Monday, September 4, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter Falls

How many times have we seen The Crocodile Hunter cheat death?

Unfortunately, Mother Nature took Steve Irwin's life today.

Steve Irwin, known to many around the world as The Crocodile Hunter, has died today. At the age of 44, the wacky Austrailian leaves behind a wife and two young children. His work, which is primarily based on bringing the viewer so dangerously close to wild animals, finally took Steve Irwin's life. This will probably bring the curtain down on his show, which is viewed by over 200 million people every week.

Filming off the Great Barrier Reef, a stingray's harpoon-like tail pierced the Crocodile's Hunter's chest, putting a hole in Irwin's heart. He and his crew was filming a new series called "Ocean's Deadliest."

Steve Irwin is probably best known for putting his life in harm's way. From picking up deadly spiders to hunching over and placing his head near a croc's jaws, viewers would gasp every time this crazy guy did one of his stunts. To us, he had a deathwish. To Irwin, he loved giving us a close-up view of wildlife we otherwise wouldn't get to see. Many times, he missed just getting bit, chomped on, cut-up, or spat at by mere inches while yelling his trademark, "Crikey!"

His life wasn't without controversy as well. Irwin and his crew were investigated for interacting too closely with penguins and whales while filming in Antartica. And there was the time he was severlly injured by a crocodile actually biting down on his leg. Of course, there's the baby incident.

During a show at the Austrailia Zoo, Irwin held his one-month old son, Bobby, in his arms while coming within a few feet of a deadly crocidle. Outrage was global. It was very "Michael Jacksonesque."

If you paid attention to the rumormill, Irwin supposedly has died many times since 1997. In fact, rumors of his death have been circulating on the internet for years. Steve Irwin even responded to these rumors on Discovery.com's website: "I've never been bitten by a venomous snake, and I recently heard that I'd been killed. Ha ha! I've been killed by crocodiles, venomous snakes, spiders. I've even had a beetle crawl in my ear and kill me once. Nah! I'm here to tell you Steve Irwin lives!"

Stingrays are not known to be deadly animals. They do have serrated tails with venom, and only strike when provoked. The last known documented death by a stingray in Australia dates back to 1945. Early reports indicate that the sharp tail struck Irwin's chest, possibly piercing his heart.

The scientific community mourns his death, although there are probably tons of people out there that will say, "I knew it" or "He had it coming." That may be true. But you can't deny the man's contributions to wildlife. He single-handedly brought nature to the living rooms of children all over the world.

In related news, host of Animal Planet's The Jeff Corwin Experience, Jeff Corwin, has decided to not to film his series Deadly Snakes In Deadly Places, and instead will shoot a series about butterflies and ladybugs.

Crikey!


47 comments:

mojotek said...

Holy crap! This can't be real!! Irwin was one of my idols... God I hope its a hoax or publicity stunt. I can't imagine not being able to see him on television anymore.

Keshi said...

Thanks for this tribute post to Stevo. Im just too sad to even comment.

Keshi.

Jenna Howard said...

What a great tribute, Phoenix.

I'm a fan of his despite the snakes and spiders and other spooky deadly creatures and was sad to hear about this last night. Sigh.

starbender said...

Oh, I soooooo luv'd this man!
He entertained me, and will be missed.
:"(

Jim said...

I thought Jeff Corwin was that psychic??

angel, jr. said...

May he rest in peace.
His show was one of my favorites on the Discovery Channel.

Michelle said...

Great tribute :o)
My State is in mourning at the moment. Just to provide an example the damage a stingray barb can do........someone very close to me was fishing here at the beach where i live (not too far from where Steve was diving) and accidently stood on a barb. it pierced his ankle bone, lucky for him he was with a mate who had to physically carry him up the beach to call an ambulance. After 5 shots of morphine in 8hrs, and having his leg fully submerged in boiling water, he was able to go home and take regular pain killers. He was off and on work for 3 months after as the wound ruined his ankle and made it difficult to wear shoes.
That was 5 years ago, today, his ankle is disformed and occasionally gives him pain.

David Amulet said...

For all his quirks and odd baby antics, he brought conservation and natural linkages to a lot of people's attention.

-- david

Mr. Friendly said...

Everytime I am reminded of Steve, I think of the special he made about snakes in the U.S. At one point, he is in Virginia looking for Timber rattlers. He finds himself standing off trail when he hears a rattling noise.

Underneath him, between his legs, was a big one ready to have a nosh on his privates. Great television and I will miss him.

Metal Mark said...

You have to like someone who was that enthused by what he was doing. I was indeed very sad when I heard the news yesterday.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I LOVED Steve Irwin...he was my hero. When I'd heard the news, I almost cried...it was almost like losing a member of the family.

He will be greatly missed....

The Phoenix said...

Also, no one can deny his enthusiasm as many of you have pointed out.

I just remember watching his facial expressions. He looked like a little kid in a candy store. The way he contorted his face made me laugh.

There will never be another like him.

Laurie said...

That was a great write-up. I still cannot believe it... I feel so sad for his family.

:P fuzzbox said...

His work will live on. He lived his life grabbing the bull by the horns and I admire him for that.

Sherri said...

I'm going to miss his wild and crazy ways!

Crikey!

ObilonKenobi said...

I am very sad as well. Great write-up on the man. I wrote my own as well this morning which goes a long way to show how much he meant to so many people, and the animals.

Jamie Dawn said...

My hubby actually said, "Well, now Jeff Corwin's stock just went up."

The stunt Steve Irwin did with his baby was just stupid. He said he was in full control at all times and was a professional, but his death proves that even the most skilled professionals can't control the nature of wild creatures. Freak accidents do indeed happen.

I am so sad about his death. Danger was the nature of his job, but I hate that his wife and kids have lost him at such a young age. I believe he was a wonderful man who loved his family and his work.

I have enjoyed his shows over the years, especially when my kids were younger. We watched his show quite a lot then.

His terrific smile and great enthusiasm are the things I will remember most.

Jamie Dawn said...

My hubby actually said, "Well, now Jeff Corwin's stock just went up."

The stunt Steve Irwin did with his baby was just stupid. He said he was in full control at all times and was a professional, but his death proves that even the most skilled professionals can't control the nature of wild creatures. Freak accidents do indeed happen.

I am so sad about his death. Danger was the nature of his job, but I hate that his wife and kids have lost him at such a young age. I believe he was a wonderful man who loved his family and his work.

I have enjoyed his shows over the years, especially when my kids were younger. We watched his show quite a lot then.

His terrific smile and great enthusiasm are the things I will remember most.

Eve said...

ARE YOU ALL SERIOUS?!

ha ha

I'm sorry...thought the guy was a moron?!
His voice was annoying. His expressions... exhausting. And he dangled himself and BABY in front of the mouth of DANGEROUS ANIMALS?!

Surprise, Surprise he died that way?!

Dildo.

Etchen said...

Crikey, indeed...I think the ladybugs are a much better idea.

Great post on Steve--he leave behind an amzing conservation society.

grrrbear said...

Whether you like him or not, one has to admit that everyone was familiar with him. For someone who was a host of a nature show, that sort of name recognition is pretty significant. How many other hosts of nature shows can you think of off the top of your head (other than Jeff Corwin)?

I had to go back to Marlon Perkins...

OnMyWatch said...

No joke he made a name for nature shows. The only other person I know of is the trusty assistant Jim from Wild Kingdom. Crazy life, but it was probably a good one.

Grafs said...

Don't tell me corwin is wussing out...Then again, maybe he should just leave the snakes alone.

vani said...

i wanted to post about him today as well- was so sad to hear the news..the irony of it all.

and i've seen the new guy you mention too- just not the same tho...

thanx for the tribute...you speak for so many.

Phats said...

I feel really bad for his family, especially those kids! I don't watch his specials mostly because those types of things creep me out, but I was never a fan after I saw him hold his kid over a croc, just not cool.

Ben said...

A tragedy for his children who my thoughts are with right now.

His legacy will live on for the enthusiasm he gave to his career with animals.

He will be especially missed in the U.S., where he enjoyed his most avid following.

DaBich said...

RIP Steve.

Corwin? Pfffftt..can't hold a candle to Steve.

The Phoenix said...

I'll admit, I watched his show because I was just waiting for him to get bit or attacked by some wild beast.

The guy seemed to thrive on getting so damn close.

What a lot of people don't know is all the work he did for wildlife conservation. The show was a huge part of his life, but it was driven by his desire to preserve all of nature.

Swimming with stingrays is hardly dangerous. You know how many tourists do it everyear, including children?

The way Irwin died is so weird. It's almost like having a Nascar driver getting killed while driving a golf cart at the country club.

mad said...

Crocs the world over are dancing...or whatever they do to celebrate.

delmer said...

I was sad to hear of Irwin's death.

Glen Ford? Well, he was 90.

Steve Irwin was young with two children. Things like that always make me sad.

Monica said...

My family and I will miss watching him on T.v. It was just last Saturday we were watching him swim with sharks. My children loved watching him. He died doing what he loved. He will be missed!

KC said...

I heard on the news this morning that Steve's father decided against accepting the state funeral that had been offered.

I'm sad for his wife and children.

I knew who he was, but never watched a complete episode of his shows because it always made me too nervous.

RIP

O Ceallaigh said...

I did not watch Irwin. In fact, I did not even know he existed until his obits sprung up all over the Internet.

I gave up on nature shows a long time ago (along with the rest of TV).

Having become tired of the endless repetition of simplistic, contrived, and, too often, howlingly inaccurate, "nature" themes and messages. Of course, the truth would be boring.

Having become saddened that, to the average person, "nature" is reduced to mad dancers unnecessarily putting themselves in harm's way for the sake of advertising.

Trust me. Most professionals would not dream of putting themselves or their loved ones in such situations except at the direst need.

And even at that, work in nature is no video game. It's not Iraq, but still people die. And they don't leave large media-spawned nest eggs for their spouses or children either.

Johnny Carson said that We the People will pay ten times more for entertainment than for education. Irwin and his ilk have proved it. What does that say about us?

I mourn Irwin's passing, as any decent person would mourn the passing of any one of our fellow humans.

But that cannot cover my resentment that, in the eyes of those who contribute to the temple of the Great God Ratings, he has reduced my profession, and that of my colleagues in the natural sciences, to the level of the circus liontamer.

cube said...

Irwin has been dealing with such dangerous animals for so long, it's so weird that he is killed in such a fluke accident.

James said...

He always used to make me smile when he'd go into great detail on how deadly a particular snake was and how quickly it's bite could kill a human...

And then he'd chase after said snake with a stick, a smile on his face and a glint in his eye.

RIP Steve.

amber said...

Thanks for this post.

I spent many an evening with this crazy man, as he danced across the screen in my living room.

I owe him many laughs, and my children owe him thanks for thier interest in nature. He inspired me to start up my own collection of reptiles (non-lifethreatening tho).

May his young family be able to find some peace in knowing he touched so many lives across the globe.

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