“Rusty's way with animals, including humans, is magical.”
Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence
“Combined with a mission and messages of the future, not the past,
Rusty is a powerful spokesperson that can effect the attitudes of the public in a positive way.”
Jim Fowler, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
Rusty Johnson is the best!
Anthony Miskowski, Assistant Curator of Natural History, NJ State Museum
Rusty Johnson is the star, consulting producer, and originator of The Travel Channel's HOTEL AMAZON. He has conducted 26 expeditions into the Amazon to film, guide, and deliver malaria nets, medicine, and toys to the children of the jungle where they have nicknamed him Tarzan Santa Claus.
During these expeditions, he has survived the jungle by feeding on electric eels, piranha, grubs, and giant jungle rodents. He has contracted Malaria and subcutaneous larva migrans, (maggots under the skin) that lived in his hand for over a year. Both were cured by shamans. To kill Malaria he received countless burns by a shaman's vine and had Fer de lance viper venom inserted into the burns (photo below left) and he now literally drinks Fer de lance viper venom in his orange juice every morning for its countless health benefits.
He helped deliver a baby in a jungle hut by the light of a single candle, and purchased rainforest property which he now keeps as a scientific research preserve for universities. He was also accepted into an Amazon family where he eventually married the niece of a shaman.
Rusty has consulted for National Geographic Television's HOOKED, the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, DATELINE, and his footage of wildlife on his Amazon preserve is in Reader's Digest "Must See Places on Earth" DVD Series. He has also filmed on the island of Kauai for the documentary series Cosmic Journeys.
Rusty has appeared with his wildlife on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Today Show, and free flew a hawk on The Late Show with David Letterman 14-stories high over 49th street in New York City. Rusty has even free flew an African eagle in the ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria. He has presented over 3,000 lectures at educational institutions including Princeton University and The Explorers Club where he was one of the youngest people ever inducted into the prestigious club.
For over 25 years he has bred, captured, trained, handled, or rehabilitated an extensive number of wildlife such as cobras, vipers, giant pythons, alligators, condors, eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures, owls, tigers, and elephants. He has had an Andean condor for over 20 years, which is the largest bird of prey in the world (ten foot wingspan) and one of only 10 condors privately possessed in the U.S. He has captured Bald Eagles for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research and trained a falcon for Magician David Copperfield.
Rusty testified during a federal grand jury pertaining to an Australian animal smuggling ring and he has successfully brainstormed clandestine explosive detection techniques with animals for a post 9/11 anti-terrorism Commander. He has also interviewed the infamous satanic serial killer the Night Stalker (Richard Ramírez) in order to explore the mind of a human predator.
He is the author of a book entitled Twilight of the Wild (Foreword written by Jim Fowler of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom who he worked alongside for over 10 years). This book focuses on Rusty's adventures traveling over 3,000 miles through 5 countries in Africa while sleeping in a K-Mart pup tent, filming lions and elephants, and helping homeless AIDS orphans. The book also features his time in the West Indies while filming an active volcano. Currently he is completing a book and documentary about his 15 years of adventures in the Amazon.