Steve Irwin the famous Australian naturalist, wildlife expert and television personality died today (September 4th). He was best known for the television program The Crocodile Hunter, an unconventional wildlife documentary series broadcast worldwide and co-hosted with his wife Terri. He was also owner and operator of Australia Zoo, in Beerwah, Queensland.
Shortly after 11:00 am local time on 4 September 2006, Steve Irwin was fatally pierced in the chest by a short-tail stingray barb while diving in Batt Reef (part of the Great Barrier Reef), off the coast of Port Douglas in Queensland. The events were caught on camera and the footage is now in the possession of Queensland Police. Irwin was in the area filming his own documentary, to be called The Ocean's Deadliest, but weather had stalled filming. Irwin decided to take the opportunity to film some shallow water shots for a segment in the television program his daughter Bindi was hosting, when, according to his friend and colleague John Stainton, he swam too close to one of the animals. "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.
I personally have disagreed with many of his antics such as feeding a crocodile with a one month year old boy in his arms along with some of the outragous antics he was involved with (only yesterday I watched him put an elastic band around a crocodiles mouth).
On the other hand the man was fearless and genuine who did a lot to preserve wildlife and promote environemental conservation and for that he deserves a lot of praise.
His death stunned me when I heard about it and it is no surprise to witness the outpouring of grief from many nations mainly his native Australia.