From the World of Parks and Rec
By Doug Comer
Ernie Brown Jr. is not necessarily a household name in this area. He comes from a little town right in the middle of Kentucky and is one of the nicest people you will meet.
He is very approachable and has many stories to tell about the roads he has traveled. But, to top that, he wants to know your story and how things are in your world. He is about as down to earth as they come.
Mr. Brown has been to our facility before and plans to make a visit again this week. Last time, he met with the kids from a local school and there were a couple that recognized him instantly, but then he made his signature nature call and then almost everyone knew exactly who was here.
Would he like to be called a celebrity? No, because he acts the same way no matter if a camera is in front of him or not. He is part Native American and a whole lot of redneck and he makes a living at disposing critters from garages, ridding the pools of snakes or his most notable job of getting turtles from lakes and ponds.
Well, I have thrown enough hints out there as you probably know now that Ernie Brown, Jr is simply the “Turtle Man.”
“We are so lucky to have this guy come to our facility again,” remarks Director Mike Book. “And what you see on TV is the same guy you see in person. He has a great time no matter the setting and he is a caring man, especially when it comes to children.”
Brown is living life to the fullest and he does not slow down one bit. During our last visit, he engaged the kids with stories of turtles, their background and even talked about sea turtles during the prehistoric era. As word spread through the county courthouse, we had many staff from other departments visit during their lunch period to get a photo op with the turtle tamer.
“He was very gracious to get his picture taken with a lot of kids as well as staff. His usual pose was flexing the guns in his sleeveless shirt with his feather tattoo on the upper bicep. And he is very knowledgeable with the information we normally present during the enrichment and he jumped right in and taught the kids a thing or two about turtles. And he did a great job engaging the kids,” said Book.
The Turtle Man’s television show, Call of the Wildman, aired on the Animal Planet Channel for four seasons and drew an average audience number of 700,000 viewers. In fact, one episode, “Baby Mama Drama” drew an audience of 1.6 million, which was one of the highest viewed shows on the Animal Planet channel. Now you can see his YouTube show The Turtle Man Live Action to catch up on what he is up to today.
We are hoping that the weather this week does not hamper the opportunity for him to visit as he has affairs along the way. His visit brings a ton of energy to the staff, as well as the kids, and we know that he will jump right in and give a few hollers and talk about his favorite topic…..Turtles!