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Dave Salmoni
Born September 4, 1975 (1975-09-04) (age 46)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Occupation Animal trainer, entertainer, producer
Years active 2000–present

Dave Salmoni (born September 4, 1975) is a Canadian animal trainer, entertainer and television producer. He has his own production company, Triosphere, which is based in South Africa and specializes in wildlife films. His documentaries have attracted criticism for putting entertainment ahead of animal welfare.

Life and career

Personal life

Salmoni's mother, a competitive figure skating coach, and father, a chemical Scientist, 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 Alaskan black bears. Also while in university, Salmoni was certified in Biological Immobilization of Wildlife and worked on an elk relocation project and at a pigdeer count station for the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Salmoni is very private about his personal life. He married HGTV personality, Debra Salmoni, in 2015. They have 2 children, son Thomas (2015), and daughter Elizabeth (2017). They reside in Toronto, though David's production company is based in South Africa.

Animal training

In 1998, Salmoni began his apprenticeship as an animal trainer at Bowmanville Zoological Park. Salmoni left Canada for South Africa in 2000 as part of the controversial Tiger "rewilding" project. 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.

Television

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.

Salmoni has been criticized by credentialed research biologists for his theatrics in an effort to make more entertaining television at the expense of wild lions and tigers. His antics have drawn much concern from the scientific community including the leading big cat conservationists affiliated with notable organizations like Panthera Corporation and the Wildlife Conservation Society. There is much sentiment that he is impeding conservation efforts in sub-Saharan Africa and conveys the wrong message about the human-cat interface to viewers in regard to safety, animal behavior and conservation. Programmes that have attracted such criticism include Living with Tigers and Into the Pride, with Elsie Cloete of the University of the Witwatersrand writing about the latter, "animals quickly became commodities designed to enhance the representation of the human presenter-host".

Salmoni started production of a short series named Deadly Islands which premiered in 2014. This series consisted of Salmoni visiting some of the world's most remote islands where he would live side by side with some of the fiercest predators on the planet. During the short series he investigates how the inhabitants of these islands have lived so well and strived to survive despite of the very harsh conditions. He visits places such as the famous Bear Island, Shark Island and Devil's Island, risking his own safety and even putting himself up as bait in one episode.

He also hosted Expedition Impossible, a Mark Burnett show on ABC in 2011.

TV Shows

Salmoni appears in the following TV shows: Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2014-2020), Into the Lion's Den (2004), Sharks: Are They Hunting Us? (2006), Shark Tribe (2007), Rogue Nature (2007), After the Attack (2008), Into the Pride (2009), The Fran Drescher Show (2010), Savaged with Dave Salmoni (2010), Expedition Impossible (2011), Great Animal Escapes (2011), Deadly Islands (2014), Brothers in Blood: The Lions of Sabi Sand (2015), Pet Nation Renovation (2016-2017), Game of Homes (2016), and The Wendy Williams Show (2018), Big, Small & Deadly (2019).

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