Dave almost didn’t get the chance to become a TV star with an estimated net worth of $2 million! In 1999, while he was working as a lion tamer at the Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario, Canada, Dave was attacked by a lion named Bongo during an afternoon show, with the cat clamping down on his forearm.
“With my attack, I was a trained professional, so I was getting attacked by an animal that I always knew could attack me but didn’t think it would. I thought he loved me, I loved him,” Dave told National Post in 2010. “The basics of it were he was being possessive of an article in the show that we’re doing, and soon as a lion’s possessive, they want to kill everyone around them, and I was that person.”
Dave said he tried to “work it out” with Bongo, but the lion went for his throat. “So I gave him my forearm instead, and we continued on arguing and fighting. I mean, there definitely was a point in the fight where I went from, ‘I know what’s happening, I’ve got control of the situation,’ to, ‘I don’t have control, I think I’m gonna die.’ I definitely remember it being a moment my life where I’ve felt what I would consider to be real fear.”