Updated on May 11, 2023

In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom is planting 5,000 trees in the Pacific Northwest. The area holds a special significance to Wild Kingdom, as it’s home to the bear cubs featured in the premiere episode of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Protecting the Wild.

Rebuilding the forest, supporting wildlife

In July 2021, wildfires across the Pacific Northwest drove animals out of their habitat. Among them were two black bear cubs who were badly burned and barely able to walk. After being rescued by the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) Wildlife Center, the bear cubs were rehabilitated and released back into the wild this past spring.

The Wild Kingdom team was there to witness the bear’s return to the forest. The exciting moment was captured on film for the first episode of Protecting the Wild, premiering Jan. 2. Learn more about the bear cubs episode.

Our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation

To celebrate the bear cubs and help the many creatures that call the Pacific Northwest home, Wild Kingdom is working with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 5,000 trees.

The estimated impact of this project over a 40-year timespan of the life of the trees include:

  • 32.5 acres of land will be restored
  • 540.93 metric tons of CO2 will be sequestered*
  • 3.86 tons of air pollution will be removed*
  • 146,536 gallons of rainfall will be intercepted*

With nearly 500 million trees planted around the world, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees.

*Estimates made using i-Tree, a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban and rural forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools.

The value of trees

Planting trees not only beautifies an environment, it benefits the plants, animals and people who live in the surrounding area. Some of the key benefits trees provide include:

Sequestering carbon dioxide

Trees help our planet by pulling carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis. Carbon dioxide is stored in its wood instead of going into the atmosphere and contributing to warming temperatures.

Creating healthier communities

Trees help clean our air, filter our water, and slow storm surge and flooding in our cities. They also provide shade and cool our cities by up to 10 degrees in well-canopied areas.

Supporting biodiversity

A well-managed forest contributes to the biodiversity of an area by providing habitat for wildlife, helping keep waterways clean and stabilizing the soil. In this way, trees can help maintain balance in an ecosystem and maintain a healthy population of plants and animals.

A home for wildlife

Our black bear cubs can attest — a forest makes a great home! With habitat from ground level all the way up to their canopy, trees provide a home for many species of wildlife.

Protecting the Wild

To symbolize our tree donation, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’s 2023 Rose Parade float will feature two 23-foot-high ponderosa pine trees. The black bear cubs are the stars of the “Protecting the Wild” theme float. Be sure to tune in for the Rose Parade on Jan. 2 at 8 a.m. PST to see the float.

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