Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Protecting the Wild premieres in early 2023 on RFD-TV and digital channels. The series highlights tales of conservation success of animals across the United States. Here are all the amazing animals you’ll encounter this season.
Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Protecting the Wild: Season 1
Black Bear Cubs
A wildfire in Washington state drove animals across the region out of their habitat. Among them were two black bear cubs. The cubs, which were barely able to walk and suffered second-degree burns and respiratory issues, were rehabilitated and were released back into the wild.
Sea Turtles & American Crocodiles
Positive human behaviors are helping sea turtles and American crocodiles make a comeback in Florida. Citizen patrols of nesting areas, a successful management program and community education are making it possible for these species to thrive, with record numbers of hatchlings documented in the 40-year history of tracking
Climate change has had a devastating impact on the kelp forests off the coast of California. The forests are critical in their ability to sequester carbon and as food and habitat for a myriad of marine life. Enter our hero — the sea otter. With their steady diet of sea urchins, sea otters build climate resilience for this threatened ocean ecosystem as their numbers continue to be threatened primarily by sharks.
Fire, drought and humans combine to negatively impact streams and rivers in the United States, destroying habitat and negatively impacting groundwater. How do you build back hundreds of years of damage in just a few decades? Beavers (ecosystem engineers) can fix it one stick at a time, leading to habitat success for a wide variety of species. The work to re-establish beaver habitat and coexist with beavers is bringing nature’s balance back to ranches and streams throughout the Northwest.
Coral: It’s an animal! Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor but support about 25% of marine life. However, they’re declining around the world due to climate change, which has increased ocean temperatures and acidification. Coral disease, pollution, overfishing and other stressors are also threatening this vital species. Local organizations work to fight reef loss along the Florida coast. Zoos and aquariums across the country — including in Nebraska and Iowa — are helping conservation efforts by becoming repositories for coral.
Like many places across the country, residents of Collier County, Florida, and Los Angeles, have built homes, businesses and infrastructure near beautiful wilderness that is home to many species of animals. We’ll follow the stories of panthers (once nearly thought extinct) in Florida and cougars (including celebrity cougar P-22) in Los Angeles and what’s being done to help big cats and humans live in harmony.
Black-footed ferret release photo courtesy of National Park Service
Thought to be extinct, the black-footed ferret was rediscovered on a family ranch in Wyoming in the 1980s. Through conservation efforts from many state and federal agencies, zoos, Native American tribes, private landowners and conservation organizations, black-footed ferrets have been given a second chance for survival.
Nature depends on apex predators and keystone species to survive and thrive. Wolves are both, which is why the wild needs them. This episode will dispel the myth of the “big, bad wolf” and educate the public about their plight so they can continue to thrive in their native habitats and be recognized for the vital role they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems.
California Condors & Birds of Prey
In the 1980s, the California condor population was in crisis and extinction seemed imminent. The dramatic decline was attributed to shooting, poisoning and habitat loss. The California condor is making a comeback thanks to the intervention of wildlife organizations that have implemented partnerships with ranchers and hunters to offer free, non-lead ammunition to reduce the chances of lead poisoning of condors so they can make a full recovery in the wild.
Boat strikes, red tide and agriculture run-off all negatively impact food sources and pose threats to manatee populations. See what local research organizations are doing to help.
You won’t want to miss these wild adventures! Check out some sneak peeks into the new episodes here.