NORWALK, CT. (THECOUNT) — Jim Fowler, the longtime co-host and host of TV’s Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, died Wednesday at his home in Norwalk, Connecticut, his family announced. He was 89.

Fowler, a regular on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, made more than 100 appearances on popular show. He also served as a wildlife correspondent for the Today show, reports THR.


Fowler and fellow zoologist Marlin Perkins worked on Wild Kingdom starting with the pilot episode that aired on Jan. 9, 1963, through Perkins’ retirement in 1985. Fowler then went it alone for a few years and returned to the show when it was revived in 2002.

The 6-foot-6 Fowler worked at a raptor sanctuary in Florida and forged a reputation as an authority on predatory birds when he became the first man to successfully trap a harpy eagle and bring it back alive to the U.S. Perkins, who had hosted a Chicago-based TV show called Zoo Parade, spotted him with a harpy eagle on Today and asked him if he’d like to co-host a new show, Wild Kingdom, for NBC.

Geo quick facts: Norwalk is a U.S. city located in southwestern Connecticut, in southern Fairfield County, on the northern shore of Long Island Sound. Norwalk lies within both the New York metropolitan area as well as the Bridgeport metropolitan area. Norwalk was settled in 1649, and is the sixth most populous city in Connecticut – Wikipedia.