Operation Wild

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Operation Wild TV Poster Image
Rescuing Florida wildlife makes for fairly tame reality TV.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The FWC is always attempting to protect animals, people, and Florida’s ecosystem. Those who transgress face consequences for their choices and actions.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The officers seem to genuinely care about the environment and the people and animals the're helping. Some folks lie to the officers when they’ve violated the law but are usually caught, so suffer consequences for their actions.


Trapped animals sometimes snap at or attempt to attack officers. Resuscitation efforts to save injured victims are partially visible; at least one person drowns (but the person’s face and identifying features are blurred). Arrests are made, but the show reminds viewers that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

People are occasionally accused of being intoxicated while fishing and/or operating boats.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although this law enforcement reality series follows officers from Florida’s Fisheries and Wildlife Commission as they go on patrol and rescue, remove, and relocate sometimes-dangerous animals, overall it's pretty tame. People are sometimes shown lying to officers and/or getting into heated arguments with them, and attempts to rescue drowning victims aren’t always successful, but nothing overly graphic is shown. The show frequently reminds viewers that people are innocent until proven guilty, but those who transgress the law face consequences for their actions.

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What's the story?

OPERATION WILD follows Florida’s Fisheries and Wildlife Commission officers as they rescue animals throughout the state. Cameras follow the officers as they wrestle with wild pythons, remove alligators from homes, and relocate domesticated grizzly bears. Water rescues are also featured, as are run-ins with lawbreakers (and, sometimes, victims of tragedies like drowning). Each episode poses a trivia question about Florida’s wildlife.

Is it any good?

Overall, OPERATION WILD highlights Florida’s sophisticated ecosystem and the challenges the state faces to protect it.  The show's content is pretty mild, but it still features some of the typical events associated with law enforcement reality shows -- like arguments with officers. There's also an attempt to create some extra drama with the use of ominous background music and trendy visual techniques.

Some viewers may find some of the policies discussed here a little frustrating, especially when well-intentioned citizens are reprimanded when trying to do the right thing when it comes to capturing and/or controlling wild animals. But animal lovers and environmentalists will most likely appreciate the efforts to protect the ecosystem that are being showcased here.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various ways that law enforcement is portrayed in the media. Does it tend to be mostly positive or negative? How does this show compare to others you've seen in that respect?

  • How realistic are reality shows like this one? Do you think some of the events are staged to excite and/or impress viewers? Parents: Get tips about talking to your kids about reality shows.

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

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