There are people who butt out their cigarettes in gorilla-paw ashtrays, with wastepaper baskets that were once elephant feet, who have ivory ornaments… who wear cheetah fur. Don't buy these things! Then there'll be no market and the animals won't be killed.
We have domesticated livestock raised for consumption and perfectly good fake leather and fur, so why must we kill wild animals to satisfy the macabre taste of some rich person?http://www.wildlifewarriors.org.au/in_the_media/irwinsinc.html Wildlife Warriors: In the Media 2006, copy of an article from Australian Women's Weekly, August
He founded the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation, which was later renamed Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, and became an independent charity. He was described after his death by the CEO of RSPCA Queensland as a "modern-day Noah", and British naturalist David Bellamy lauded his skills as a natural historian and media performer.cite web | url = http://today.reuters.com/News/CrisesArticle.aspx?storyId=SP68982 | title = Australia stunned by death of "modern-day Noah" | accessmonthday = 4 September | accessyear = 2006 | last = Tait | first = Paul | date = 2006-09-04 | work = Reuters.com | publisher = Reuters Irwin discovered a new species of turtle that now bears his name, Elseya irwini — Irwin's Turtle — a species of turtle found on the coast of Queensland.cite web | url = http://www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/abrs/fauna/details.pl?pstrVol=REPTILIA;pstrTaxa=3312;pstrChecklistMode=1 | title = Elseya irwini | accessmonthday = 4 September | accessyear = 2006 | work = Australian Faunal Directory | publisher = Department of the Environment and Heritage, Commonwealth of Australia
He also helped to found a number of other projects, such as the International Crocodile Rescue, as well as the Lyn Irwin Memorial Fund, in memory of his mother, with proceeds going to the Iron Bark Station Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
Irwin, however, was criticised for having an unsophisticated view of conservation in Australia that seemed more linked to tourism than the problems Australia faces as a continent. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2002 that Irwin had stated:
cquote|"Here is my greatest gift to the world," he cries. "We need to stand proud of what is Australia … the greatest grazing nation on the face of the Earth! The whole joint is grazing land … and by crikey we're good at it! We should be … eating beef and lamb, not kangaroos and crocodiles. They're why tourists come to Australia. They are tourism
In response to questions of Australia's problems with overgrazing, salinity, erosion, Irwin responded: "Cows have been on our land for so long that Australia has evolved to handle those big animals." The Sydney Morning Herald concluded with the opinion that his message was confusing and amounted to "eating roos and crocs is bad for tourism, and therefore more cruel than eating other animals".cite news | first = Frank | last = Robson | author = | url = http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/09/04/1157222053963.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap3 | title = Crikey, it's raw Stevo! | work = Good Weekend | publisher = Sydney Morning Herald | date = First published April 2002, republished 2006-09-04 | accessdate = 2006-09-05
In 1992, Irwin married Terri Raines from Eugene, Oregon, United States. The pair had met a few months earlier when Raines had visited the zoo on a holiday. Said Terri at the time, "I thought there was no one like this anywhere in the world. He sounded like an environmental Tarzan, a larger-than-life superhero guy."cite web | url = http://www.who.com/who/scoop/article/0,19971,1531530,00.html | title = Reptile Romance | accessmonthday = 4 September | accessyear = 2006 | date = 2002-11-02 | work = Who Magazine | publisher = Time Inc Together they had two children: a daughter, Bindi Sue Irwin (born July 24, 1998), and a son, Robert Clarence "Bob" Irwin (born December 1, 2003). Bindi Sue is jointly named after two of Steve Irwin's favourite animals: Bindi, a saltwater crocodile, and Sui, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who died in June 2004.
Irwin was as enthusiastic about his family as he was about his work. He once described his daughter Bindi as "the reason he was put on the Earth." His wife once said, "The only thing that could ever keep him away from the animals he loves are the people he loves even more. "
Some controversy arose during a public show on January 2, 2004, when Irwin carried his one-month-old son, Bob, in his arm whilst hand-feeding a chicken carcass to Murray, a 3.8-metre (12.5-foot) saltwater crocodile. The infant was close to the crocodile, and comparisons were made in the press to Michael Jackson's dangling his son outside a German hotel window (in the attempt to present his son to the crowd of fans).cite news
| title = It's like a part of Australia has died
| author = Patrick Barkham
| url = http://www.guardian.co.uk/australia/story/0,,1865085,00.html
| publisher = Guardian Unlimited
| date = 2006-09-05
| accessdate = In addition, child welfare groups, animal rights groups, and some of Irwin's television viewers criticised his actions as irresponsible and tantamount to child abuse.cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3364733.stm |title=Inquiry into croc baby stunt |accessmonthday=4 September |accessyear=2006 ||date=2004-01-03 |work=bbc.co.uk |publisher= Despite public outcry by some in Australia and abroad, Irwin refused to apologise for the incident. Both he and his wife publicly stated that Irwin was in complete control of the situation, as he had dealt with crocodiles since he was a small child, and based on his lifetime of experience neither he nor his son were in any danger. Terri Irwin claimed their child was in no more danger than one being taught to swim. No charges were filed; according to one journalist, Irwin told officials he would not repeat the action.cite news | url = http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/04/1073151212433.html | title = Croc hunter ducks for cover | first = Claire | last = O'Rourke | publisher = Sydney Morning Herald | date = 2004-01-05 |accessdate = The incident prompted the Queensland government to change its crocodile-handling laws, banning children and untrained adults from entering crocodile enclosures.cite news |first = |last = |author = |coauthors = |title = Steve Irwin baby concerns prompt law change |url = http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Steve-Irwin-baby-concerns-prompt-law-change/2005/02/23/1109046983142.html |format = |work = |publisher = Sydney Morning Herald |pages = |page = |date = 2005-02-24 |accessdate = 2006-09-04 |language =
In June 2004, allegations were made that he disturbed wildlife (namely whales, seals and penguins) while filming a documentary, Ice Breaker, in Antarctica. The matter was subsequently closed without charges being filed.cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3896685.stm | title = Irwin cleared after Penguin Probe | publisher = BBC News | date = 2004-06-15 |accessdate =
Animal Planet released a "Crocodile Hunter" special called "Confessions of the Crocodile Hunter" which attempted to explain some of the incidents. This special argues that Irwin's son was never in danger of being eaten by the crocodile, and that Irwin was of no threat to the animals in Antarctica.
After questions arose about Irwin being paid $175,000 worth of taxpayers' money to appear in a television advertisement and his possible political ties, Irwin told ABC:
cquote|I love John Howard, and that's the way I am. So everyone thinks I'm, like, this diehard Liberal supporter. I'm not! I'm not. I'm sitting on the fence, mate; I'm a conservationist. I can't afford to be one way or the other. I just have to run straight up the middle, mate. I have to get on with whoever's in power. And to tell you the truth, the best speech that popped up in Parliament House when George Bush was here was Simon Crean. Here's a bloke who actually disagreed with Iraq, OK, so he put forward the most eloquent speech, which really boosted his profile in my eyes. By crikey, I thought, Simon did the best one there, which is fantastic. So I appreciate good work when I see it, and that's all it is.
His comments describing John Howard as the "greatest leader in the world" earned him scorn in the media.cite news | first =Miranda | last =Devine | title =Crikey! Praise for PM puts you in a snake pit | url =http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/11/08/1068243301741.html | work =The Sun-Herald | publisher =The Sydney Morning Herald | date = 9 November 2003| accessdate
Search and rescue effort in Mexico
In November 2003, Irwin was filming a documentary on sea lions off the coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula when he heard via his boat's radio that two scuba divers were reported missing in the area. Irwin and his entire crew suspended operations to aid in the search. His team's divers searched with the rescue divers, and Irwin used his vessel to patrol the waters around the island where the incident occurred, as well as using his satellite communications system to call in a rescue plane. On the second day of the search, kayakers found one of the divers, Scott Jones, perched on a narrow ledge of rocks over waters with dangerous currents. Irwin and a crewmember escorted him to Irwin's boat. Jones reported not recognising his celebrity rescuer as he had never seen Irwin on television. The other lost diver, Katie Vrooman, was found dead later the same day by a search plane not far from Jones's location.http://www.cdnn.info/safety/s031123/s031123.html CDNN: Diver remembers day her scuba buddy died in Baja by Thomas Geyer
Having grown up in Essendon, Irwin was a fan of the Essendon Bombers, an Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League.http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-2342450,00.html "Steve Irwin" The Times Online September 5 2006. URL accessed on 6 September 2006 Irwin took part in an Australian Rules football promotion in Los Angeles as part of "Australia Week" in early 2006.http://www.australia-week.com/page/AFLMatchSteveIrwinShow AFL Match, Steve Irwin Show. URL accessed on 5 September 2006 After his death, a picture of Irwin wearing a Bombers Guernsey was shown by ESPN.com in their Bottom 10 ranking of the worst Division I-A college football teams after Week 1 of the season in tribute to him.cite web | url = http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2573548 | title = The Bottom 10: Have a look at this beauty | firstname = David | lastname = Duffey | publisher = ESPN.com | date = 2006-09-06 | accessdate = 2006-09-11
Living in Queensland most of his life, Irwin was also a fan of rugby league. As a teenager he played for the Caloundra Sharks as a second-rower,http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,20383719-3102,00.html Our mate Steve. URL accessed on 12 September 2006 and as an adult he was known to be a passionate Brisbane Broncos fan and was involved with the club on several occasions. On one occasion after turning up to training he asked if he could tackle the largest player, Shane Webcke. Despite being thrown to the ground and looking like he'd been crushed he was jovial about the experience. Irwin laughingly shared the experience with the Queensland State of Origin squad before the 2006 serieshttp://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,20350166-2,00.html Tributes flow for 'true original'. URL accessed on 12 September 2006. Irwin also supported rugby union, being a fan of the national team, the Wallabies. He once wore Wallaby jersey during a demonstration at the zoo. A behind-the-scenes episode of The Crocodile Hunter showed Irwin and the crew finding a gas station in a remote part of Namibia to watch the Wallabies defeat France in the 1999 Rugby World Cup Final. Irwin was also a talented surfer. cite web | url = http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/localnews/storydisplay.cfm?storyid=3699961&thesection=localnews&thesubsection=&thesecondsubsection | title = Surfers invited to pay tribute | date = 2006-09-06 | accessdate =
Other personal information
* Irwin was born on his mother's birthday.
* Irwin was particularly interested in Singapore Zoo, which he considered a sister institution of the Australia Zoo.cite web | title = Singapore Sling! | work = International Crocodile Rescue | url = http://www.crocodilerescue.com/singapore.html | accessdate = 16 March | accessyear = 2006
* Irwin loved mixed martial arts competitions and trained with Greg Jackson in the fighting/grappling system of Gaidojutsu.http://www.jacksons.tv/mma/index.php Jackson's Gaidojutsu Self Defense www.jacksons.tv. Retrieved 7 September 2006.
* Irwin said on an interview for the Discovery Networks that he would only stop his wildlife conservation efforts when his children took hold of the operation, just as he had done with his father.
* In 2004, during an interview with Larry King, he admitted that after receiving many painful bites he had a fear of parrots.
* In 2005, in an interview for New Idea, he told the magazine he was afraid of being killed in a car crash.cite web | title = Irwin feared fast cars more than animals | url = http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=141770 | accessdate = 10 September | accessyear = 2006
* Claims that he had joined a church a short time before his death appear to be urban legend.cite news |first = Linda |last = Morris |title = Christians fed to lyings: Irwin no convert |url = http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/09/21/1158431843995.html?from=top5 |work = Sydney Morning Herald |publisher = John Fairfax Holdings
|date = 2006-09-22 |accessdate = , although Terri Irwin has stated in an interview that Irwin believed in God.cite news|title=Interview|work=Woman's Day (Australia), date=2006-10-09|publisher=Australian Consolidated
* According to Terri, Sir David Attenborough was a inspiration to Irwin. When presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award to Attenborough at the British National Television Awards on October 31, 2006 she said "If there's one person who directly inspired my husband it's the person being honoured tonight." she went on to say "(Steve's) real, true love was conservation - and the influence of tonight's recipient in preserving the natural world has been immense."cite news | title = Wildlife legend honoured | work = ITN News | publisher = ITN | date = 2006-11-01 | url = http://www.itn.co.uk/news/entertainment_6bf41e7a55ac3b005e7946fe9fb592da.html | accessdate = 2006-11-01 Sir Attenborough reciprocated with praising Irwin for introducing many to the natural world, saying "He taught them how wonderful and exciting it was, he was a born communicator."cite news | title = Terri Irwin presents award to Attenborough | work = The Australian | publisher = News.com.au | date = 2006-11-02 | url = http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20687207-5006786,00.html | accessdate = 2006-11-03
wikinewsart|Crocodile Hunter's Steve Irwin dies at
Shortly after 01:00 UTC (11:00 AEST) on September 4, 2006, Irwin was fatally pierced in the chest by a stingray spine whilst snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, at Batt Reef, which is located off the coast of Port Douglas in Queensland. Irwin was in the area filming his own documentary, to be called The Ocean's Deadliest, but weather had stalled filming. Irwin decided to take the opportunity to film some shallow water shots for a segment in the television program his daughter Bindi was hosting,cite news | title = Croc Hunter Irwin killed by stingray | publisher = THE AGE | date = 4 September 2006 | url = http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Croc-Hunter-Steve-Irwin-died-instantly/2006/09/04/1157222051588.html | accessdate = when, according to his friend and colleague, John Stainton, he swam too close to one of the stingrays. "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 the Croc One.
The events were caught on camera, and a copy of the footage was handed to the Queensland Police.cite news | first = Ian | last = Gerard | coauthors = and Koch, Tony | title = Steve Irwin's freak death filmed | url = http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20355112-601,00.html | publisher = The Australian | date = 4 September 2006 | accessdate = After reviewing the footage of the incident and speaking to the cameraman who recorded it, marine documentary filmmaker and former spearfisherman Ben Cropp speculated that the stingray "felt threatened because Steve was alongside and there was the cameraman ahead". In such a case, the stingray responds to danger by automatically flexing the serrated spine on its tail (which can measure up to 25 cm or about 10 inches in length) in an upward motion.
Cropp said Irwin had accidentally boxed in the animal. "It stopped and twisted and threw up its tail with the spike, and it caught him in the chest. It's a defensive thing. It's like being stabbed with a dirty dagger". The stinging of Irwin by the bull ray was "a one-in-a-million thing," Cropp told Time magazine. "I have swum with many rays, and I have only had one do that to me."cite web | title = Death of a Crocodile Hunter | url = http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1531446,00.html | author = Rory Callinan | publisher = Time Magazine | date = 4 September 2006 | accessdate=2006-09-04
Initially, when Irwin's colleague, John Stainton, was interviewed by CNN's Larry King late on September 4, 2006 he denied the suggestion that Irwin had pulled the spine out of his chest, or that he had seen footage of the event, insisting that the anecdote was "absolute rubbish."cite web | title = Crocodile Hunter Remembered | url = http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0609/04/acd.01.html | accessdate = 2006-09-05 The following day, when he first described the video to the media, he stated, "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". It is thought, in the absence of a coroner's report, that a combination of the toxins and the puncture wound from the spine caused Irwin to die of cardiac arrest, with most damage being inflicted by tears to arteries or other main blood vessels.cite news | title = Serrated knife-like barb, not toxins, the likely killer | url = http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2006/09/04/1157222072726.html | author = Richard Macey | date = 2006-09-05 | publisher = Sydney Morning Herald | accessdate = A similar incident in Florida a month later in which a man survived a stingray barb through the heart showed that Irwin may have caused his own death by removing the barb.cite web|last= |first=|authorlink= |coauthors= | date=2006-10-20 | url=http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/leaving-stingray-barb-in-saved-him/2006/10/20/1160851103853.html |title=Irwin might have survived: surgeon |format= |work= |pages= |publisher=Sydney Morning Herald | language= |accessdate=2006-10-20 Until the coroner's report is released, however, the precise cause of Irwin's death remains conjecture.
Crew members aboard his boat called the emergency services in the nearest city of Cairns and administered CPR as they rushed the boat to the nearby Low Islets to meet a rescue helicopter. Medical staff pronounced Irwin dead when they arrived a short time later. According to Dr. Ed O'Loughlin, who treated Irwin, "it became clear fairly soon that he had non-survivable injuries. . . . He had a penetrating injury to the left front of his chest. He had lost his pulse and wasn't breathing."cite news | title = Stingray Kills 'Crocodile Hunter' | publisher = AOL News | date = 4 September 2006 | url = http://articles.news.aol.com/entertainment/_a/stingray-kills-crocodile-hunter/20060904005509990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001 | accessdate =
Irwin's body was flown to a morgue in Cairns. His wife, Terri Irwin, was on a walking tour in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park in Tasmania at the time, and returned via a private plane from Devonport to the Sunshine Coast with their two children.
Fatalities due to stingrays are infrequent but occurrences are not collated.cite web | title = How Deadly Are Stingrays? | url = http://www.slate.com/id/2148992 | publisher = Washington Post Company | work = Slate | date = 5 September 2006 | accessdate = 2006-09-15 The attack on Irwin is believed to be the only fatality from a stingray ever captured on film.cite web | title = Stingray Deaths Rare and Agonizing | url = http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/09/04/australia.irwin.stingray.reut/index.html | publisher = Reuters | work = CNN | date = 4 September 2006 | accessdate = 2006-09-04
Speculations have surfaced which suggest the tape of Steve Irwin's death may be released for broadcast on television.cite news | title = Crocodile Hunter death to be broadcast? | publisher = Contact Music | date = 5 September 2006 | url = http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/article/crocodile%20hunter%20death%20to%20be%20broadcast_1007314 | accessdate = However, the opposite has also been stated. Irwin's friend and manager John Stainton told CNN's Larry King "The tape should be destroyed".cite news | title = Irwin's dad: 'I lost my best mate' | publisher = CNN | date = 6 September 2006 | url = http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/06/death.irwin/index.html | accessdate = 2006-09-07 Nevertheless, Irwin had commented that, if he were to be killed by an animal, he would want the incident filmed.citation However, in an ABC interview with Barbara Walters, Irwin's wife Terri said she hasn't seen the film of her husband's deadly encounter with the stingray and that it won't ever be shown on television.cite news | title = Widow: 'Croc Hunter' thought he'd die young | publisher = CNN | 27 September 2006 | url = http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/09/26/irwin.terri.ap/index.html | accessdate = 2006-09-30
News of his death prompted widespread shock. Australian Prime Minister John Howard expressed his "shock and distress" at the death, saying that "Australia has lost a wonderful and colourful son."cite news | title = Irwin brought joy to millions: PM | url = http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20350650-5006786,00.html | publisher =The Australian | date = 2006-09-04 | accessdate = 2006-09-04 Queensland Premier Peter Beattie commented in a Channel Seven television interview that Irwin "will be remembered as not just a great Queenslander, but a great Australian".cite news | url = http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20356038-29277,00.html | title = Irwin family offered state funeral | publisher = The Australian | date = 2006-09-05 | accessdate = 2006-09-04 Several Australian news websites went down because of high web traffic and for the first time the top 10 list of most viewed stories for Fairfax Digital news sites were swept by one topic.cite web | url = http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2006/09/05/1157222114384.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1 | title = Croc Hunter news consumes the web | publisher = theage.com.au | date = 2006-09-05 | accessdate= Talk-back radio experienced a high volume of callers expressing their grief.cite news | first = Richard | last = Fidler | title = Tributes flow for Steve Irwin | url = http://www.abc.net.au/brisbane/stories/s1732538.htm | publisher = 612 ABC radio | date = 2006-09-04 | accessdate = 2006-09-04
The U.S. feed of the Animal Planet cable television channel aired a special tribute to Steve Irwin that started on Monday, 4 September 2006. The tribute continued with the Animal Planet channel showing highlights of Irwin's more than 200 appearances on Discovery Networks shows.Reuters http://today.reuters.com/news/articleinvesting.aspx?view=CN&storyID=2006-09-04T213925Z_01_N04279992_RTRIDST_0_AUSTRALIA-IRWIN-MEDIA.XML&rpc=66&type=qcna "Discovery network mourns Irwin, plans tribute" The president of the Discovery Network, Billy Campbell, released a statement, saying:cite web | url = http://animal.discovery.com/fansites/crochunter/steve/pressrelease_print.html | title = Discovery Communications, Inc. Mourns the Death of TV Host and Conservationist Steve Irwin | publisher = Discovery Communications | date = 2006-09-04 | accessdate = 2006-09-08
cquote|Our entire company is deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. Steve was beloved by millions of fans and animal lovers around the world and was one of our planet's most passionate conservationists. He has graced our air since October 1996 and was essential in building Animal Planet into a global
On the evening of his death, Enough Rope re-broadcast an interview between Irwin and Andrew Denton originally broadcast in 2003. CNN showed a repeat of his interview on Larry King Live, originally recorded in 2004. The Australian federal parliament opened on September 5, 2006 with condolence speeches by both the Prime Minister John Howard and the Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley. The Seven Network aired a television memorial show as a tribute to Irwin on 5 September 2006,Seven Network http://au.news.yahoo.com/060905/23/10erm.html "Yahoo7 TV Tribute to Steve Irwin" as did the Nine Network on September 6, 2006.
Jay Leno delivered a tribute to Irwin, describing him as a great ambassador of Australia. Irwin appeared on Leno's talk show on more than ten occasions.Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/aussie-superman-brings-tears-to-us-chat-shows/2006/09/06/1157222169182.html "Aussie 'Superman' brings tears to US chat shows" There were also tributes on Live with Regis & Kelly and Barbara Walters' The View; on the former show, Kelly Ripa came close to tears with her praise of Irwin.
Hundreds of people visited Australia Zoo to pay tribute to the deceased entertainer and conservationist. The day after his death, the volume of people visiting the zoo to pay their respects affected traffic so much that police reduced the speed limit around the Glass House Mountains Road and told motorists to expect delays.cite news | url = http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200609/s1733664.htm | title = Beattie flags Steve Irwin award, national park | publisher = ABC | date = 2006-09-05 | accessdate = 2006-09-07 BBC reported on September 13, 2006 that thousands of fans have been to Australia Zoo since Irwin's death, bringing flowers, candles, stuffed animals and messages of support.cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5340906.stm| title = 'Crocoseum' tribute set for Irwin | publisher = BBC | date = 2006-09-13 | accessdate = 2006-09-13
In the weeks after his death, Irwin's conservation foundation Wildlife Warriors reported that thousands of people from around the world were offering their support via donations to the conservation group.
Dan Mathews, vice-president of animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said it was "no shock at all that Steve Irwin should die provoking a dangerous animal". He added that "Irwin made his career out of antagonising frightened wild animals, that's a very dangerous message to send to children." He also made a comparison with another well known conservationist: "If you compare him with a responsible conservationist like Jacques Cousteau, he looks like a cheap reality TV star."cite news | first = | last = AAP| title = Irwin's antics 'a danger to children' | url = http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/irwins-antics-a-danger-to-children/2006/09/13/1157826993532.html | publisher=The Age | date = 2006-09-13 | accessdate = 2006-09-13 cite news | author=Walls, Jeannette | url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14626178/ | title=PETA sheds no crocodile tears for Steve Irwin | publisher=MSNBC | The son of Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau, also a producer of wildlife documentaries, also took issue with Irwin's hands-on approach to nature television. Cousteau asserted "You don't touch nature, you just look at it." Although it "goes very well on television", Irwin's approach would "interfere with nature, jump on animals, grab them, hold them, and have this very, very spectacular, dramatic way of presenting things" which Cousteau felt is "very misleading".cite news | first= | last= | author= | url=http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/irwin-interfered-with-nature-says-cousteau/2006/09/20/1158431752163.html
| title=Irwin interfered with nature, says Cousteau | work= | publisher=Sydney Morning Herald | date=2006-09-20 | Jacques Cousteau's grandson Phillipe Cousteau, on the other hand, was working with Irwin on the "Ocean's Deadliest" project at the time of his death, and called Irwin "a remarkable individual". Describing their project, he said "I think why Steve was so excited about it that we were looking at these animals that people think of as, you know, dangerous and deadly monsters, and they're not. They all have an important place in the environment and in the world. And that was what his whole message was about." cite news | first= | last= | author= | url=http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/06/cnna.cousteau/index.html
| title=Cousteau: Irwin a 'remarkable individual' | work= | publisher=CNN | date=2006-09-06 |
In the wake of Irwin's death, at least ten stingrays were found dead and mutilated on the beaches of Queensland, prompting some speculation that the killings were done as revenge by fans of Irwin. The tails of the stingrays had been cut off. Wayne Sumpton of the state fisheries department said that fishermen who inadvertently capture stingrays sometimes cut off their tails to avoid being stung, but that the practice was "uncommon".cite news | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5338118.stm | title = Irwin fans 'in revenge attacks' | publisher = BBC | date = 2006-09-12 | accessdate = 2006-09-12 Michael Hornby, the executive director of Irwin's conservation group Wildlife Warriors, said he was concerned the rays were being hunted and killed in retaliation for the TV star's death. He said killing stingrays was "not what Steve was about."cite news | url = http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/09/12/irwin.stingrays.ap/index.html | title = Revenge theory in stingray attacks | publisher = CNN | date = 2006-09-12 | accessdate = 2006-09-12
Funeral and memorials
Queensland Premier Peter Beattie extended the offer of a state funeral to Irwin's family, an honour also agreed to by Prime Minister John Howard. The family decided that such a funeral wouldn't be appropriate. Steve Irwin's father, Bob Irwin, stated that his son would not have wanted such an honour, and would want to be remembered as an "ordinary bloke".cite news | url = http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/father-rejects-state-funeral-for-ordinary-bloke-son/2006/09/06/1157222201277.html | title = Father rejects state funeral for 'ordinary bloke' son | publisher = The Age | date = 2006-09-07 | accessdate = Beattie stated he would honour the decision of the Irwin family regarding their arrangements. Irwin was farewelled by family and friends at a private funeral service held at Caloundra on the afternoon of 9 September.cite news | first = Lou | last = Robson | title = Family says private farewell | url = http://www.news.com.au/sundaymail/story/0,23739,20383870-3102,00.html | publisher= The Sunday Mail | date = 2006-09-10 | accessdate = 2006-09-10 The naturalist was buried in a private ceremony at the zoo on the same day.cite news |title = 'Crocoseum' tribute set for Irwin | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5340906.stm | publisher= BBC | date = 2006-09-13 | accessdate = 2006-09-13
A public service was held at the 5,500-seat Animal Planet Crocoseum at Australia Zoo on Wednesday morning September 20, 2006. The service was broadcast live, commercial free, in the eastern states of Australia, by free-to-air channels Seven, Nine and the ABC in Australia, as well as live on subscription channel Sky News Australia. In addition, it was broadcast live around the world, particularly the United States, where the service was broadcast commercial free on Animal Planet, as well as to Asia and Germany. A BBC camera crew was also sent especially to Australia to cover the memorial service for the United Kingdom. It is estimated that over 300 million viewers worldwide watched the service.cite news | url = http://www.ecanadanow.com/world/2006/09/19/300-million-people-to-watch-steve-irwin-memorial/| title = 300 Million People To Watch Steve Irwin Memorial | publisher = ecanadanow.com | date = 2006-09-19 | accessdate = 2006-09-13 .
thumb|right|250px|The memorial service was held in the "Crocoseum" at [Australia Zoo]
Messages from around the world came from people including Hugh Jackman, Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe and Larry King. Costner called him a "fearless" man who was brave enough to let people see him as he was.cite news|url=http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/09/19/crocodile.hunter.service/index.html|
title= Thousands mourn 'Crocodile
Crowe said in his recorded tribute: cquote|We have lost a friend, a champion. It will take some time to adjust to
The Prime Minister John Howard made an early speech at the service, as did Irwin's father Bob and his daughter Bindi, who said:cquote|My Daddy was my hero – he was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things, but most of all he was fun.
I know that Daddy had an important job. He was working to change the world so everyone would love wildlife like he did.
He built a hospital to help animals and he bought lots of land to give animals a safe place to live.
He took me and my brother and my Mum with him all the time. We filmed together, caught crocodiles together and loved being in the bush together.
I don't want Daddy's passion to ever end. I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did.
I have the best daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it’s our turn to help
Wes Mannion and John Stainton also made speeches and David Wenham read a poem. Anthony Field from The Wiggles partly hosted the service, oftentimes sharing the screen with various animals, from koalas to elephants, and Australian music star John Williamson sang True Blue, which was Irwin's favourite song. Professor Craig Franklin of the University of Queensland told the crowd that the university was about to make Irwin an adjunct professor for his contributions to the study of crocodiles.cite news | url = http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20444641-5005961,00.html| title = Don't grieve for Irwin: Father | publisher = Herald Sun | date = 2006-09-19 | accessdate = 2006-09-13 In a symbolic finish to the service, Irwin's truck was loaded up with gear and driven out of the arena for the last time as Williamson sang.
In a final tribute, Australia Zoo staff spelled out Irwin's catchphrase "Crikey" in yellow flowers as Irwin's truck was driven from the "Crocoseum" for the last time to end the service. Flags on the Sydney Harbour Bridge flew at half mast on the day of the memorial service.
Other Australian memorials
* Several permanent memorials for Irwin have already been considered or announced. Premier Peter Beattie suggested a national park be named after Irwin or a permanent memorial might be constructed in his honour, though the details of the structure would depend on Irwin's family.
* On September 27, 2006, Premier Peter Beattie renamed a street outside Australia Zoo Steve Irwin Way, in honour of "Queensland's most well-known ambassador ever". http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=147871 Terri speaks: the pain of losing the Crocodile Hunter (Retreived 27 September 2006)
* Animal Planet will rename the garden in front of Discovery's world headquarters in Silver Spring, Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, to the "Steve Irwin Memorial Garden".
* Animal Planet is also creating the Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter Fund called the "The Crikey Fund" to "provide a way for people from across the globe to make contributions in Irwin's honor to support wildlife protection, education and conservation".
* Animal Planet also recently ran The Crocodile Hunter Diaries marathon on air to pay tribute to Irwin.
During the 2006 Halloween season, some Americans wore Steve Irwin costumes with fake bloody stingrays or barbs attached, including television personality Bill Maher cite news | url = http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3845822a12,00.html| title = Crikey! Irwin's a top Halloween costume | publisher = stuff.co.nz | date = . South Park also took a shot at Irwin's death in the episode "Hell on Earth 2006". During a Halloween party, Satan has a conversation with Irwin, who has a stingray sticking out of his chest. At first, Satan does not realize that it is Irwin and believes it is 'uncool' to dress that way because it is too soon to be making fun of his death. Finding out it is actually Irwin, Satan kicks him out of the party for not wearing a costume.
Though the program is clearly labeled to be "Mature," Terri Irwin is nonetheless said to be "...concerned her two young children will see the episode, made just two months after his death from a stingray barb..." and "...is devastated Steve is be |ing mocked in such a cruel way... 'Steve had as big a sense of humour as anyone, but this goes too far too soon.'" cite news | first= Chris | last= Taylor | url = http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news?id=24176| title = Steve Irwin's Wife 'Devastated' By South Park Lampooning | publisher = Entertainment Wise | date = John Beyer of UK TV watchdog Mediawatch said: "This is such bad taste and the makers of South Park should review their decision to show it. Steve's family are still grieving..."cite news | url = http://edition.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/27/irwin.southpark/| title = 'South Park' mocks Steve Irwin | publisher = CNN.com | date =
Comedy Central's Tony Fox has responded, saying "The South Park guys do inappropriate things all the time... Their goal is to make people laugh, not to offend people." cite news | first= Daniel | last= Melia | url = http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news?id=24190| title = Comedy Central Defend South Park's Steve Irwin Episode | publisher = Entertainment Wise | date = Additionally, another network spokesperson added that South Park "...has offended people in the past and probably will again. Regular watchers would not be shocked."
The backlash is somewhat ironic considering that the Devil is telling Irwin that his costume is offensive and that it is simply "too soon", much like the future backlash against the episode. Irwin's death would be mocked again - likely as a response to the media's anger - on two occasions in South Park
Notes and references
* Terri Irwin
* Bindi Irwin
* Wildlife Warriors
* Australia Zoo
* The Crocodile Hunter
* The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
* Ali Khan Samsudin, a Malaysian personality known as the "Snake king" who also died in 2006 from an animal attack.
* http://www.crocodilehunter.com.au/ Australia Zoo's Crocodile Hunter website
* http://animal.discovery.com/fansites/crochunter/crochunter.html Official Animal Planet website for The Crocodile Hunter
* imdb name|id=0410455|name=Steve
* tvtome person|id=124720|name=Steve
* http://www.ripsteve.com/ Online Memorial for Steve Irwin
|NAME=Irwin, Stephen Robert
|SHORT DESCRIPTION=Australian environmentalist and television personality
|DATE OF BIRTH=1962-02-22
|PLACE OF BIRTH=Essendon, Victoria, Australia
|DATE OF DEATH=2006-09-04
|PLACE OF DEATH=Batt Reef, Low Isles off Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
ru:Ирвин, Стив Роберт
uk:Ірвін Стівен Роберт