Dave Salmoni: Lions and tigers and bears, oh my...

Into the Pride’s Dave Salmoni is one of TV's coolest dudes. The Canadian hunk isn't just an animal trainer, he's a respected zoologist (he graduated in biology from Laurentian University), as well as a TV host and producer with his own South African-based production company, Triosphere. Recently, Brandon Voss at The Advocate spoke with Salmoni about showering with Africa’s fiercest lions and how gay men can’t seem to keep their paws off him. Below is an excerpt from the interview.
Brandon Voss: I actually first discovered you when Towleroad.com posted your shower video earlier this week. How conscious are you of your gay fan base?

Dave Salmoni: I’m really conscious of it, and I think it’s awesome. They’ve been a really vocal group over the years. I feel like my gay fans are the most appreciative. I get lots of e-mails from them, and they’re not shy. A young girl may say, “Hey, I really like you, you’re kinda cute,” whereas a gay guy will be like, “Hey, take your shirt off more and you’ll get better ratings.”

Brandon Voss: Do you have any gay friends in your pride?

Dave Salmoni: I have a fair number because my mother’s a figure skating coach and there’s a strong gay community there. I definitely grew up with lots of gay friends. Toronto, where I live, is a pretty open city, so my friends are a pretty healthy mix of gay and straight.


Brandon Voss: You’ve gone into a pride of lions, but have you ever been to a gay pride parade? Now, those cats can be vicious.

Dave Salmoni: Toronto just had its gay pride a few weeks ago, but unfortunately I had to miss the party. I went to one gay couple’s wedding, and their anniversary party every year is about the closest I get to the gay pride parades. But you’re right -- sometimes you’ll get the very polite gay man who wants a picture with you and says, “I think you’re cute.” And then others just grope you [laughs].

Brandon Voss: You’ve worked closely with lions and tigers. How familiar are you with the bear community?

Dave Salmoni: Well, I started off as a bear scientist. My first degree was in bear behavior. But that’s probably not the same community you’re talking about [laughs].

Read the full Advocate interview here.

Read more posts about Dave Salmoni.

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