Dave Salmoni (born September 4, 1975) is a Canadian animal handler, entertainer and television producer. He has his own production company, Triosphere, which is based in South Africa and specializes in wildlife films.
Salmoni’s mother, a competitive figure skating coach, and father, a chemical engineer, fostered his love for the wild. Salmoni studied zoology at the Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, and wrote his undergraduate thesis on tracking the hibernation of Canadian black bears. Also while in university, Salmoni was certified in Chemical Immobilization of Wildlife and worked on an elk relocation project and at a deer count station for the Ministry of Natural Resources.
In 1998 Salmoni began his apprenticeship as an animal trainer at Bowmanville Zoological Park. Salmoni left Canada for South Africa in 2000 to help captive animals learn the skills they needed to be released into the wild. Dave Salmoni was attacked by one of his trained big cats named Bongo, a five hundred pound male African lion in August 1999 in Ontario, which inspired his making of After the Attack.
He has hosted and produced several television documentaries, including Living with Tigers, which describes the progress he and John Varty made as part of a controversial Bengal Tiger rewilding project, Into The Lion’s Den and Sharks: Are They Hunting Us?, both for Discovery Channel. He starred in the show Animal Face-Off as a host and expert. He currently hosts and produces the Discovery Channel show Rogue Nature , as well as After the Attack and Into the Pride on Animal Planet.
Mr. Salmoni has been heavily critized by credentialed research biologists for his theatrics in an effort to make more “entertaining” television at the expense of wild lions. His antics have drawn much concern from the scientific community including the leading big cat conservationists affiliated with notable organizations like Panthera and the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society. The sensationalism conveyed in his televised shows featuring big cats has been a source of concern. There is much sentiment that he is impeding felid conservation efforts in sub-Saharan Africa and conveys the wrong message about the human-cat interface to the viewers of Animal Planet programs in regard to safety, animal behavior, and conservation. His offers to consult zoos on animal management and behavior have not been well received due to his lack of expertise and credibility. He is regarded as a popular showman, but not as animal person.
September 4th, 1975
9 + 4 +1+9+7+5 = 35 = his life lesson = what he is here to learn = Perseverance. Defense. Guarded. Letting your guard down.