A new episode of "Call of the Wildman" aired on Sunday night, and this week, it was really new. There have been some significant changes taking place with each episode of the popular Animal Planet show this season as animal rights groups like PETA level some compelling charges against Turtleman's way of catching animals. So, it seems the show is quickly transitioning into a country comedy/reality show along the lines of "Duck Dynasty."
Ernie Brown, Jr., the Turtleman, has broadened his horizons, and the latest show dealt with his entry into a dance competition at the Annual Daniel Boone festival in Kentucky. Instead of scrounging around in the dirt wrestling various animals, most of the episode featured Ernie trying to find a dance partner. He “auditioned” several ladies at a dance school who attempted to teach him several styles of dance: ballet, belly dancing, hip hop, etc…
If someone tuned in looking for rabid raccoons, angry coyotes or flying squirrels flying by Turtleman’s head, they would have been perplexed when they saw Ernie doing an arabesque with a girl with a tutu. At one point, he was dancing with his dog, but even more disturbing was the scene filmed at the festival in which girls were screaming to dance with him. The ending scene was particularly awkward as he attempted to lift and dip a not-very-petite lady and almost dropped her to the floor.
There was only one animal scene and it involved a groundhog. There was still very little of the customary bravado during the capture; Turtleman didn’t even handle the animal very much. All the while, with every mention of a capture, Neal was on the side telling us how Turtleman saved the animals from death. He was plainly the voice of explanation provided by the show to the charges of animal cruelty. In case you missed the article, here is the Mother Jones piece that originally raised questions about the methods used on the program.
The most bizarre new element to the "Call of the Wildman" webpage is the movie reviews that Ernie and Neal are doing. These were advertised on the show and featured on the website. You can view one of these attached to this article.