Nature is chocked full of amazing, wild creatures – and this man is taking their dangerous stings and bites all in the name of education.
While the headline may suggest another “Florida Man” story, there’s much more beneath the surface here. The man in question isn’t just any man. He’s the Emmy award-winning host of Brave Wilderness on YouTube. Not impressed? You should be, because that channel has more than 3.6 billion views since it launched less than six years ago.
So who is this bold – or crazy – or both – man in question? None other than Nathaniel “Coyote” Peterson, or Coyote Peterson, for short. And boy does he have some stories to tell.
Speaking to Newsweek, Peterson touches on the care and preparation that goes into his work – alongside the controversy. After all, his level of broadcast success doesn’t come without its detractors. Mainly: a whole bunch of people asking “what in the world do you think you’re doing?”
I work with wildlife biologist Mario Aldecoa on the Brave Wilderness videos, and we always do extensive research before we go out into the field. You don’t just [go] out into the wild and say, “today I’m going to find this species of rattlesnake.” You have to be aware of, and educated about, up to 100 species when you enter into an environment. And even then you might encounter more.Coyote Peterson
“Being intentionally harmed by dangerous creatures was very intriguing to people”
Thankfully, “Coyote” seems a forthwith, open and honest man with a sincere passion for wildlife. He is the first to admit his knowledge is self-taught, and that he has the “utmost respect” for those who’ve obtained academic zoological and biological degrees. His success is home-grown, too – as he chocks his now-trademark “educational process” up to irony:
Ironically, I [came upon] the idea of being bitten and stung intentionally almost by accident. We were filming with a North American porcupine in Montana in 2014, and the porcupine handlers were wearing leather gloves that came up past their elbows. And we realized we didn’t know a lot about how the quills worked and that aspect was actually really interesting. We asked the handlers how they would feel about me getting quilled to show people what happens and how to properly remove porcupine quills from their pets.
That was before we even launched Brave Wilderness on YouTube in 2014, and when we published the video, people loved it. We [saw] that a situation where I am a human guinea pig being intentionally harmed by creatures was very intriguing to people, and that evolved into bites and stings.Coyote Peterson
Peterson aims to educate public on dangerous creatures
So, irony aside, what is Peterson’s goal in all this? Simple: education. Peterson’s aim is to educate the public – specifically children – to respect and view wildlife from a distance. Keeping wildlife wild is key to their survival – and our own. This key law of nature is one “Coyote” takes to heart, too. His hope is to navigate this “Brave Wilderness” niche intelligently. From there, he wants to offer up as much educational value as he possibly can without venturing into daredevil territory.
Some bites are venomous, and others like that of a tactical K-9, a snapping turtle or a lobster, are obviously not. I’d also never [take on] something like a rattlesnake or a cobra. The level of danger that involves is on a scale that becomes unintelligent. Our goal is to show you that these creatures are not something to be afraid of if you admire them from a safe distance.Coyote Peterson
How does one elicit such a response from animals? Without much effort, surely. When most wildlife feels threatened, their first instinct will be to bite. These animals, Peterson says, are the easiest. The ones that sting, however, can prove trickier. For Peterson – the stings are all thanks to his pair of trusty entomology forceps:
When it comes to an animal that’s going to sting me. Picking it up with the entomology forceps and placing it onto me leaves the insect or creature thinking it can’t get away on its own. That sting is a defense.Coyote Peterson
Naturally, then, the question becomes: Out of all the dangerous creatures to sting and bite Peterson, which did he find most painful? His answers do not disappoint >>>