Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter Killed by Stingray

Thousands gathered in Irwin's home of Queensland to mourn his death

Incredibly saddened by the news that the famed Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, was killed on Monday while filming a Animal Planet special off his native Australia.

While swimming along with a group of large but non-threatening stingrays, Irwin went over the top of one particularly large one. The ray suddenly swung its tail and struck with its poisoned barb, piercing Irwin's chest and heart & killing him almost instantly. These types of deaths are very rare which is perhaps why the veteran animal handler was caught off guard. The whole incident was filmed by crew members of the special.

Irwin's outgoing personality, infectious enthusiasm for nature and colorful Aussie sayings (crikey!) made him one of the most watched personalities on cable and earned him worldwide fame and adoration in the 90's. He even starred in a movie based on his own adventures, Crocodile Hunter: The Collision Course, where he chased down crocs, poisonous snakes and other dangerous creatures of the wild. He was a big hit with kids of all ages, and with adults who enjoyed learning about nature without all the scientific lingo.

The saddest part of the story is that he leaves behind his loyal wife Terri and 2 young children, daughter Bindi, 8, and son Robert, 3. It was while Irwin was filming a special for Bindi & Animal Planet called Dangerous Creatures that the tragedy occurred.

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