The Crocodile Hunter Falls
Unfortunately, Mother Nature took Steve Irwin's life today.
Steve Irwin, known to many around the world as The Crocodile Hunter, has died today. At the age of 44, the wacky Austrailian leaves behind a wife and two young children. His work, which is primarily based on bringing the viewer so dangerously close to wild animals, finally took Steve Irwin's life. This will probably bring the curtain down on his show, which is viewed by over 200 million people every week.
Filming off the Great Barrier Reef, a stingray's harpoon-like tail pierced the Crocodile's Hunter's chest, putting a hole in Irwin's heart. He and his crew was filming a new series called "Ocean's Deadliest."
Steve Irwin is probably best known for putting his life in harm's way. From picking up deadly spiders to hunching over and placing his head near a croc's jaws, viewers would gasp every time this crazy guy did one of his stunts. To us, he had a deathwish. To Irwin, he loved giving us a close-up view of wildlife we otherwise wouldn't get to see. Many times, he missed just getting bit, chomped on, cut-up, or spat at by mere inches while yelling his trademark, "Crikey!"
His life wasn't without controversy as well. Irwin and his crew were investigated for interacting too closely with penguins and whales while filming in Antartica. And there was the time he was severlly injured by a crocodile actually biting down on his leg. Of course, there's the baby incident.
During a show at the Austrailia Zoo, Irwin held his one-month old son, Bobby, in his arms while coming within a few feet of a deadly crocidle. Outrage was global. It was very "Michael Jacksonesque."
If you paid attention to the rumormill, Irwin supposedly has died many times since 1997. In fact, rumors of his death have been circulating on the internet for years. Steve Irwin even responded to these rumors on Discovery.com's website: "I've never been bitten by a venomous snake, and I recently heard that I'd been killed. Ha ha! I've been killed by crocodiles, venomous snakes, spiders. I've even had a beetle crawl in my ear and kill me once. Nah! I'm here to tell you Steve Irwin lives!"
Stingrays are not known to be deadly animals. They do have serrated tails with venom, and only strike when provoked. The last known documented death by a stingray in Australia dates back to 1945. Early reports indicate that the sharp tail struck Irwin's chest, possibly piercing his heart.
The scientific community mourns his death, although there are probably tons of people out there that will say, "I knew it" or "He had it coming." That may be true. But you can't deny the man's contributions to wildlife. He single-handedly brought nature to the living rooms of children all over the world.
In related news, host of Animal Planet's The Jeff Corwin Experience, Jeff Corwin, has decided to not to film his series Deadly Snakes In Deadly Places, and instead will shoot a series about butterflies and ladybugs.