BMEWS
 
Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Monday - September 04, 2006

Crikey!

I have often wondered if Steve Irwin was playing with a full deck. The man seemed absolutely insane to get that close to dangerous animals, from crocodiles to poisonous rattlesnakes. It seemed to me to be a matter of when, not if, he would be killed. The thing is, you just had to love the guy anyway. He always seemed to be having so much fun while playing with dangerous animals. This kind of accident was predictable but I am still saddened regardless.

Like most of his fans, I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife and family. He will be missed. In spite of the crazy antics he seemed to get into at times, Steve seemed to have a good heart and taught us a lot about animals in the wild, carrying on the tradition of Marlin Perkins and others. Yes, the animals he “played with” were dangerous but his infectious humor served to educate us about animals in the wild and make us less fearful of them. That alone was a magnificent achievement.

His death should also remind us that although we should not fear the wild critters, we need to engage them with a healthy dose of respect. Something we humans would do well to practice when dealing with the most dangerous animals of all ... each other.

Rest in peace, Steve.

imageimageCrocodile Hunter Steve Irwin Killed
CAIRNS, Australia (WASHINGTON POST) - Monday, September 4, 2006; 6:14 AM

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 bard 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.” 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.

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

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.

Steve’s Web Site: http://www.crocodilehunter.com


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 09/04/2006 at 06:13 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsCelebrities •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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