By now you’ve probably heard that Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, died yesterday. He was filming a documentary with her daughter, Bindi. While working on a piece, he was stung by a stingray. The barb pierced his heart, killing him almost instantly.
I was first introduced to the Crocodile Hunter’s antics by my niece and nephew. The Discovery Channel was airing “Croc Week” and my niece and nephew were staying with me for a couple of days. They insisted that we watch. The Crocodile Hunter was one of their favorites and they were pretty good at imitating his every move. I found his approach refreshing. He was teaching kids about nature, but it wasn’t dry and boring. His enthusiasm was contagious. He made you want to be there experiencing the excitement with him. My niece and nephew (and myself!) learned alot about animals in those shows.
Irwin became a worldwide sensation. He was a leading voice in animal protection throughout the world. He fought against people who protected poachers and those who bought illegal animal products. He educated many about the plight of animals across the globe and tried to get them to see that even the fiercest predator deserved to co-exist with humans. Only Irwin could look at an aggressive crocodile and claim “Ain’t she a beauty?”
I don’t know much about Irwin’s private life, his politics, or views. I do know that he has done alot of to raise the awareness of environmental and animal issues. His presence will be missed as well as his “Crickey!”.