September 29, 2011

About the Host: Matt Wright

Get to know the Outback Wrangler

Some people search for adventure; others are born to it.

Chopper pilot and dangerous animal expert Matthew Wright has spent his life in the great outdoors drawn to creatures that most of us would run away from. 

By the age of ten Matt had a collection of some of Australia’s most lethal animals—including three deadly King Brown snakes—living in his bedroom, and was frequently in trouble at home and at school for eagerly sharing his "pets" with his class mates and family.

As an adult his career path has seen him tackle a range of jobs that require both nerves of steel and a practical can-do attitude. Matt has spent time as an outback musterer (horse wrangler), oil rig worker, soldier in the Australian Army, crocodile egg collector and, more recently, a professional chopper pilot and instructor.

Today, Matt’s passions and unique skill set have turned into a career as a wildlife re-locator: tracking down, capturing, and transporting a diverse range of dangerous animals including crocodiles, wild buffalo and even polar bears.

The inspiration for Matt’s work comes from witnessing first-hand the horrors of large scale aerial culling of feral animals for various National Parks and Wildlife services. As a result his objective is based on the preservation of wildlife: to remove and relocate problem animals rather than kill.

Working in a specific junction between the world of the wild and the world of humans, Matt’s motto is: any animal, anywhere, anytime. He has plied his unique trade all over Australia as well as North America.

One of his latest jobs was relocating a massive male crocodile—over 18 feet long(!)—that was wreaking havoc on a remote Australian cattle station. If Matt hadn’t moved the creature, farmers would have had no choice but to kill it.

As a chopper pilot Matt is able to access areas that would otherwise be impossible to reach. As a conservationist he brings a unique practical skill set and a perspective based on hands-on experience and a genuine compassion. 

Matt works closely with scientists, wildlife management authorities, indigenous elders (traditional land owners) and cattle station owners to ensure a win/win situation for both the animals at hand as well as the humans that need his help.

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