Animal Planet Star Dave Salmoni

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A
on January 23, 2013
Dave with Robbie the Tiger at the Bowmanville Zoo.

Is Dave Salmoni from Animal Planet married? What can you tell me about him?
—Betty Mallick, New Orleans, La.

Salmoni, 37, is single. With his work schedule, which takes him to exotic locations for months at a time, he says he finds it hard to start, much less maintain, a relationship.

“Dating is tough,” says the Canadian-born zoologist/animal trainer. “I’m gone almost the whole year, and if I meet somebody, my job is a weird discussion. People look at you like, ‘Are you for real? You’re creepy.’”

The large-predator expert has hosted several series for Animal Planet, including “Frontier Earth,” “World’s Deadliest Towns,” “Rogue Nature,” “Predator vs. Prey” and “After the Attack,” among others.

Growing up in Sarnia, Ontario, Salmoni first ventured into the Canadian bush when he was 7. It was an interest that was supported by his parents—his mother, a competitive figure skating coach, and father, a chemical engineer.

Salmoni studied zoology at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. During this time, he was also 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 near Toronto, with a focus on large-cat training. In early 2000, Salmoni was offered the opportunity to travel with two captive-bred Bengal tigers to Africa and train them how to hunt and survive in the wild, which was documented in “Living With Tigers.”

Following this, Salmoni lived among African lions for three months in an attempt to show that lions and humans can coexist; this experience was captured in the documentary “Into the Lion’s Den.”

In his spare time, Salmoni, who is the owner of the South Africa-based production company, Triosphere, likes to spend time at his family’s cottage in Ontario.