Going ‘Wild’ for bison
Published: Thursday, August 29th, 2013
The bison were ready for their close up when a crew for Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom filmed an episode of the iconic show in Custer State Park last week.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Wild Kingdom, a seven-person crew spent four days in the park for the a new webisode series to air on Wild Kingdom’s Youtube channel. The switch from television to Internet is one of the many changes Mutual of Omaha has made to the program.
“It’s the 50th anniversary and we want to come back in a big way,” said Jim Nolan, spokesperson for Mutual of Omaha.
The show, which first premiered January 1963, has been revived and kept alive throughout the years. From 2002-11, the show ran weekly one-hour specials on Animal Planet, but in 2012, producers for the show reassessed the show.
“Now, people watch a lot of television through their computers, smart phones or iPads,” Nolan said. “Network or cable TV is limited, but through the internet, everyone can see it and share it with friends.”
Four webisodes will air on Wild Kingdom’s Youtube channel in November, with the bison segment running first. The crew will also film evasive species in Florida, the restoration of coral reefs in the Florida Keys and the reintroduction of the California Condors.
Hosting the new series is South Dakota native Stephanie Arne, who won the position through a contest created by Mutual of Omaha. Applicants filmed a two-minute video on why they should be the next wild guide.
“You didn’t have to be an animal expert; you just needed to have fun and learn with the audience,” Arne said. “Hopefully it’s relatable and people feel what I feel when they watch.”
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