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Jim Fowler (1932–2019), longtime host of “Wild Kingdom”

by Kirk Fox

Jim Fowler aught millions about wildlife on the television series “Wild Kingdom.”

Jim Fowler was the longtime host of the popular television wildlife series “Wild Kingdom.” He started as a co-host with Marlon Perkins, then took over as sole host when Perkins retired in 1985. Fowler was usually the one that did the physical work on the show, such as wading in crocodile-infested water. He was a wildlife correspondent for the “Today” show and was a popular frequent guest on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight” show and “Conan.” He also had a memorable cameo role in an episode of “Seinfeld.” Fowler was a leading figure for wildlife conservation, designing Chehaw Park, a wildlife animal park, in his hometown of Albany, Georgia.

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Died: Thursday, May 9, 2019. (Who else died on May 9?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 87 at his home in Connecticut, according to family members.

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What he said about the importance of conservation: “Almost all of the social tragedies occurring around the world today are caused by ignoring the basic biological laws of nature. The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we’ll start thinking of doing something about it.”

Statement from Chehaw Park: “Today, we celebrate the amazing life and legacy of Jungle Jim Fowler. Host of the Emmy Award winning Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, he has inspired millions to care about wildlife and the natural world. A pioneer in education and conservation, his vision for a wildlife park without concrete, bars, and cages proved he was ahead of his time.”

What they said about him: “We honor the legacy of Jim Fowler, our director, friend and partner in #Conservation. His passion as a steward of our planet and the animals that live here will continue to inspire” —Terra Sustainable Technologies on Twitter

Full obituary: Washington Post

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