My Perfect Adventure
You’ve probably never been to a wedding at which the best man was a bear. That’s because you didn’t score an invite to Casey Anderson’s shebang (he married actress Missi Pyle).
The bear is Brutus (pictured), who isn’t just Anderson’s best friend but also his business partner. After Anderson rescued Brutus from being euthanized as a cub (the bear is now eight years old), he founded the Montana Grizzly Encounter, a bear sanctuary where he and Brutus work together to educate visitors about the species and the challenges they face.
Anderson is better known, though, for his onscreen work. He’s the host and executive producer of two shows, America the Wild and Expedition Wild, on the Nat Geo Wild channel. He also produces and appears in many other nature documentaries, and is the author of The Story of Brutus: My Life With Brutus the Bear and the Grizzlies of North America. As a motivational speaker, his presentations are about how immersing himself in the wild has enhanced his human experience and driven his urge to protect wild places.
The fifth-generation Montanan was called “the animal magnet” as a child. Today, it’s his mission to bring wildlife into the homes and lives of all those who might not otherwise have access to it.
We contacted the naturalist to find out what else motivates him. Here, Anderson professes his love for adrenaline, shares how he recovers from an animal attack, advises that locals are always the best experts no matter where you are, and encourages parents to always nurture their children’s wild spirit.
Describe your perfect day. What would you do, who would you meet, and what would you do?
There is one planet, more than seven billion people, but so many things yet to be discovered. My perfect day would include having a once-in-a-lifetime experience, encountering something for the first time, and then being able to document and share it with those seven billion people.
If you could travel somewhere you've never been, where would you go and why?
There is a wilderness of wonder, a place that provokes childlike curiosity and simultaneously scares me. Though that single place is a perpetual void in my heart, there are many places on this planet that could fill it. I always want to go to that scary strange place, wherever it may be.
Where is the best place you have ever visited? What made it so special?
Yellowstone National Park, one of the wildest places on earth, which also happens to be in my backyard. It is full of such diversity, and is so special because everyone has the opportunity to experience it. It truly could be three natural parks in one—from the geothermal aspect, to the wildlife, to the landscape and scenery. I've spent my entire life there and am constantly encountering something new.