He's a cross between "Jackass" and Jack Hanna. The "Johnny Knoxville" of nature is making a name for himself one sting at a time.
Nearly 5 and a half million people have viewed the 2016 clip on YouTube in which Peterson endures the body-dropping pain of being stung by a bullet ant. "We like to show you why you want to stay a safe distance from these animals. So I can free-handle a bullet ant and be like this thing has a very powerful sting. But if you see me being stung and you see how bad it is, you're much more likely to say, 'ooh, definitely going to stay a safe distance from it'", Peterson said when we traveled to Columbus where his production company is headquartered.
Classmates from Notre Dame Cathedral Latin, where Coyote Peterson graduated in 2000, may remember him as “Nate” Peterson, the guy from Newbury who loved animals…and who dreamed of one day making movies.
But he never quite got there after graduating from Ohio State, finding his calling instead in the wild and on the internet where he has become a sensation.
His YouTube Channel, "Brave Wilderness" has five and a half million subscribers. Daily views of his twice-weekly videos average in the millions. "That's a lot of people? Crazy, right?"
"People like to see the bite and sting episodes. But there is a calculated reason for why we do the bite and sting episodes. It brings people to the channel. And what we hope they ultimately find at the end of the day is all the episodes we have on conservation and education.
The franchise employs six staff in Columbus, who've done projects for Animal Planet and Discovery. No critters have ever gotten hurt. While Coyote, who is self-taught, can't quite say the same.
But it's clear he's done his research in a career that's going nowhere but up. Look for him later this year in Australia and Belize.
Check out Coyote Peterson's Brave New Wilderness Channel HERE.