Oh Croc Hunter, I Hardly Knew Ye

When I awoke this morning, the first news I received was that Steve Irwin was dead. Although this certainly doesn’t affect me personally, and even in the face of all the people dying on a daily basis, this saddens me.

Steve and I loved watching the Crocodile Hunter and Croc Files. Steve Irwin was the first of a new breed of wildlife documentarian. As is the way with any great new idea, he was followed by many copycats who never seemed like anything other than cheap imitations (who was that pasty scrawny guy who chased after snake with snake tongs).

Steve Irwin was one of the reasons we went to Australia for our honeymoon. I certainly won’t say he as the only draw, but he was the sole reason we spent a few days on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

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We went to Australia Zoo hoping to see the Croc Hunter.

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We never did see him in person, but we did stalk him with the best of them. We convinced ourselves that this was his house on the grounds.

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I find it ironic that he was basically killed in a freak accident. It wasn’t one of the many typically dangerous animals he was mucking around with. He was just swimming around rays; this wasn’t supposed to be dangerous. And the odds of the sting ray’s barb piercing his heart. . .

I know some people think Steve Irwin was a freak/annoying/reckless/over-the-top, you name it. But I always took him at face value. He approached everything in his life with unbridled enthusiasm. Listening to him talk about crocodiles, or about meeting his wife, or about the birth of his daughter, he was always passionate. It saddens me that the Croc Hunter has met his end. And I feel for Terri and the kids, as well as the employees of the Australia Zoo who always seemed to be a big family.

Edit:

Just a few more things to note. Steve had mentioned seeing this, but I couldn’t find a reference to it in the articles I read yesterday, so I didn’t include it. Most of the news stories are saying Irwin was filming a segment for a new documentary called Ocean’s Deadliest. I guess that makes the story sound better? Anyway, at the time he was actually filming for a kids show he was working on.

Bad weather for the past few days had made it impossible to proceed with a planned taping for the Animal Planet channel, so Irwin instead chose Monday to shoot “a couple of soft stories for a new TV show we’re doing,” Stainton said.

“He and the underwater cameraman went out to do some pieces on the reef and coral and stuff good for the kids’ show and, unfortunately, he came out over the top of a stingray that was buried in the sand and the barb went up and hit him in the chest.”

I also think this is important to note since some people may think Irwin was screwing around with the sting ray.

Steve Irwin was videotaped pulling a poisonous stingray barb from his chest in his last moments of life, officials said Tuesday, as tributes poured in for TV’s “Crocodile Hunter.” Police said there was nothing suspicious about Irwin’s death and no evidence he provoked the animal.

Finally, I just think this is a very nice article and a more fitting tribute to Irwin than the stories detailing his death.