Nov. 24 2010 12:00 AM

MSU student hopes to follow in idol's footsteps

Do you wanna to be like Jack Hanna? Michigan State University student Bret Muter

Muter has been selected as one of five finalists in the
"Wanna Be Like Jack Hanna Contest?," sponsored by the Columbus Zoological Park

While attending Ferris State University for his bachelors
degree in environmental biology, Muter coordinated events to bring Jack Hanna
to FSU’s campus. Ever since he has been keeping tabs on Hanna, and when Muter
read on Jungle Jack Hanna’s Facebook page about the contest he knew he should

“I feel very strongly about wildlife conservation, and I’ve
grown up watching Jack,” said Muter. “I thought I would be a good fit.”

Muter is a student at MSU pursuing his doctorate in the fisheries
and wildlife program. He applied with a video back in September about why he
wanted to be like Jack Hanna. The video outlined that he wanted to teach
people, just like Jack does, and explored Muter’s stance on conservation.

“I’m still very shocked that I was chosen as one of the
finalists,” said Muter. “Beyond words, really.”

Muter said that he is still taking it one day at a time, but
he really hopes to receive the grand prize of an all-expenses-paid, six-week
trip to South Africa to attend the Mantis Field Guide Acadamy and appear on
Jack Hanna’s "Into the Wild," which is filmed at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

“I don’t want to get too excited just yet,” said Muter. “But
I am keeping my fingers crossed.”

Voting for the grand prize winner ends Dec 3. To learn more
about the contest, visit