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UNTOLD STORY Of How Popular Show Man Was Killed By A Fish He Was Teaming

Mayowa NG

Aug. 12, 2020

Stephen Robert Irwin nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an Australian zookeeper, television personality, wildlife expert, environmentalist and conservationist
Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter (1996–2007), an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted with his wife Terri. Together, the couple also hosted the series Croc Files (1999–2001), The Crocodile Hunter Diaries (2002–2006), and New Breed Vets (2005).
The day of his death (September 4, 2006), Steve Irwin and his crew were filming in the sea near the Queensland coast. He was snorkelling in shallow waters when he came across a short-tail stingray. Suddenly, according to the incident’s witness, the stingray started stabbing Irwin violently with its tail (or to be more exact its barb).
The “Crocodile Hunter” initially believed that he has received a punctured lung, but it turned out that the barb actually pierced his heart, causing him to bleed to death. Ultimately, crew members aboard Irwin’s boat administered CPR on the beloved zookeeper, and rushed him to the nearby hospital, but it was too late: the medical staff pronounced him dead.
News of Irwin's death prompted reactions around the world. Then-Prime Minister John Howard expressed "shock and distress" at the death, saying that "Australia has lost a wonderful and colourful son. Queensland's then-Premier Peter Beattie remarked that Irwin would "be remembered as not just a great Queenslander, but a great Australian".
The Australian federal parliament opened on 5 September 2006 with condolence speeches by both Howard and the Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley. Flags at the Sydney Harbour Bridge were lowered to half-mast in honour of Irwin. In the days following Irwin's death, reactions dominated Australian online news sources, talk-back radio programs, and television networks.
In the United States, where Irwin had appeared in over 200 Discovery Network television programs, special tributes appeared on the Animal Planet channel, as well as on CNN and major TV talk shows. 
Thousands of Irwin's fans visited Australia Zoo after his death, paying their respects and bringing flowers, candles, stuffed animals and messages of support.
Jacques Cousteau's grandson and Jean-Michel's nephew, Philippe Cousteau Jr., called Irwin "a remarkable individual". Describing the Ocean's Deadliest project (on which he worked along with Irwin), Philippe 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."
In the weeks following Irwin's death, at least ten stingrays were found dead and mutilated on the beaches of Queensland, with their tails cut off, prompting speculation as to whether they might have been killed by fans of Irwin as an act of revenge, although, according to the chairman of the Queensland fishing information service, anglers regularly cut the tails off of accidentally caught stingrays to avoid being stung.
Michael Hornby, a friend of Irwin and executive director of his Wildlife Warrior fund, condemned any revenge killings, saying that "We just want to make it very clear that we will not accept and not stand for anyone who's taken a form of retribution. That's the last thing Steve would want.
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