How Did 'Turtle Man' Ernie Brown Jr. Get Into the Business?

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article, TV Shows
on September 5, 2013
Animal Planet
"Turtle Man" Ernie Brown Jr. is not afraid to get a little dirt on his hands.

What can you tell me about TV’s “Turtle Man”? How did he get started?
—Lola King, Suisun City, Arizona

Ernie Brown Jr., 47, the colorful star of the Discovery Channel reality series “Call of the Wildman,” was born in Washington County, Kentucky, and caught his first snapping turtle, a 25-pounder, at age 7. “We ran out of food. It was a way to put meat on the table,” says the divorced father of two teenage daughters. Brown lives with his dog, Lolly, in Lebanon, Kentucky, and estimates he has plucked some 12,000 turtles from murky ponds. “I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. This is what I do, and it makes me happy to make other people happy,” says the turtle wrangler, who lost his front teeth after a run-in with a chainsaw. “I’m high on life.”