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Steve Irwin: 1962-2006

September 4, 2006

Though unjustly criticized for being more P.T. Barnum than Jane Goodall, Australian Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter,” was the ultimate animal lover. His infectious enthusiasm for all God’s creatures permeated his various endeavors, from his highly popular television program to his conservation work to his Australia Zoo in Queensland.

To Irwin, the key to wildlife conservation was respect. He believed that close contact with wild animals — especially those most feared and disliked, like snakes or crocs — was the best way to educate the public about them.

Most of all, Steve Irwin (with wife Terri) brightened the lives of many, many children and adults the world over. We are saddened by the tragic death of this dear friend of the animal world.

The Times remembers Steve Irwin
Reaction from Fans around the World
Sky News: Video Report
Daughter Bindi’s Touching Tribute

4 Comments leave one →
  1. A Feline Ally permalink
    September 4, 2006 7:00 pm

    Yes, he made learning about creature we usually think of as scary as inriguing and awe-inspiring. That we should be half so brave, fearless!!

  2. Ching Face permalink
    September 5, 2006 11:56 pm

    I did not know much about him until the media following his death, but I was disturbed by the footage of him holding his newborn daughter while feeding a crocodile/alligator/large amphibian creatch-ah.

    I am certain a vulcan mind-meld with the creatch-ah would reveal that the daughter appeared to be a scooby snack. Tthe creatch-lover was a madman.

  3. Ching Face permalink
    September 6, 2006 12:06 am

    Now that guy who died while filming a documentary about grizzly bears was not a madman. I imagine he must’ve insulted this bear to provoke it into an act of violence. Just like Orange bear, most bears seem a hospitable sort.

  4. September 6, 2006 4:12 pm

    Mr. Face, that controversial incident involving Steve Irwin, his newborn son, and the 13-foot croc was a mistake, but more of a mistake in matters of perception than anything else. As with Irwin’s other stunts, the public felt there was more danger than there actually was.

    Irwin had been raised around dangerous animals as a child, so this was likely his primary motivation, as opposed to showmanship, which is the real root of the criticism. Anyway, it was still a bad idea!

    On the balance, Steve Irwin’s work revealed him as an expert, highly knowledgeable naturalist and not the “madman” his detractors have made him out to be. Timothy Treadwell, on the other hand, courted danger not so much out of empirical knowledge but a belief in a “sixth sense” relationship with the Kodiak bear. Treadwell did not take the precautionary measures that would have saved his life.

    Irwin was much more calculated in his risk-taking.

    But Orange Bear quite agrees that bears are far more hospitable than saltwater crocodiles!

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