Ohio State alumnus Nathaniel “Coyote” Peterson debuted his new Animal Planet show in Columbus Friday. | Credit: Courtesy of TNS

A brand new adventure awaits Ohio State alumnus, YouTube sensation and animal expert Nathaniel “Coyote” Peterson.

The star of the popular YouTube channel “Brave Wilderness,” in which Peterson attempts painful feats like being intentionally stung by a bullet ant, hosted a sneak peek of his new series on Animal Planet, “Brave the Wild.” Friends and family of Peterson, as well as the “Brave Wilderness” and “Brave the Wild” crew, gathered on the second floor of the Gateway Film Center to celebrate the new show and watch its first episode on the big screen. 

“Our goal is to really tell you the story of an animal that you didn’t know much about, or that you were afraid of, or that there was some sort of folklore, or legend, or mythology behind,” Peterson told The Lantern. “If Planet Earth had a baby with the ‘Brave Wilderness’ channel, this is exactly what that show would be.”

The first season will showcase 20 hours of footage over 18 episodes, Peterson said. 

“Brave Wilderness” currently has 15.5 million subscribers on Youtube with 565 videos displaying content about multiple species of animals, insects and other wildlife. The popularity of the channel led to the opportunity to create the new television series, Peterson said.

Ryan Gebura, an editor for “Brave Wilderness,” said the channel has been successful because of its ability to educate.

“It’s definitely a little bit of Coyote, right?” Gebura said. “I think a lot of what we do is helping people see the things they probably might not have otherwise known about. I think that’s why they’re interested.”

Peterson credited his success to the university for allowing him to create his own personalized study program during a time the school did not offer a filmmaking or television major, but Peterson said he focused on videography in his study and worked on BuckeyeTV during his time at Ohio State.

“I think having the opportunity to really experiment with my education allowed me to be versatile when it came to building a career, and I don’t think I would’ve wanted to do it any other way,” Peterson said. 

Those closely involved with the show have high hopes for its impact, and Mario Aldecoa, wildlife biologist and co-host of “Brave the Wild,” said he wants it to make a lasting impression on young viewers.

“Ultimately, I hope the show inspires the next generation of biologists and explorers,” he said.

David Casey, executive producer for the new show, said he believes Coyote will become a household name.

“I do think that Coyote could be the next Steve Irwin,” Casey said. “He is just an incredible, charismatic storyteller, and has done it his own way.”

Casey also said the show displays wildlife in a manner never seen before.

“Expect an incredible biodiversity of species from all of the locations we went to,” Casey said. “The best thing about this show is just the plethora of animals Coyote, Mario and our crew encounter. It’s unlike any other wildlife show in that way.”

Coyote said the importance of animal education and conservation has never been more apparent to him than it is right now.

“A lot of the species that people don’t think about are the ones that need just as much care and attention,” Peterson said. “If we can get kids excited about the things that they don’t know about now, it will have a greater effect into the future.”