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Wild Kingdom Host Is Back In South Dakota


Wild Kingdom Wild Guide host Stephanie Arne is visiting her home state of South Dakota before she begins preparation for her second season on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Arne won a contest a year ago, where she competed with 200 others in a quest to become the new Wild Guide host. Arne has enjoyed her journey so far and she is excited for her career to continue.

Wild Kingdom Wild Guide host Stephanie Arne is a native of Pierre. She graduated from South Dakota State University and eventually moved to Honolulu Hawaii to work at the zoo. This is before she went on to win Mutual of Omaha's competition. With one season of Wild Kingdom under her belt, she now lives in San Diego. She says she dedicates most of her time to Wild Kingdom. However, she says she recently opened a new business for herself in California.

"I do on the side own my own business called "The Creative Animal" and with that I do motivational speaking, and consultation, and I help out rescue programs in southern California, to help build their curriculum and to build their audience, and I do personal shows for them as well," Arne says.

Arne says she lives in San Diego because of the filming schedule with Wild Kingdom. She says she has a fear of flying and living in San Diego allows her to travel less by plane. Ironically, Arne says she wants to help people resolve their fears with certain animals.

"So my kind of goal is, like how I force myself to get in the plane, I'd like to encourage people to become more educated about the animals that they fear. Because more than likely those fears were either from a traumatic experience from a child, which is pretty rare, or it's from movies like "Jaws," Arne says.

During her first season of Wild Kingdom, Arne and the Wild Kingdom team put together four webisodes, which are online shows. She says the amount of work that goes into these projects is incredible.

"The first four are out and we did four six-minute webisodes. We didn't have a lot of time to plan all that, which by the way, pre-production for even something six-minutes, it takes a long time. It takes a lot to prepare yourself to do something like this," Arne says.

In her first season, Arne examined the California Condor, the Tegu Lizard, Buffalo on the Prairie and Coral Reefs. She says this upcoming season she'll focus on Cheetah's, Giraffes, baby Elephants and a special favorite of the Wild Guide host.

"The last one is Penguins and we're going to do that at the Omaha Zoo. And I'm really excited about that one because that's where I started my career and we did my screen testing with the penguins, so I'm excited to get back in there and hang out with them," Arne says.

Arne says the Wild Kingdom team is preparing for a new launch in social media for this upcoming season. She says Facebook and Twitter are still going to help lead the charge, but now they are utilizing other programs. The Wild Guide host says these new social media programs will give behind the scene sneak peaks of animals during filming.

"If you are an Instagram person, you're probably going to probably see more of how I'm an acrobat in nature and we put fun filters on and then the really cool up close pictures of animals. If you go to Vine, that might be something that's maybe a little more goofier or watching an animal, like maybe a baby giraffe trying to run in six seconds," Arne says.

Arne says she also plans to write a blog so fans can find out more about certain animals or subjects. The new webisodes are planed to debut this summer on Wild Kingdom's YouTube channel.

For more information, visit Wild Kingdom's website here

Nate Wek is currently the sports content producer and sports and rec beat reporter for South Dakota Public Broadcasting. He is a graduate of South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism Broadcasting and a minor in Leadership. From 2010-2013 Nate was the Director of Gameday Media for the Sioux Falls Storm (Indoor Football League) football team. He also spent 2012 and 2013 as the News and Sports Director of KSDJ Radio in Brookings, SD. Nate, his wife Sarah, and two kids Braxan and Jordy, live in Canton, SD.