What Happened to the Turtleman?

March 25, 2024

Ernie Brown Jr, better known to fans as the Turtleman, gained fame on Animal Planet's "Call of the Wildman" TV show that ran from October 2011 to September 2014. The reality series followed him and his best friend Neal James as they went on adventures and animal removal missions.

Before the show's first season was over, Brown had already garnered a dedicated following on YouTube where his bare-handed turtle-catching techniques went viral. In fact, the YouTube videos drew so many views that producers at Animal Planet reached out to him to see about turning it into a full-fledged television series.

The show was a success in its first few seasons. By the time it ended in 2013, however, the Turtleman had run into a number of controversies that ultimately led to the show being canceled. In addition to a damning Mother Jones investigation that uncovered inconsistencies with his NWCO paperwork, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife informed him that he was no longer allowed to capture deer as part of his duties as a nuisance wildlife control officer.

Since then, the Turtleman has remained active on social media as he tries to find work, and also keeps fans updated on his personal life. Most recently, he shared a video on Facebook from his hospital bed explaining that he was injured by a tree limb while cutting down a tree in his yard. Fans quickly flocked to the page with messages of support, wishing him well. He said that he is on painkillers and has been given X-rays, but it looks like he will be okay.


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