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Posted on Sep 10, 2015 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Dave Salmoni

Dave Salmoni

Dave Salmoni Self Described Lion Man Harassing and Endangers Lions

Watching lions as nature intended – from the safety of a vehicle
(Photo Courtesy of Panthera)

By Dr. Luke Hunter, Executive Director of Panthera

This week, Animal Planet kicked off the latest offering from likable Steve Irwin-wannabe Dave Salmoni. “Into The Pride” follows Salmoni as he attempts to prove that humans can live in harmony with wild lions. To do so, Dave scoots around the Namibian bush on a quad-bike looking for a close encounter with the big cats. You might think a 4-wheeler doesn’t offer much protection but, provided they’re not hunted or persecuted, lions quickly get used to vehicles. A vehicle acts just like a mobile hide which is why millions of people a year are able to enjoy extraordinary experiences watching wild lions from the safety of their safari jeeps and mini-vans in Africa’s great game parks. It even works with ATVs which disrupt the human silhouette sufficiently that Salmoni is on fairly safe ground — so long as he keeps his distance and stays on the bike. The problem is, that’s not daring enough for Dangerous Dave. When he finds the lions, he dismounts and, armed only with his shepherd’s cane, he walks up to them.

Understandably and predictably, the lions get pissed off. In one sequence from the series, Salmoni pulls this stunt with a lioness called Cleo, resting with the pride’s cubs and a gemsbok kill. Now, if someone asked me, how would I go out of my way to really aggravate a lioness, I’d tell them “threaten her when she is protecting her cubs. Or a carcass. Or, if you were an utterly self-absorbed ignoramus, both.” Cleo does what a million years of evolution have engineered her to do when faced with potential danger to her cubs — she charges. Dave shrieks a bit, high-tails it back to the ATV and scolds Cleo for her “inappropriate behavior.” Of course, it’s actually wholly appropriate — any wild lioness so gratuitously provoked is apt to do the same. Once he’s back on the bike, Cleo relaxes a little and backs off. Predictably, that only encourages this bushveld buffoon to try his luck again, and, again, Cleo comes like a tawny missile. She is upset, frightened and angry — all thanks to Salmoni who is determined to show us that, as he recently toldPeople magazine, he was ‘tougher than they were’.

What self-indulgent baloney. Salmoni repeatedly tells us his antics are necessary because these are aggressive problem lions that must be habituated for eco-tourism or they will be destroyed. That would be reasonable if he stayed with his vehicle, just as tourists, researchers, scientists, guides and park rangers do every day across Africa. None of these folks wander up to lions hoping to get cozy (well, occasionally they do but the ending usually isn’t pretty). If Salmoni was honest and respectful about habituating lions for tourists, he’d get them used to vehicles — it’s safer for both human and lion, and it wouldn’t provoke the same distressed fury from Cleo. Ironically, most of the first episode is taken up with encounter after encounter between Dave and his film crew watching lions from their Land Rovers. The tactic yields beautiful vision of lions being lions — Salmoni’s team cops a few baleful looks and one frustrated rev from Cleo when Dave drives too close, but nothing serious. But of course that doesn’t make good enough television so Salmoni makes sure he says ‘these lions hate vehicles’ a lot even after we’ve just watched shots of the cats doing little more than keeping a reasonable distance. And let’s not forget, Dave reassures us this is all in the name of “conservation” so it’s fine to crank Cleo’s stress off the charts.

And to what end? Even if Cleo eventually tires of charging this clown, all he’s achieved is to put her life more at risk. Lions co-evolved with our kind in Africa and generally do their best to avoid us. When wild lions see a person coming, they know enough to either disappear or give fair warning. Walking in the African bush, I’ve been the recipient of their low warning rumble a few times, like the sound of a tractor-trailer changing down gears. Lions tell people when it’s a good time to change direction because they want to avoid conflict. Episode 1 shows a textbook case from one of the males, Brutus, on Dave’s inaugural walk-in (niftily re-interpreted by our hero as the first step in Brutus’ ‘training’. Sheesh). Salmoni repeatedly forces these conflicts onto Cleo and her family in his puerile quest to show us who’s boss. If he succeeds, Cleo is actually a great deal more dangerous. Conditioned out of her natural, sensible instinct to keep people at a safe distance, her normal flight circle becomes perilously small. Someone — perhaps a lion-loving tourist who has seen the show — only need blunder into her and, faced with a perceived hazard at too-close-for-comfort range, she attacks. If it happens, the predictable outcome is that Cleo gets a bullet. Good work Dave.

The greatest shame of this made-for-TV nonsense is that it obscures the authentic and far more meaningful conservation efforts undertaken by thousands of passionate, anonymous professionals working in Africa today. They will never get the recognition that Salmoni craves and they certainly will never see anything like his pay check. But they are the reason that lions and the wild places they need will persist. Salmoni isn’t.

About the Author…

Dr. Luke Hunter is the Executive Director at Panthera, the leading global nonprofit organization devoted to saving the world’s wild cat species from the diminutive black-footed cat of southern Africa to the massive tiger of Asia. Hunter has conducted fieldwork on large cats in Africa since 1992. His current projects include assessing the effects of sport hunting and illegal persecution on leopards outside protected areas, developing a conservation strategy for lions across their African range, and the first intensive study of Persian leopards and the last surviving Asiatic cheetahs in Iran.

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Posted on Feb 21, 2013 in Abuse, Browse by Name | 0 comments

Lions Tigers and Bears Arcadia FL

Lions Tigers and Bears Arcadia FL

Lions, Tigers and Bears, Inc. in Arcadia, FL is NOT

Lions, Tigers and Bears in California


The one in California is an accredited sanctuary.  The one in Arcadia, which drags big cats out to fairs, flea markets and parking lots,  appears to be using the same name to ride on the good will and coat tails of the good sanctuary.

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These photos are the way Lions, Tigers and Bears, Inc. in Arcadia, FL treats their animals.  Let the Florida Wildlife Commission know that they should not allow this kind of activity.

The following photos were taken at the Shark Festival in Venice, FL on April 13, 2013.  Note the rotting floor boards of this trailer that is hauled behind the van with no secondary barrier while in transport.

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Posted on Dec 29, 2012 in Browse by Name | 0 comments

Claws N Paws Wild Animal Park PA

Despite flagrant violations of the Animal Welfare Act, USDA rarely cites facilities, so when a facility is cited in almost every inspection report, it is an indicator of a much bigger problem.  USDA usually only checks on a facility once a year, with an hour or so walk around for bigger facilities.  Claws N Paws has been inspected many times in 2012 which would seem to indicate many complaints or a concern by the inspectors.


Animals standing in mud

Unsafe cages

Inadequate veterinary care

Gaps in lion cages

Dilapidated cages

Gaps in tiger cages

Bengal tiger is gone now who was mentioned in previous complaint  Did this cub die?  Find out.

Bengal tiger cub unvaccinated, inadequate vet records, leopards missing hair, overcrowding

Sharp edges endangering animals, fences coming apart, standing mud

Perimeter fence falling down

Inadequate veterinary oversight of animal illnesses

Coyotees escaped due to dilapidated caging


Between June 2010 and Dec 2012 Claws N Paws was inspected 13 times and found lacking during 12 of those inspections.


Census as of 2012



One World Conservation


A petition has been started to close Paws N Claws here:

We, the undersigned, respectfully support One World Conservation in calling for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Eastern Division to revoke the license registered to Claws ‘n’ Paws Wild Animal Park Inc., license number 23-C-0013, located at 1475 Ledgedale Rd., Lake Ariel, PA, 18436, in Wayne County. Our request is based on the following:


1. Claws ‘n’ Paws has repeatedly been cited for failure to meet the standards set by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

2. From August 10, 2004, to the present, Claws ‘n’ Paws has been cited for 52 violations of the AWA.

3. One of the warning violations, from 2009, was for the escape of two coyotes.

4. One direct violation, meaning the animal’s life is at stake, from 2011, was for lack of veterinary care.

5. For the year and a half that One World Conservation has been observing the facility, there have been 14 citations.

6. In a seven year period, there have been a total of 12 citations for failure to provide adequate vet care.

7. Many citations are repeats that have failed to be addressed.

8. In 2011, the facility failed to provide a male tiger cub with veterinary care and failed to give the cub inoculations, as required by law, both for his own safety and that of the public.

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Posted on Oct 15, 2011 in News Feed | 0 comments

Lion Cubs Born Into Caged Life at Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo

Lion Cubs Born Into Caged Life at Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo

There are two new additions at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo.

Cooey, a female lion on loan from Ontario, gave birth to one male and one female cub on September 24th.

“We are thrilled to have lion cubs born at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm and Zoo,” said John Moran, manager of the Zoo.

The cubs are doing well, gaining weight and being raised by their mother under the observation of staff.

Those wanting to see the cubs in person will have to wait until the spring of 2012.

“It’s important to allow the cubs to grow and mature before exposing them to the outdoor exhibit,” said Moran.

The Zoo will provide regular updates on the progress of the cubs throughout the fall and winter.

Read it on Global News: Lion cubs born at Saskatoon’s Forestry Farm Park and Zoo

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