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Archive for Thursday, September 7, 2006

Irwin’s family rejects state funeral

September 7, 2006

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— "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin was an "ordinary bloke," his father said.

Bob Irwin said his son, who was killed by a stingray this week, wouldn't have wanted the fuss of a state funeral. The star's wife has also decided against the idea. She is considering a small, private ceremony in the Australian Outback and a larger event at a stadium in Brisbane.

Steve Irwin, 44, was being filmed for a new TV program as he swam with a stingray off the Great Barrier Reef on Monday when it lashed out with its tail, plunging a poisonous barb into his chest. He died within minutes.

Bob Irwin, 66, who started the Australia Zoo, the wildlife park that became a tourist attraction, said he and his son knew the risks involved in their occupation. "Both of us over the years have had some very close shaves and we both approached it the same way: We made jokes about it," he said. "That's not to say we were careless. But we treated it as part of the job. Nothing to worry about really."

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