What do these guys all have in common ? The Jackass Gene ?

Steve Irwin

Dave Salmoni

Grizzly Man

Last night on Discovery channel I watched a show called “In the Lion’s Den”, which featured a guy named Dave Salmoni who basically made the decision that he was going to get close to lions in the wild in the name of research. But really, I think what’s happening here is we are beginning to see the emergence of what I call the the “Jackass Gene”. All of the guys above most certainly have/had that gene, and 2 are dead right now.

You’d think that Johnny Knoxville and his cohorts would be the ones with the Jackass gene, but as it turns out their motives are purely about money. So much so, that they actually called it like it is by naming the show “Jackass”. They are trading thrills for money.

In the case of Steve Irwin, Dave Salmoni, and Timothy Treadwell… They they have convinced themselves that they “get it”, even though it’s pretty far from the truth. They are stubborn to the point of ignoring the people that this affects :

  • Steve Irwin’s wife and children that must live without him now.
  • Timothy Treadwell got his girlfriend mauled along with him.
  • Dave Salmoni — at least he’s not married or dragging others in danger, but he’s glamourizing this type of behavior and undoubtedly will have part in awakening this gene in people who it lies dormant in.

As I was watching “In the Lion’s Den”, I kept asking myself “Why does he need to do this ?”. I was also hoping that the lions got him, so that it could add more evidence to the existence of this self-destructive Jackass Gene.

It’s very much an ego thing going on with all of these guys. They all seem to indicate “research” was the goal, but that was just a small factor to them in reality. It’s completely obvious to 99% of the population that this behavior is really not essential to any type of research other than how long you can get away with getting as close as you can to extremely dangerous animals. It doesn’t mean that we won’t watch it for the entertainment, but calling it research is a smokescreen.

Do we intend to live alongside the with lions, sharks, gators, or bears in the wild ? Is there something wrong with the line between man and animal habitat ? In our country, you can protect your home with deadly force. In the wild, that’s the unwritten law. Once you are on their turf, you are taking a risk. So if that isn’t a goal, why do we need to research being so close to them. It’s been made abundantly clear to the non-jackass gene people that trying to make wild animals more comfortable with our presence, doesn’t equate to them not killing us in the right situation. This goal cannot be achieved, and to try and do so is actually modifying their behavior to make them more deadly in that they will have more chances to kill humans and feel a bit more comfortable in doing so.

To make it worse, in the case of Timothy Treadwell…. The Bears he was claiming to protect ended up getting killed for killing him — something that was not criminal, just instinctive.

Dave Salmoni was putting those lions in the same danger. Had the lions attacked him, they would have been gunned down to save him. And why ? The lions are just doing what they do. Respect them and don’t give them options to secure their demise for doing something instinctive.


10 Responses to What do these guys all have in common ? The Jackass Gene ?

  1. JF says:

    No. The above commentator doesn’t understand Dave Salmoni AT ALL. Why this oblique comment? It takes effort, something like that a person might use to STUDY, to understand parts of this world. Some people say you have to MEDITATE and that mediation can be hard. They are right. (although sometimes understanding is hard because it’s so easy) You have to try hard to understand sometimes. But it’s worth the rush and the wisdom that come from it.
    It’s worth making the efforts that Dave Salmoni does to show us other dimensions of these beasts, these co-earthlings.

  2. slimslaby says:

    What exactly is the goal in understanding how to be close to these lions ?

    Do we really need to learn how to sit next to them ? We could probably learn something about lions by seeing Dave Salmoni mauled, but is it really worth that ??

    If it is worth it to him, we just might find out at some point.

    What did we really learn from Steve Irwin’s death ? Did his widow and fatherless children learn something ?

    What did we really learn from Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend’s death ?

    Seriously… meditate on that.

    Lions are wild animals and should be respected. When Dave Salmoni gets eaten, that animal probably gets killed for what we know is instinctive.


  3. James says:

    Dave Salmoni is so hot!

  4. REplier says:

    WhatI think the original writer of the post is not seeing is that Dave Salmoni DOES have a purpose in doing this. He works to rehabilitate captive-born big cats so that they can be reintroduced into the wild. Salmoni is trying to understand more and more wild cat behavior, so that he is more able to rehabilitate these animals. For more info, watch his other movie called Living with Tigers. This details how Dave rehabilitated his first pair of tigers.

    • slimslaby says:

      See, you have fooled yourself just like he has.

      Does he REALLY need to go out there in a field and sit with lions to help reintroduce lions into the wild ? Are you suggesting there is no other way to accomplish that except to risk your life, and the emotions and feeling of your family ? The children in the case of Irwin.

      Does he REALLY ? Is there not another way to observe lions amongst lions to learn these things ? Put yourself in a glass cage, like I saw these other guys recently — that’s using brains and not tempting fate. The fact that you are making yourself vulnerable to being killed — is not intelligent. It’s daredevil, and it’s pride.

      Someday, he just might learn about what a “pride” of lions really is, and he’ll get killed — then those lions will be killed for killing him so they can get his body away from them— Thanks for helping them out is what I’ll say at that point. Thanks Dave… you went out there and proved how much you care.

  5. Lisa Yeager says:

    With “Into the Pride” Dave Salmoni is trying to socialize a pack of rogue lions on a wildlife reserve, where people can visit. He’s making an effort to ensure that both the animals and the people stay safe. Its an admirable goal, and he’s using the information and the show to educate people.

  6. Scott says:

    Lisa — Dave is a human. He’s not a lion.

    Humans are not meant to live together. Lions are predators.

    Let me ask you Lisa… Should Dave get attacked and killed by one of these lions, who will be the next to die ?

    The lion.

    And why ? Because he did exactly what he does naturally ?

    Information and education does not rely on Dave trying to live with a pride of lions.

    The way that people can stay safe, is to not go walk with lions. Respect them and learn without risking your life and then in turn the lion’s life.

  7. Zach says:

    I think that the writer of this article doesn’t understand ANY OF THESE MEN! Dave Salmoni is a world-class Zoologist, Animal Trainer, and Animal Behaviorist. He works with the most dangerous animals in order to be able to release them into the wild…oh yeah and he has a PASSION FOR HIS WORK! He has saved many lions and other animals in the past and will continue to save them in the future.

    Steve Irwin was perhaps one of the most amazing conservation activist out there. He was phenomenal dealing with animals. He loved animals that others couldn’t and for that he may be one of the greatest men that have ever worked with animals. Yes his death was sad, but his children and wife continue working with wildlife and conservation efforts because if Steve Irwin was still here, he would be doing the same thing.

    Timothy Treadwell’s death was a sad reminder of the reality of life. This man had such a strong commitment to the bears that he ultimately did pay the greatest price, but I think if you could ask him, he would be proud that he was able to spend so much time with the bears. It was his girlfriends choice to live among him and the bears and I commend these courageous human beings on their work.

    I don’t think any of these courageous people have the “Jackass Gene”, I think that the people that have the “Jackass Gene” are the ones who don’t respect these amazing people’s work.

  8. slimslaby says:

    I don’t think I’m missing anything here.

    Are you saying that Dave Salmoni walking with lions is needed to observe lions ?? He can observe lions without putting his life at risk. I’ve seen the big clear plastic boxes they can put out there and tape all you want. You don’t have to risk your life to observe. That’s just silly.

    That’s why they have shark cages right ?? Swimming with a great white shark might be daring, but it’s not needed. That’s just trying to justify what you are doing.

    Respect the lions. Respect the Tigers. Don’t tempt them to do what is instinctual and end up with them dead as well.

    Lions, tigers, bears that kill people — get killed. Sorry, that’s not respect.

    So go ahead and try to justify these men putting themselves in harms way for the sake of science – but in this day and age with all the technology we have, it’s just not essential to risk your life.

    Sure Irwin’s family will continue on with wildlife — cause they loved their father/husband. But his job was putting himself in potentially dangerous situations for the wow factor of his audience. Sorry, don’t try and convince me that it’s essential to learning about these animals.

    Respect the animals.

    Courageous ? yeah, whatever. It’s the jackass gene.

  9. Luciana says:

    I think what you’re missing here, is that even though you may not be agree with what these people do. You have to respect them because they give their lives for a cause they believe. To them it is worth taking the risk of dying to save animals, as amazing as lions, tigers, etc..
    What you do not understand about Dave Salmoni for example, is that it was not to prove anything scientifically. He went to help these lions, because they were being aggressive, feeling threatened by humans, and if they didn’t change tehir behaviour “Erindi reserve” was going to kick them out. Dave tried to approach as much as possible, to make them understand that humans were not a threat for them.

    Maybe for people like you, saving animals and ensuring that they have the best life possible, isn’t important … but for them it is.
    Just try to respect the fact that everyone has a different point of view in life.

    The life of these amazing creatures, it is equally important than the life of any human being.

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