Much loved TV animal expert dies aged 89

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  • 03:13, 10 MAY 2019
  • Updated03:17, 10 MAY 2019

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom host Jim Fowler has died aged 89, according to a tribute posted on the show's website.

The well respected wildlife expert was also known for his regular turns on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, who he went on to form a close friendship with.

Jim Fowler was one of US TV's best loved animal correspondents, starting on Wild Kingdom in 1963, alongside zoologist Marlin Perkins.

He went solo on the show from 1985 to 1988 before it was brought back for a new audience in 2002, airing until 2011.

Fowler went on to appear on over 100 episodes of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, as well as being wildlife correspondent on Today.

Fowler grew up on his family's farm in Georgia and it was here that he developed an interest in the wildlife around him during his formative years.

He studied zoology at college, where he also developed in to a decent baseball player, turning down both the Phillies and Yankees so that he could pursue a career in studying wildlife.

Fowler had made it one of his life's missions to educate people about wildlife and nature conservation.

In a statement on his website, he wrote: "What we have to do is ask ourselves, ‘What’s in it for me?’ Only then will we realise that the continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is ultimately important to the quality of life of humans.”

Fowler is survived by his wife and two children.

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