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Fans Blamed For Stingray Deaths In News Headlines, PETA Jumps To Bash Irwin

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It's been widely reported the last day or so that at least ten stingrays have been found dead and mutilated on Australian shores, their tails hacked off in apparent acts of retribution.

These deaths are being attributed to Crocodile Hunter's fans seeking revenge for the stingray that killed the conservationist.

A spokesman for the Queensland, Australia government said the deaths would be investigated as potential cases of animal cruelty, but "were not thought to be related to Irwin's death."

Headlines, however, blame fans.

This absolutely doesn't track with Irwin's fanbase. Fans of The Crocodile Hunter are likely animal lovers and conservation-minded people. Supporters of conservation don't run amok killing animals because their hero died. Most likely, the dead rays are the work of fishermen using Irwin's death as an excuse to get away with, quite literally, murder.

In this age of ever yellowing journalism, it's all too easy to allow those with an agenda to write headlines and stories. PETA, on the heels of Germaine Greer, has jumped on the bash-Steve-Irwin bandwagon, echoing Greer's opinion that Irwin tortured animals. Sadly, they're all reading from the same flawed and highly biased script.

Steve Irwin has purchased large tracts of land in order to preserve wildlife habitat for some of the most endangered animal species in Australia. He fought to rid Australia of the practice of "sustainable-use" farming, a misnomer if there ever was one. (Sustainable-use farming generally involves vulnerable animals raised for show, and then killed for meat, skin, and other parts. Instead of aiding the wildlife populations, the "farmers" often return to the wild to procure more animals when captive breeding fails to produce enough offspring. Nothing sustainable there. You don't kill an animal to save it.)

Irwin also served as spokesman for the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. The point of the ads filmed by Irwin stayed on point with the AQIS mission: "Nature made Australia unique, quarantine keeps it that way." Protecting Australia from exotic pests and diseases is paramount in preserving the environment. It's a notion not exclusive to Australia either. In the U.S., many states have strict import regulations to protect crops and livestock from disease or pests that could wreak havoc on a region's health and economy.

When was the last time you heard of PETA or Germaine Greer truly fighting to protect nature? Let's be real, PETA talks trash more than they clear it from the land. In fact, they were responsible for dumping a load of it, in the form of manure, in front of the San Diego Zoo a few years ago after the Zoological Society of San Diego received a herd of elephants from Swaziland. The elephants had been scheduled to be killed until ZSSD and the Lowry Park Zoo in Florida saved them. PETA's spin was that the elephants had been roaming freely at a wildlife preserve, but the overcrowded park was about to ease their burden by killing the elephants. PETA then stated the elephants should have been relocated to another part of Africa, where they could roam free. Wildlife preserves exist in Africa because of dwindling habitat, habitat often decimated by wars, agriculture, and poachers.

Steve Irwin, among other wildlife conservationists and documentarians, often reported on the declining condition of habitat in Africa, Asia — worldwide, actually. His message was simply one of encouraging people to care about wildlife and protecting the land and the resources these animals require to remain in the wild.

These are just a few examples of what Irwin did to promote conservation. His fans, well aware of his message, are highly unlikely to be the culprits behind the stingray deaths. And Steve Irwin, most definitely, does not deserve the criticism he's receiving from groups like PETA or people like Germaine Greer.

About Joan Hunt

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    They’re still not onto me. This is very good news indeed.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Suss, I shall find you before the night is out. :P

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Suddenly the scene from 9 to 5 comes to mind with the office workers chasing after Suss with torches, whips and chains and he’s found cowering/hiding in the ladie’s room just outside of Joan’s office

  • http://silverstarhawk.livejournal.com Jared Wright

    It’s PETA. What do you expect?

  • Karene Benchetrit

    I believe that these attacks are because of the death of Steve Irwan.. ONLY because we are so passionate about him and what he stands for, that our grief has over come us and we unconsiousily act our our anger instead of thinking of what Steve Irwan would do. Please think before you act!

  • curmudgeon

    Just watched Tucker Carlson, interviewing Dan Matthews, a vice president and main spokesman for PETA…
    He, (Matthews) was a little bit out of control.. blaming Irwin for undermining all the good work that PETA had done.. He complained about Irwin “torturing” and “teasing” animals.
    Carlson asked him a few questions, and finally, voice rising to a crescendo… Dan Matthews literally shouted… “I’m glad he’s dead!”

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Perhaps PETA’s mad just because Irwin didn’t give them funds. If he had, don’t you think they’d be praising him?

    It saddens me to think how much PETA’s hurt conservation and animal rights. They’ve become a parody of themselves to the point where they’re really no longer about the animals, but more interested in being outrageous.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Snarkattack, I honestly don’t think it’s fans doing this. I think it’s fishermen and others who are responsible, taking advantage of Steve’s death to push more buttons and put a blemish on all the good Steve’s done.

  • http://iodsa brog

    Peta rocks. Its obvious the rays are being killed because of the irwin death and its the last thing steve would have wanted to happen. he was there to protect animals. and before you start trash talking PETA think about how much they’ve done and how little your doing. dumbass.

  • Arthur

    PETA said this ( I will not miss them because they done more harm to wildlife than good.)
    And Bindi she repsentes a ghost?
    Excuse me? I loved Steve Irwin because he told people to love and save animals.I also liked Bindi.PETA you should be ashamed on youself!!!!

  • anonymous

    I may not agree with everything PETA did. But I support because I can relate to its members to my hatred of animals getting hurt and killed by humans. I wish that the members of that organization got their revenge on those anti-stingray bigots and all the anti-PETA people of this world. That would make me pleased.