Dee Duren, NewsOn6.com
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma viewers can get a sneak peak of a new series starring one of their own. The first episode of "Ned Bruha, Skunk Whisperer" will be shown at 10:30 p.m. Sunday on Animal Planet.
Bruha is the owner and operator of a wildlife control company with offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. His mission is to help both property owners and the nuisance wildlife plaguing them – in a humane manner. That's the message he is hoping to get across in the new series.
"Up until now, what we've seen on television is people relocating animals with a shot to the head or with live traps," he said Sunday morning.
"This is going to be the first television series in history using solely and truly humane wildlife removal methods."
The first episode is called "It's a Baby Thang." Cameras follow Ned as he goes to evict possums from a home and a second crew who get a raccoon to move out of the suburbs. The episode will be shown again in early November.
"They are going to see something that is definitely out of the box reasoning and thinking in order to accomplish the mission at hand," Ned said of the first show.
"It's borderline incomprehensible to most people, but it worked out perfectly for the client and the animals."
Bruha, a native of Wisconsin, moved his family to Oklahoma in 1996 to study horse shoeing at the Oklahoma Farrier College in Sperry.
"I fell in love with our unique ecosystem here and all the different animals we have here," he said. "I very quickly got into humane wildlife removal."
His fame grew in part thanks to web pieces done by NewsOn6.com photojournalist Chris Howell. Two videos – raccoons living in a Pepsi machine and a skunk with its head caught in a peanut butter jar – quickly went viral (watch video above).
"Channel 6 played a large part in us getting a television show," he said. "It wouldn't have happened if Chris had not said, ‘If you ever get anything cool, fun and interesting, give me a call.'
"Two weeks later, we had it: you go to a Pepsi machine, put in a coin and get a raccoon. It was something else."
"Something else" is probably a good description of the two-year process that turned his business into a reality television show. Bruha said he could not have imagined what it would be like before experiencing it firsthand.
"I had never watched reality television," he said. "I grew up with Wild America and Mutual of Omaha. Call me naive, but I did not know what to expect.
"But, the end product is hopefully a classroom to teach the world about truly humane wildlife control."
There will be a special premiere of The Skunk Whisperer reality show at 7 p.m. November 13th at the Circle Cinema. The venue only seats 150 people, so it's first come, first serve, Bruha said. Proceeds go to benefit the Wild Heart Ranch which partners with Bruha's business.