibly important to me and a big part of the story, especially now in days when so much is at stake. In the past 40 years we have wiped out 66 percent of our planet's wildlife. If we're going to do it, it's going to be now or never. Finding some measure of sustainability with resource use is part of the challenge," Corwin said.
"We are a remarkable species, capable of looking beyond ourselves, recognizing we can make changes both negative and positive that will affect the world beyond our moment in it," he said.
"That makes us pretty special and now it's time to harness the malevolence and altruism of our species to ensure a productive and biologically rich planet."