News Release

Wild Kingdom Unveils the finalists for the next “Wild Guide”
Three Fan Favorites Will Compete to Host the All-New Webisode Series

OMAHA, Neb., May 29, 2013 – America has voted and three finalists – an amateur outdoor filmmaker, a wildlife educator and a backpacking explorer – will now compete to become Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’s next Wild Guide, Mutual of Omaha announced.

The Wild Guide finalists are:

  • Stephanie Arne of Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Reggie Busse of Omaha, Neb.
  • Thiago Silva of El Paso, Texas

The Wild Guide will be featured in a new series of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom webisodes that will premiere this fall on the Wild Kingdom TV YouTube channel.

The finalists will travel to Omaha to participate in interviews with show producers, an on-camera screen test and other activities to win the title of Wild Guide. Fans can continue to follow their favorite candidates and see exclusive, behind-the-scenes video and commentary throughout the interview process at and The Wild Guide will be announced on July 15.

Mutual of Omaha launched the search for a new Wild Guide to find someone energetic, adventurous and excited to learn about wildlife alongside viewers. Contestants submitted short videos illustrating why they should be the next Wild Guide. Twelve semi-finalists were chosen, and an online vote narrowed the field to the three finalists.

A wildlife educator in Honolulu, Stephanie Arne said hosting a wildlife TV show has been part of her dream of reaching more people with a message about protecting the beauty and wonder of the world. “From the time I was a child growing up in South Dakota, I’ve always felt connected to nature. The world is so big and magical – if I can help people see they are part of the bigger picture, it might spark an interest and passion that carries forward to future generations,” she said.

“This contest was made for me,” said Thiago Silva, an amateur filmmaker who has traveled the world documenting his wildlife adventures. “Hosting a new series of Wild Kingdom would be a dream come true. My whole family gets a gleam in their eyes every time the show comes on,” he said.

Reggie Busse of Omaha is an avid backpacker who leads adventure tours. “Everything about wildlife and animals, and exposing people to it, excites me,” she said. “Being immersed in wildlife and adventure is what I love to do every day.”

The Wild Guide will win $10,000 and take viewers on new adventures in the modern-day wild kingdom. Webisodes will feature Wild Kingdom’s classic blend of entertainment, fun and adventure, redefined for today’s generation of viewers.

“With Stephanie, Reggie and Thiago we have three excellent candidates to become the new Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Wild Guide,” said John Hildenbiddle, senior vice president of brand management, Mutual of Omaha. “Thanks to everyone who entered and voted in the Wild Guide contest. Now we hope fans across the country will continue showing their incredible support for the candidates, and help us usher this iconic show into a new era.”

Mutual of Omaha is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. As part of the celebration, a first-of-its-kind mobile adventure iPhone app, My Wild Kingdom, which enables users to add virtual animals to any photo or video and share instantly with friends, is now available for free through the Apple App Store. Favourite Website Awards (FWA) recently named the app Mobile of the Day.

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, which premiered on network television on Jan. 6, 1963, pioneered the format of wildlife TV and remains one of the most loved and respected wildlife programs in TV history. Wild Kingdom received 41 major awards including four Emmys and an endorsement by the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for television recommended for family viewing. To learn more about Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, visit

Photos of the finalists available in the Wild Kingdom Newsroom

Full episodes available on Wild Kingdom TV

Wild Kingdom on Facebook

#votewildguideon Twitter

Mutual of Omaha is a full-service, multi-line organization providing insurance, banking and financial products for individuals, businesses and groups throughout the United States.