Archive for Monday, September 4, 2006

Reports: Australia’s ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin killed

September 4, 2006

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— Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and environmentalist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray during a diving expedition, Australian media said. He was 44.

Irwin was filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef in northeastern Queensland state when the accident occurred, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on its Web site.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said Irwin was diving near Low Isles Reef near the resort town of Port Douglas, about 1,260 miles north of the state capital of Brisbane.

Queensland ambulance service spokesman Bob Hamil confirmed that a diver had been killed by a stingray off Lowe Isles Reef but refused to say who the victim was until relatives had been notified.

A rescue helicopter was sent from the nearby city of Cairns, and paramedics from it confirmed the diver's death.

"The probable cause of death is stingray strike to the chest," Hamil said.

Staff at Australia Zoo, Irwin's zoo in southern Queensland, said they had heard the reports but could not comment.

Irwin is famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry "Crikey!" in his television program "Crocodile Hunter," which was first broadcast in Australia in 1992 and has aired around the world on the Discovery channel.

He rode his image into a feature film, and developed the Australia Zoo as a tourist attraction.

Irwin had received some negative publicity in recent years. In January 2004, he stunned onlookers at the Australia Zoo reptile park by carrying his 1-year-old son into a crocodile pen during a wildlife show. He tucked the infant under one arm while tossing the 13-foot reptile a piece of meat with the other.

Authorities declined to charge Irwin for violating safety regulations.

Later that year, he was accused of getting too close to penguins, a seal and humpback whales in Antarctica while making a documentary. Irwin denied any wrongdoing, and an Australian Environment Department investigation recommended no action be taken.

Irwin was also seen as a vocal critic of wildlife hunts in Australia. The federal government recently dropped plans to allow crocodile safaris for wealthy tourists in the Northern Territory following his vehement objections.

Irwin told the Australian television program "A Current Affair" that "killing one of our beautiful animals in the name of trophy hunting will have a very negative impact on tourism, which scares the living daylights out of me."

He is survived by his American wife Terri, from Oregon, and their daughter Bindi Sue, 8, and son Bob, who will turn 3 in December.

Comments

Celeste Plitz 8 years, 11 months ago

I was completely shocked when my husband let me know that the Crocodile Hunter was dead. It was almost like losing a friend-my children loved his show, and I have to admit I did too. I can't even imagine what his poor wife and children are going through right now, but I do know my prayers are with them.

RIP Steve Irwin.

Oddball 8 years, 11 months ago

Amen. You will be enormously missed. May God bless your family.

Nikki May 8 years, 11 months ago

I've never been a fan, but it's still sad for his family. And just plain weird.

Shardwurm 8 years, 11 months ago

Sorry to see him go so young...but then his line of work wasn't exactly the safest.

mom_of_three 8 years, 11 months ago

He was filming a segment for a show he shares with his daughter, and the sting ray was buried in the sand.

It was a tragic accident. My kids used to enjoy his show.

LJWJohn 8 years, 11 months ago

OldEnuf2BYurDad....... Have some respect!!! My God!!!!! However it was meant, it was out of line.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 11 months ago

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lunacydetector 8 years, 11 months ago

he always did something with a dangerous creature that kept the viewing audience on the edge of their seats, that's what made him so popular.

he was an asset to the tourist industry of australia and created an empire of his own. i feel sorry for his young children.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 11 months ago

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Tychoman 8 years, 11 months ago

He did what other wildlife activists were afraid to do: get up close and personal to the animals. It wasn't just his show, he made the animals the stars of his show. He was just a cohost.

This sucks for all of Australia.

Bobbi Walls 8 years, 11 months ago

My kids and nephews are really upset, they loved him, and we did too..Our prayers are with his family.

charliebear1977 8 years, 11 months ago

This loss was a complete shock to my family, we loved watching him and Terri with the animals. He was excellent at what he did. To see him do what we would never dream of trying was just great. This is a great loss. His family is in our thoughts at this sad time. We will miss seeing him on tv doing what he loved and was raised to do.

Rob Gillaspie 8 years, 11 months ago

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Michael Birch 8 years, 11 months ago

I am truly heartbroken! I am man! I

mean this man was the Crocodile

Hunter! Killed by a stingray! I've

never heard of anyone being killed by a

stingray before! WTF!

Happy Labor Day! DHD

Scott Drummond 8 years, 11 months ago

Let me share in the comments of many others and say again that this is a sad and tremendous loss. This guy was more than just a huckster for Aussie tourism, he was an advocate for the all of the natural world in a day and age in which there are fewer and fewer individuals of such understanding and honor. Prayers should be offered for his family, of course, but take a moment to think what an educator and ambassador to the natural world each of us has also lost. The world was a much better place with him in it yesterday, who among us will pick up where he left off?!?

"Oh, mama always told me not to look into the sights of the sun, But,mama, that's where the fun is........."

hottruckinmama 8 years, 11 months ago

i couldn't believe it when i heard the news this morning. its an awful loss for his family and for everyone that watched and enjoyed his show.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 11 months ago

I guess he died as he lived. I always thought that he was too "friendly" with wild animals, to the point of manhandling and harrassing them. Similar to the "Grizzly Man".

What better way for a man like Irwin to die? A sting ray barb to the heart. Ya mess with the bull, ya get the horns...

Godot 8 years, 11 months ago

He played the odds, and it caught up with him. He lived a life that knew no fear.

conserv26 8 years, 11 months ago

Feels like I lost a really good friend today :o( My buddies and I watched "Crazy Steve", as we lovingly called him, throughout college and after. He was an amazingly wild man, a unique character, and so full of life. He did push the limits but I always had the feeling that he knew how far he could go, and he did have a special connection with the animals he worked with. With all the crap going down in the world today it is even more sad to lose such a unique individual to such a freaky accident at such a young age. Love him or not, he was an iconic figure of our time and will be missed dearly. God bless you Steve and your family.

kcwarpony 8 years, 11 months ago

Steve Irwin was one of a kind, a great conservationist who was passionate about his work. I've never been fond of snakes but since watching his shows, I no longer feel the need to kill them on site. It's amazing the way he could reach out through the television from Australia and make someone in Kansas think differently about snakes.

Job well done, Steve.

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