The Adventure
That Started It All

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, which premiered on Jan. 6, 1963, took viewers to the far corners of the world and studied wild animals in their natural habitats.

Wild Kingdom viewers witnessed exciting stories and learned about wildlife and conservation as hosts Marlin Perkins, Jim Fowler and Peter Gros faced the challenges of life in the wild.

While Wild Kingdom was a television pioneer, its reach extended well beyond TV as programs like Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Kids’ Summit, the Wild Kingdom Adventure Tour, Wild Kingdom on YouTube and personal appearances by Jim Fowler and Peter Gros reached new generations.

The Fearless Guides

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom pioneered the narrated nature adventure genre, which uses a knowledgeable host and field correspondents to guide viewers through close encounters with wildlife and wilderness. For 50 years, Wild Kingdom hosts have added their unique personalities and commentary to the action.

Marlin Perkins

For generations of Americans, Marlin Perkins embodied the Wild Kingdom. An accomplished zoologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of animals large and small, Perkins brought the wonders of the Wild Kingdom into Americans’ living rooms with a confidence and respect that underscored the importance of conservation.

Perkins was host of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom from 1963 to 1985. Perkins was also director of the New York Zoo in Buffalo, N.Y., the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago and the St. Louis Zoo. He died in 1986 at age 81.

Jim Fowler

A member of the Wild Kingdom team since the show’s premiere on Jan. 6, 1963, renowned naturalist Jim Fowler remains an active ambassador to the world’s wildest places and creatures. Armed with keen knowledge of wildlife and a fearless swagger, Fowler was Marlin Perkins’ Wild Kingdom co-host until he assumed hosting duties upon Perkins’ retirement.

He also was host of Mutual of Omaha’s Spirit of Adventure. Today he continues to represent the Wild Kingdom for Mutual of Omaha and provides the voice for Mutual of Omaha’s My Wild Kingdom iPhone app.

Peter Gros

As Mutual of Omaha’s special Wild Kingdom ambassador, Peter Gros shares his love of wildlife and wilderness with audiences throughout the country. Gros was co-host of the original Wild Kingdom and was featured in two Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom shows on the Animal Planet network: “Cheetah: Race Against Time” (2005) and “Magnificent Moments” (2007).

He is a frequent guest on Live! With Kelly and Michael. Gros has nearly 30 years of field experience with captive wildlife, including establishing breeding and rehabilitation programs for endangered species and birds of prey.

Stephanie Arne

Stephanie Arne is Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom Wild Guide. As Wild Guide, Arne will host an online version of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom that features short, dynamic and fun webisodes exploring the modern-day Wild Kingdom.

Originally from South Dakota, Arne began her career at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. She has worked in the field on wildlife projects in many places including Australia, New Zealand, Borneo and Papua New Guinea. An accomplished wildlife educator, Arne is now the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Honolulu Zoological Society.