Millions mourn the famed Crocodile Hunter after the news he had died September 4th, 2006 in Queensland. He was filming a new underwater show and was killed by a Stingray. This was quite a bizarre death because Stingrays usually don’t attack unless provoked.
All of this was, amazingly, caught on film. “It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest), and he pulled it out and the next minute he’s gone,” director John Stainton told reporters. He died in the Queensland state city of Cairns. His body was promptly sent for an autopsy.
Stainton also said that he and Irwin had talked about the risks he was running by shooting this new show. Steve was used to the outback, that was his element, but the sea would pose new dangers. “If ever he was going to go, we always said it was going to be the ocean,” Stainton said. “On land he was agile, quick-thinking, quick-moving and the ocean puts another element there that you have no control over.”
Steve Irwin was 44 when he died. He is survived by his wife Teri (38), his eight year old daughter Bindi Sue and Bob his two year old son.
His wife was also a conservationist and was always by his side, even costarring with him in his first movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course. His daughter also enjoyed his show, and she also appeared in his movie.
“I’ve taken a few hard knocks from crocodiles and I’ve probably taken a few hundred bites, if not thousands, in my time but I’ve never been poisoned by a venomous snake. I take great pride in that,” Steve said once.
“I’ve got nerves of steel. There’s no time to be nervous in my line of work. I believe I was put on this earth as a wildlife warrior – to bring attention to wildlife habitat conservation. I’d never get my message across if I were sitting at home.”
Sadly, it seems he took one too many risks. He always wanted to be as close to the action as possible. His work wasn’t without critics. Two years ago he took his one month old son Bob to a shooting of his show and held him in one arm while feeding a crocodile with the other. Many were shocked, comparing what he had done to the infamous actions of Michael Jackson when he dangled his son Blanket from the balcony. Steve never apologized and claimed he was in control of the situation and he knew what he was doing.
There was another incident after he visited Antarctica to make a documentary. He was criticized for invading and disturbing the natural habitat of whales, seals and penguins.
Despite this, the crocodile hunter kept doing what he loved and he felt he was doing a great good to the community by exposing all these wild animals to the public. His life was dedicated to the conservation of these wild beasts. May this be a warning to those who similarly to Steve Irwin, are risking their lives every day. While wild life conservation is a very important issue, is it really worth someone’s life? The crocodile hunter came to an untimely death and left two beautiful kids. May he rest in peace.