OT: THIS IS SAD Steve Irwin Dead!


Dec 6, 2004
Parts, Unknown
CAIRNS, Australia (AP) - Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.

Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called "Ocean's Deadliest" when he swam too close to one of the animals, which have a poisonous barb on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said.

"He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said Stainton, who was on board Irwin's boat at the time.

Crew members aboard the boat, Croc One, called emergency services in the nearest city, Cairns, and administered CPR as they rushed the boat to nearby Low Isle to meet a rescue helicopter. Medical staff pronounced Irwin dead when they arrived a short time later, Stainton said.

Irwin was famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchword "Crikey!" in his television program "Crocodile Hunter." First broadcast in Australia in 1992, the program was picked up by the Discovery network, catapulting Irwin to international celebrity.

He rode his image into a feature film, 2002's "The Crocodile Hunters: Collision Course" and developed the wildlife park that his parents opened, Australia Zoo, into a major tourist attraction.

"The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and one of the proudest dads on the planet," Stainton told reporters in Cairns. "He died doing what he loved best and left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said, 'Crocs Rule!'"

Prime Minister John Howard, who hand-picked Irwin to attend a gala barbecue to honor President Bush when he visited in 2003, said he was "shocked and distressed at Steve Irwin's sudden, untimely and freakish death."

"It's a huge loss to Australia," Howard told reporters. "He was a wonderful character. He was a passionate environmentalist. He brought joy and entertainment and excitement to millions of people."

(AP) In a file photo Steve Irwin arrives at the Penfolds Icon Gala Dinner during G'Day LA: Australia...
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Irwin, who made a trademark of hovering dangerously close to untethered crocodiles and leaping on their backs, spoke in rapid-fire bursts with a thick Australian accent and was almost never seen without his uniform of khaki shorts and shirt and heavy boots.

Wild animal expert Jack Hanna, who frequently appears on TV with his subjects, offered praise for Irwin.

"Steve was one of these guys, we thought of him as invincible," Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium, told ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday.

"The guy was incredible. His knowledge was incredible," Hanna said. "Some people that are doing this stuff are actors and that type of thing, but Steve was truly a zoologist, so to speak, a person who knew what he was doing. Yes, he did things a lot of people wouldn't do. I think he knew what he was doing."

Irwin's ebullience was infectious and Australian officials sought him out for photo opportunities and to promote Australia internationally.

(AP) In a file photo Australian Steve Irwin, of the TV show "The Crocodile Hunter," holds a nine-foot...
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His public image was dented, however, in 2004 when he caused an uproar by holding his infant son in one arm while feeding large crocodiles inside a zoo pen. Irwin claimed at the time there was no danger to the child, and authorities declined to charge Irwin with 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 against him.

Stingrays have a serrated, toxin-loaded barb, or spine, on the top of their tail. The barb, which can be up to 10 inches long, flexes if a ray is frightened. Stings usually occur to people when they step on or swim too close to a ray and can be excruciatingly painful but are rarely fatal, said University of Queensland marine neuroscientist Shaun Collin.

Collin said he suspected Irwin died because the barb pierced under his ribcage and directly into his heart.

"It was extraordinarily bad luck. It's not easy to get spined by a stingray and to be killed by one is very rare," Collin said.

News of Irwin's death spread quickly, and tributes flowed from all quarters of society.

At Australia Zoo at Beerwah, south Queensland, floral tributes were dropped at the entrance, where a huge fake crocodile gapes. Drivers honked their horns as they passed.

"Steve, from all God's creatures, thank you. Rest in peace," was written on a card with a bouquet of native flowers.

"We're all very shocked. I don't know what the zoo will do without him. He's done so much for us, the environment and it's a big loss," said Paula Kelly, a local resident and volunteer at the zoo, after dropping off a wreath at the gate.

Stainton said Irwin's American-born wife Terri, from Eugene, Ore., had been informed of his death, and had told their daughter Bindi Sue, 8, and son Bob, who will turn 3 in December.

The couple met when she went on vacation in Australia in 1991 and visited Irwin's Australia Zoo; they were married six months later. Sometimes referred to as the "Crocodile Huntress," she costarred on her husband's television show and in his 2002 movie.
i think out of all of us who gamble, he gambled the most. betting your life time after time is the ultimate gamble. that dude did some crazy sh*t. hope he rests in peace...
It was really just a matter of time. But hey, he went out doing what he loved. I feel for his wife and kids. Sad, he seemed like a good guy.
I also liked to watch Steves shows, but jeeze man if you continue to play with fire day in and day out you will sooner or later get burned really bad.

R.I.P. Steve......love ya Man ! :notworthy
I've been terribly sad all day. He had such a zest for life, animals and his family. He will be missed.
There is now video footage of his death...

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. Irwin, 44, was stabbed through the heart on Monday while snorkeling with a stingray during filming of a new TV program on Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

John Stainton, Irwin's manager who was among the crew on the reef, said the fatal blow was caught on videotape, and described viewing the footage as having the "terrible" experience of watching a friend die.

"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," Stainton told reporters in Cairns, where Irwin's body was taken for an autopsy.

Queensland state police were holding the tape as evidence for a coroner's inquiry - a standard procedure in high-profile deaths or those caused by other than natural causes.

Experts have said the stingray may have felt trapped between the cameraman and the TV star. Irwin, the popular host of "Crocodile Hunter," rose to fame by getting dangerously close to crocodiles, snakes and other beasts.

But Queensland Police Superintendent Michael Keating said there was no evidence Irwin threatened or intimidated the stingray, a normally placid species that only deploys its poisonous tail spines as a defense.

Stainton said Irwin was in his element in the Outback, but that he and Irwin had talked about the sea posing threats the star wasn't used to.

"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."

(AP) In a file photo Steve Irwin arrives at the Penfolds Icon Gala Dinner during G'Day LA: Australia...
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Parliament took a break from the business of running the country to pay tribute to Irwin, whose body was being flown home Tuesday from Cairns. No funeral plans were announced but state Premier Peter Beattie said Irwin would be afforded a state funeral if his family agreed.

Irwin's American wife Terri, Bindi and their son Bob, almost 3, returned late Monday from a trekking vacation in Tasmania to Australia Zoo, the wildlife park where the family lived at Beerwah in Queensland's southeast.

At the park, hundreds of people filed past the entrance laying floral bouquets and handwritten condolence messages. Khaki shirts - a trademark of Irwin - were laid out for people to sign.

"Mate, you made the world a better place," read one poster left at the gate. "Steve, our hero, our legend, our wildlife warrior," read another. "I thought you were immortal. How I wish that was true," said a third.

The park opened Tuesday because it was what Irwin would have wanted, said Gail Gipp, an animal health employee.

(AP) In a file photo Australian Steve Irwin, of the TV show "The Crocodile Hunter," holds a nine-foot...
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Irwin was propelled to global fame after his TV shows, in which he regularly wrestled with crocodiles and went face-to-face with poisonous snakes and other wild animals, were shown around world on the Discovery Channel.

The network announced plans for a marathon screening of Irwin's work and a wildlife fund in his name.

"Rarely has the world embraced an animal enthusiast and conservationist as they did Steve Irwin," Discovery Networks International President Dawn McCall said in a statement.

Experts differed on the number of human deaths caused by stingrays - anywhere from 3 to 17 - though they agreed that they were extremely rare.
Steve Irwin

I cried when I heard, and have been sad since yesterday after hearing the news. I really thought he was a terrific guy and I feel for his wife and family. I don't know why things like this happen, why him and not somebody else.
He still had so much more to give here, guess there are crocs in heaven. RIP
To all Aussies out there, we send our condolences. He was a national treasure.
Steve's active life and bubbly personality caught all of our attention and as a result, he was able to convey through his shows that animal life is precious and needs protection. Not only did he broaden our knowledge but he was a fierce conservationist who's efforts will have a lasting impact on the world.
When I told my son (who is 12) that he died, he didnt recognize the name but when I said "the crocidile hunter" he knew immediately who he was and was also sad about his death.

He will be missed, blessings on his family and friends.

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