Steve Irwin, also known as “The Crocodile Hunter”, would have been 57 less than a week ago. He died on September 4, 2006 while filming a documentary about marine life. His impact stretches all the way around the world in terms of the environment and animal life. Irwin’s television show, The Crocodile Hunter, taught all who watched about numerous kinds of animals.
Steve Irwin was born on February 22, 1962, in Victoria, Australia. His parents, Bob and Lyn Irwin, owned and operated the Australia Zoo located in Queensland, Australia. From an early age he would wrestle and play with the crocodiles in the zoo, and for his birthday one year, he received a 12-foot python from his parents as a present. His first job, in fact, was to catch crocodiles for a company he was working for. Irwin said that he caught over a hundred crocodiles, some of which found their way into the Australia Zoo.
Irwin’s show, The Crocodile Hunter, began in 1996 and used footage from his honeymoon as the focal points for the first episode of the show. Irwin would later go on numerous adventures for his other episodes. His show made people excited to learn about animals and the wild. Featured on Animal Planet, after one year on local television, and it was a major success all over the world. At the peak of the show’s popularity, over 200 countries were tuning in to watch Steve Irwin. His look, enthusiasm, and his signature catchphrase “Crikey” became known around the globe. Many people credit his style for making learning about animals and nature that much more exciting. Sadly, the show ended in 2004, but in the final episode, Irwin talks about some of his favorite moments including those with his wife Terri Irwin, who continues to carry on his educational legacy.
After the show was over, he began to make cameos on other popular animal television shows. In fact he even made a quick appearance in the film Dr. Dolittle: 2. He died while filming a story for Ocean’s Deadliest in his hometown of Queensland. He was pierced numerous times by a stingray he was observing and one of the punctures hit his heart. Irwin died later that day due to loss of bleeding. He died on September 4, 2006.
Although he is no longer with us, his moments as the crocodile hunter live on in the lives of so many around the world. His actions on television have shown people things they thought they would never see or experience. Irwin brought Australian wildlife to people all across the globe. Perhaps it is Irwin’s personality, charisma, and enthusiasm that will be missed the most. Steve Irwin is “The Crocodile Hunter.
Reporter: Myles Witte