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Steve Irwin, 1962-2006

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Steve Irwin, internationally known documentary film maker, entertainer, and outdoorsman died Monday while filming an underwater documentary. He was 44-years old.

Irwin, known for his enthusiasm and genuine love for nature, died when a stingray, buried in the sand while Irwin was snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, stung him in the chest. Despite a direct puncture to the chest, Irwin was captured on film fighting to the end. He was able to remove the fatal stingray barb from his chest in the last moments of his life.

The man called the "Crocodile Hunter" has been offered a state funeral in his native Australia. Irwin will be eulogized in many different ways. He was an educator, bringing a generation of children up with his hands-on animal lessons. He was a naturalist who was, according to his manager, "as good on the water as he was on land" and comfortable wherever there was nature and wildlife. He was also a world-renowned entertainer, appearing on dozens of television shows and hosting numerous documentaries.

Media Credit: Flickr.comThe video portraying Irwin's last moments is currently in police custody as officials investigate. John Stainton, Irwin's manager and close friend has called for that tape to be destroyed when officials are done with it.

I say with outward certainty that there is no journalistic value whatsoever in obtaining the videotape of Steve Irwin dying. It would be a great shame on and for any media outlet to allow this tape, even if it is somehow leaked, to see the light of day. There are bounds, and watching a father, husband, and son — even a celebrity father, husband, and son — die would serve no beneficial purpose.

We all feel a little sad today, and many of us wonder why. After all, most of us never met Steve Irwin. He was the loud, utterly happy Aussie who seemed to find beauty in every dangerous animal in the kingdom. But, the man was impossible not to like. He braved the elements time and time again, yet he was one of the least controversial figures in modern entertainment. Known for his outward enthusiasm, if not eccentricities, Irwin was a neutral character in our lives, where otherwise there is strife, grief, and conflict. We are all allowed to feel a little sad for losing that.

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  • Sweetpea1987

    Sad to hear of his death. He died doing what he loved. May he rest in peace. My reguards to the family.

  • faith

    I completely agree that the footage whould be destroyed and see NO value in the video making it to the public. It’s distasteful to even think that someone would consider it. He was a son, a father and a husband, how dare anyone satisfy some sick desire to watch the man die!

  • dixon_little_lady

    I believe that shouldbe the decision of Mrs.Irwin and the family. At this time i believe a documentary of his life should be created to show what a good person he was and all the god work he did. Honor his life,don’t criticize his death.

  • steve sparks

    it bothers me that he is looked at as just a man, and by that i mean he was a husband , son and most of all, father of 2 wonderful babies.. i would hope that we would think about the children ever seeing the tape and what it would do to them. sadly, the media won’t think of them or anyone that truley respected him,, unfortunately he will be another way for someone to make a buck, but for someone i have never met, and truley enjoyed to watch he will be sadly missed. the amazing thing about his situation is that so much of his life was documented that if ever his children wanted , they can see their dad at anytime, doing something he obviuosly loved very much..

  • bad brad

    Is the news that starving for attention that they have to show the obvious of what happened to the man? Let it be! Let him remain remembered the way he was and always will be in our hearts. It is up to Mrs. Irwin what is done with the footage and no one else. We miss you Steve!

  • Clairese Austin

    Shocking to find the world idolizing another insane madman… the “Wildlife Warrior”…Crocodile Hunter – Irresponsible Role Model

    Well, I am sure I am going to make a lot of people who adored this man very upset with the following statements – but I have never been one NOT to speak my mind. You never have to agree with me, but I am just infuriated. Currently I am shocked at the amount of idolizing, and almost canonizing the world is giving this irresponsible person. Yes, the world has risk takers in all realms, just look at the horse world alone, not to mention racing, skydiving, and all games of risk. I also know I am not alone thinking like this man is insane, bloggers around the world, even Bill Moyers asked, “When is enough, enough?” to the staff at the Discovery Channel and those that watched Steven kill himself. Maybe I am just the vocal one…

    My mind is always on the ALL children here of the world, they are our future …this includes the two innocents that were born into a family they had NO control over, the Irwin family. Now the wife, she made a choice…and embraced Steve’s lifestyle, joined in. These children did not. Nor obviously can other children, especially those under the age of nine who cannot reason – who just think he is a super guy. There are adults calling him the Crocodile Champion and forgiving his hyperactive grandstanding as a vehicle to push environmental issues…I say posh.

    I am the kind of person who believes in the “live and let live” ideal – that is, until you harm someone…so I admit, I have NEVER been a fan of Steve Irwin. I have spent my entire life trying to help parents protect, love and nurture their children, and in 75% of the cases, help them re-parent themselves from the toxic upbringing they had. It has been proven that one of the best ways to make an impression and train a child is by role modeling appropriate behaviors. Children WANT to grow up and do what adults do…and that includes Steve Irwin.

    So in my opinion, Steve Irwin exposed not only his children, but the children of our world to excessive risk by exposing them to his reckless behaviors and placing himself and others in completely dangerous situations. So you can hold a rattlesnake? Why??? Don’t we all know the ocean is dangerous? Duh!!!

    When he waltzed into a crocodile/alligator den with red meat in one hand and his two month old son in the other, I totally lost it.
    Then to stand there and ignorantly say, “I was in complete control” is hogwash…simply hogwash. That reptile outweighs him triply and is much faster than he is…and if this were not true, there would be NO ONE DYING from crocodile and alligator attacks…Florida just lost a “Gator” man who has been handling them and pressing his luck some 60 years!

    So this man lived by the sword and died by the sword…it was his choice. Did his children choose this life? No and I grieve for them. I hope the children of the world who in the past have idolized him now have someone showing them the error of his selfish ways…making orphans for thrills, shameful.

  • John Guilfoil

    Are you saying people shouldn’t work with animals? Irwin was also a zookeeper, should people not be zookeepers?

    Or are you just saying that they should be, but they just shoudn’t videotape it or put it on television?

    Irwin should be remember and acknowledged because he was a loveable celebrity in a world where celebrities are starting to be hated. He wasn’t loved because he took risks. He was loved because he loved what he did.

    Not all jobs are safe. Not all callings are easy.

    Irwin was a man who loved animals–knowing the risks. You have to take risks sometimes anyway.

    In a way, even at 44, he lived a much fuller life than many of us.

  • caary

    r.i.p steve

  • cali miller

    okay whoever clairese is i am not trying to be mean but how dare you say such awful things about a guy that his whole career was doing something he loved and to make the world a better place i mean especially since he is no longer living i cna’t believe you would be so rediculously mean as to say such nonsence as that about him. yeah like you really care that much about his kids and honestly saying that his kids had no choice as to be his son/ daughter im sure they love him more than anything he was a magnificent human being yeah that thing where he held his baby so close to the alligator yeah that was a little controveral but if he at all in a million years would think his child was in any dnager at all he would not do that he is an expert more than you or i would ever know. so jsut odn’t even say one word more about how no one sould idolize him . if his kids ever read what you said about there dad they are oging to be heart broken so maybe next time you should think before you say stupid crap like that. he was a great guy and there are millions of people to back me up on that we love him! and always will.

  • Sanjay

    Where do people get off trying to run Steve into the ground. If they ever bothered to get off their fat asses ,they would realize that he did more to protect this planet and this generation than anyone in the last fifty years. And he was just an ordinary bloke.”He did what he was contracted to do and then left..leaving behind two blue stars.”

  • ellen

    I idoled steve. he was my mentor in so many ways even though i had never met him. he was a great guy. r.i.p

  • Kirk McGuire

    I have been catching, and releasing reptiles my whole ife! Even caught, and handled a few rattlesnakes… To most people this is considered insane! I know, I know… But it is one my passions as well.. And there are risk of course there are! There’s risk just waliking on the planet! I believe people can, and should have a opinion… But it should stop there! Slamming someone from doing what they do best, is a no no…. I really liked Mr. Steve Irwin…
    I feel bad for his Family… Not because he did anything stupid, or wrong.. But because they lost him! They are a stong people though. And I think they would have chosen him dying doing what he loved. And dying now at a young 44. Than him staying safe, and just following all the other drone’s on this planet. By doing nothing, and dying of old age! He was who he was….. And in my book. He was, and always will be a great Person, Man, and human being!!! Opinions are like assholes… We all have one! Who care’s….

    Kindest regards R.I.P. STEVE

    Kirk McGuire Sculpture

  • robi

    i always watched him on tv he was the entertianment in my house i loved him so much R.I.P