Casey Anderson (naturalist)

Casey Anderson is an American filmmaker, wildlife naturalist, television host, animal trainer and actor who is best known as the host and executive producer of the Nat Geo WILD channel television series, Expedition Wild and America the Wild with Casey Anderson, and for being the trainer and "best friend" of Brutus the Bear, a grizzly bear that he adopted as a newborn cub.[1] Brutus, trained by Anderson, has appeared in many films, documentaries, television commercials, and live educational shows across the United States.

Casey Anderson
Casey Anderson in 2013
Alma materMontana State University
(m. 2008; div. 2012)

Stephanie Gazda
(m. 2016)
ShowExpedition Wild
NetworkNational Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, and syndication
ShowAmerica the Wild with Casey Anderson
NetworkNat Geo WILD

Early lifeEdit

Casey Anderson was born and raised in East Helena, Montana. He is a fifth-generation Montanan and was interested in animals from an early age.[2][3] He graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, in 1995 with a degree in wildlife biology.[4]

After college, Anderson worked for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks as a wildlife rehabilitation technician, and for several privately owned wildlife parks as an animal keeper and trainer.[4] In 2002, he adopted an orphaned grizzly bear cub, Brutus, from an overcrowded wildlife park named Yellowstone Bear World[5] where the cub was destined to spend his life in the park; the bear lived in a sanctuary Anderson built just for him near Anderson's home, until February 2021 when he died at 19 years old.[6] This led to Anderson's future career as trainer to Brutus and co-owner of Montana Grizzly Encounter.[3]


Brutus the Bear and Montana Grizzly EncounterEdit

Anderson is the founder, director and co-owner of Montana Grizzly Encounter Rescue and Educational Sanctuary in Bozeman, Montana.[2] Anderson founded the sanctuary in 2004 as a place to raise Brutus, rehabilitate grizzlies rescued from bad captivity situations,[7] and aid in the study of grizzlies. Brutus lived at the sanctuary, along with several other grizzlies.[8]

Anderson served as handler and trainer for Brutus, who has appeared in a number of television commercials, documentaries, and films. Anderson wrote a book, The Story of Brutus: My Life With Brutus the Bear and the Grizzlies of North America (Pegasus Books, 2010), about his relationship with Brutus, the founding of the Montana Grizzly Encounter sanctuary, and his observations about life in the wild and the preservation of bears.

Television host and producerEdit

Anderson has been involved in film and television production since the 1990s. He worked as an actor, crew member, animal trainer/wrangler, and/or consultant for several programs produced by syndication company Associated Television International (ATI), including leading two expeditions to Botswana's Okavango Delta for the ATI series Untamed!.[4][9]

In 2006, Anderson starred along with his bear Brutus in "Expedition Grizzly," an episode of the documentary series Wild for National Geographic Channel. The episode, for which Anderson was also associate producer, focused on his relationship with Brutus and a year-long project they undertook to observe and understand the habits of wild grizzly bears living in Yellowstone National Park. He subsequently became the regular host and producer for the long-running wildlife documentary series Expedition Wild, which has covered many different animals including mountain lions, wolves, wolverines, and several species of bears. Some episodes have also focused on the wildlife of particular areas such as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Originally airing on the National Geographic Channel and later on its sister station Nat Geo WILD, Expedition Wild has been widely syndicated, including on ABC as part of Litton's Weekend Adventure, on The CW, and online via Hulu.

In 2013, Anderson became the executive producer and host of a new Nat Geo WILD documentary series, America the Wild with Casey Anderson, which featured Anderson traveling across North America, focusing on the particular wildlife and ecosystems of different regions. Episodes of America the Wild have also aired in syndication under the Expedition Wild title.

Anderson was formerly an executive producer and host at Grizzly Creek Films, the production company that was responsible for creating the series Expedition Wild and America the Wild.[10] As of July 2015, Anderson is currently an executive producer and part owner of VisionHawk Films, a new Montana-based film production company specializing in epic Natural World History filmmaking.[11]

Other television workEdit

Anderson frequently appears as himself on reality television shows, particularly those involving nature and animals. He was a featured survival expert on the Discovery Channel reality show Dude, You're Screwed,[12] and guest starred (with his then-wife Missi Pyle) on a 2010 episode of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan on the Nat Geo Channel. He has been a recurring guest on talk shows including Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Conan, Fox & Friends, and Good Morning America, presenting a variety of animals including bears, baby coyotes, a wolf, a bobcat[13] and a Eurasian eagle-owl.

In 2013, Anderson appeared on two episodes of the reality show Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life as "Casey", a "bearman" who was Kesha's possible new romantic interest. The second episode ended with the couple deciding not to pursue a relationship.[14]

In 2018, Anderson appeared with Josh Gates on Gate's show "Expedition Unknown: Hunt for the Yeti". They traveled together via helicopter to the area in Butaan where Anderson had pictures of Yeti trackings. No actual Yeti was observed, however, a footprint was documented and other peripheral evidence was observed.

Anderson has also occasionally worked as an animal wrangler and as a stunt double for scenes involving bears. He served as animal wrangler, trainer and consultant for 10 episodes of the ATI series Safari.[4]

Feature filmsEdit

Anderson and Brutus both made their feature film acting debuts in the independent film Iron Ridge (2008), a wilderness rescue drama filmed location in Montana using an all-Montana cast and crew and financed by Montanans. Anderson played a hunter from the city who travels, with a friend, deep into the backcountry of Montana, while Brutus played a bloodthirsty grizzly bear encountered by one of the hunters in the wild.[15][16][17] Although Anderson played a supporting role, he and Brutus were prominently featured in the advertising for the film.[18][19]

Personal lifeEdit

Anderson married Stephanie Gazda in August 2016.[20] The couple live in Paradise Valley, Montana with their two daughters.[21]

Anderson was previously married to actress Missi Pyle from 2008 to 2011. They met in 2007 during the making of the film Pretty Ugly People (2008), in which Pyle starred, Brutus had a small role, and Anderson worked as animal trainer. Brutus the Bear was best man at their wedding, which was held in September 2008 at Holland Lake Lodge in Montana where the couple had met.[22][23][24] In 2013, Pyle confirmed in an interview that the couple had broken up.[25]



Year Title Role Notes
2008 Iron Ridge Jake Munro


Year Title Episode Episode Title Role Notes
2006 Wild Season 1 "Expedition Grizzly" Himself With Brutus the Bear
2010–2014 Expedition Wild Seasons 1-4 Multiple episodes Himself (host) Some episodes also feature Brutus the Bear
2010 Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan Season 7, episode 3 "Ellie and J.J. and Oscar"
(alternate title: "Grizzly Dogs")
Himself (guest) With Missi Pyle
2013-2015 America the Wild With Casey Anderson Seasons 1-2 Multiple episodes Himself (host)
2013 Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life Season 2, episode 7
Season 2, episode 8
"Meet the Fam"
Himself (as "Casey")
2014-2015 Dude, You're Screwed Season 2 Multiple episodes Himself (cast member)
2017 The Grand Tour Series 2 Episode 3 Himself (Guest)
With Hugh Bonneville
2018 Monster Encounters Season 1 Himself (Host)


  1. ^ "Meet Casey Anderson - and his best friend, an 800-pound bear". LA Times. 2009-05-03. Retrieved 2015-05-10.
  2. ^ a b "Casey Anderson: Naturalist — Grizzly Guy" (official Casey Anderson website). Archived May 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Accessed May 10, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Gleason, Meg (March 8, 2012). "Get to Know Casey Anderson". National Geographic. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d Casey Anderson Resume,, accessed May 10, 2015. Archived 2015-03-01 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Alex (2021-05-16). "Bear World Cubs: Take a Tour of 100+ Missing Bears". ScholarDay. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  6. ^ "Montana Grizzly Encounter on Facebook". Facebook. Archived from the original on 2022-04-27.[user-generated source]
  7. ^ Therriault, Ednor. Montana Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities, and Other Offbeat Stuff. Morris Book Pub., 2010, p. 198. ISBN 978-0-7627-4302-5.
  8. ^ Montana Grizzly Encounter website., accessed May 11, 2015.
  9. ^ National Geographic Events: Speakers Bureau - Casey Anderson, Naturalist, TV Host. Accessed May 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "Grizzly Creek Films: Meet the Crew - Casey Anderson" (official website),, archived at Feb. 12, 2015. Accessed July 1, 2015.
  11. ^ "VisionHawk - Our Team - Casey Anderson Executive Producer" (official website). Archived July 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Accessed June 30, 2015.
  12. ^ Nededog, Jethro. "Discovery Survival Series 'Dude, You're Screwed' to Return in October with 3 New Dudes (Exclusive).", Oct. 10, 2014, accessed May 20, 2015.
  13. ^ Ganzert, Robin, and Allen and Linda Anderson. Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes With Your Favorite Animal Actors. New World Library, 2014, p. 240. ISBN 978-1-60868-264-5.
  14. ^ Donnelly, Matthew Scott, "'Crazy Beautiful' House Rules: New Boyfriends Must Be Approved By The Family Tribunal", MTV Shows Blog,, Dec. 18, 2013, accessed May 15, 2015.
  15. ^ "Feature Film 'Iron Ridge'" (official website)., accessed May 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Franz, Zachary. "Hundreds of People, Plus One Bear, Attend 'Iron Ridge' Premiere."[permanent dead link] Great Falls (Montana) Tribune, Mar. 28, 2008, accessed May 11, 2015.
  17. ^ "Cool Montana Stories: Iron Ridge.", accessed May 11, 2015.
  18. ^ Montana Film Office, "Montana Filmography: 2006" (gallery of movie posters showing original "Iron Ridge" poster)., accessed May 11, 2015.
  19. ^ "Iron Ridge" DVD (item page showing image of DVD packaging)., accessed May 11, 2015.
  20. ^ McIntyre, Bruce, "Casey's Ministry",, June 4, 2015, archived at, July 2, 2015. Accessed July 2, 2015.
  21. ^ Anderson, Casey, photograph and post on official Casey Anderson personal Facebook page,, April 26, 2015, archived at July 2, 2015. Accessed July 2, 2015.
  22. ^ Tate & Brunson, Pretty Ugly People Recent News: Missi Pyle & Casey Anderson Marry at Holland Lake.", uploaded Sept. 16, 2008, accessed May 11, 2015.
  23. ^ "Weddin' on the Prairie.", Sept. 9, 2008, archived at Oct. 6, 2011. Accessed May 11, 2015.
  24. ^ Cohn, Jessica. Time For Kids: Wild Work! Animal Trainers. Teacher Created Materials, 2013, p. 24. ISBN 978-1-4333-4942-3.
  25. ^ Sokol, Robert. "Missi Pyle Rides Life's Curves to Cabaret Act in The City." San Francisco Examiner, Aug. 6, 2013, accessed May 10, 2015.

External linksEdit