Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Science and Technology » Steve Irwin Was The “Crocodile Champion”

Steve Irwin Was The “Crocodile Champion”

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Terrible news came today in the report of the accidental death of Steve Irwin. Irwin was filming a new nature special with his crew when he was stabbed in the heart by a poisonous Stingray barb off Port Douglas in north Queensland, The Australian reports.

They should have called Steve Irwin "The Crocodile Champion," not "Crocodile Hunter." Irwin always showed a passionate love for nature in general and crocodiles in particular. His enthusiasm was infectious and I always considered him to be a great role model for kids as he always tried to instill for all viewers the need to understand and care for their environment.

Irwin got himself in a bit of trouble a couple of years back when he was filmed with his baby boy tucked under one arm while he was holding bait out with the other to an aggressive-looking crocodile. There was a surge of complaints when that video circulated.

The greatest outcry came from seeing the bait in Irwin's hand and the baby tucked under his other arm. They looked subliminally similar in that they are both just hanging there. Other than that, it appeared to me the baby was in no real danger.I've posted a link to a YouTube video showing not the overblown incident I just mentioned, but a much more touching one and much more indicative of Irwin's love for nature, where he is crying over the loss of a crocodile. This clip shows you why he was more "Crocodile Champion" than "Crocodile Hunter."

I'm afraid there was no one like Irwin and there likely never will be. He was an enthusiast, a naturalist, and a great salesperson in that he did more to encourage protection of the environment and wildlife around the world than Al Gore could ever hope to do with his science fantasy disaster film, An Inconvenient Truth.

Ironically, some of the so-called "science" behind Truth has already been undercut by another story in The Australian, which mentions that, "[the] world's top climate scientists have cut their worst-case forecast for global warming over the next 100 years." 

Irwin's strategy of teaching children to love nature and to care for its creatures is, by far, the best possible approach.

May his influence continue to live for a long time to come. 

Powered by

About David

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=diana+hartman diana hartman

    I am pleased to tell you this article is being featured in the Culture Focus today, September 4th.

    Diana Hartman
    Culture Editor

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Thanks for another story on Irwin. It’s actually rather comforting to read them.

  • Mohjho

    How far do you really need to push playing with wild animals for entertainment or education? Steve was one of my favorites, but I guess we all learn a harsh lesson that Mr. Irwen has constantly tried to tell us, wild animals are wild. I am also reminded of Timothy Treadwell, aka, The Grizzly Man, killed by grizzles.
    Consider me educated.
    So long Steve

  • Joe

    I always enjoyed the antics of Mr. Irwin. He was the consummate showman but, underneath the hyperactive character he displayed, rested a heart of gold. His love for animals translated to a love for people.

    Tragically, his death comes at a particularly untimely stage in his life: Mr. Irwin leave two small children and a true-to-life-partner wife.

    In some ways, the animal shows will never be the same. While some will fill an empty place in the spotlight, noone can replace him.

  • http://viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Joe,

    I completely agree. Very well said.

    I think that to Steve Irwin, his fame and success were incidental. He truly loved nature in all its variety and he respected the animals he studied.

    It wasn’t about adrenaline for this guy, it was all about his love of the natural world.

  • Karen

    When I heard Steve was dead, my heart skipped a beat and knew it was a sad, sad day. I’ve read a few people comparing Steve Irwin to Timothy Tredwell and it is ridiculous. Steve Irwin did so much for the wildlife and world, some of which won’t be realized until later. There is work being done with croc blood, venom and other animal secretions that are saving humans. His conservation efforts have helped hundreds of almost extinct animals and reptiles make a comeback. I consider him one of the people I would have most like to have met and definately one of my heroes. I hate to say this but I didn’t cry when the attacks on the world trade center happened, not that it didn’t hurt my heart, but I did shed a few croc tears today. My family and I will miss him greatly and hope with all of our hearts all the work he did will no be put aside. Please Terri, Bindi, Bob and all of Australia Zoo continue his marvelous work and make this world a better place for wildlife as he did.

    Much Love,

    Karen

  • Jan

    And trashing Al Gore in this was for what purpose again?

  • John

    Steve Irwin was a big softy at heart, and the news of his death came as a shock even though you had to know that this could have happened with all the chances he took. Animal Planet is doing tributes to him tonight, and it makes one sad to see such a remarkable man taken away in the prime of life.

  • STM

    Check out Steve Irwin’s very Australian, very blokey and very down-to-Earth take on Hollywood:

    “Crikey, mate … you’re better off dealing with crocodiles and western diamondback rattlesnakes than the executives and the producers and all those sharks in the big MGM building.”

    And on the animal he feared most: “The only animals I’m not comfortable with are parrots but I’m learning as I go … I’m getting better at ‘em, I really am.”

    And Sam, he didn’t pull the barb out himself. He was very likely killed instantly. Someone else did it. He was certainly well dead by the time he was being pulled up the beach. The barb has to come out … it’s full of poison. If the wound hadn’t been fatal, and the barb left in, he would have died anyway had it not been pulled out. Have a heart, mate.

    The guy had a family and by his own admission, the croc wrangling etc in reality was just a vehicle for what he was really doing – conservation of our wildlife, which is a pretty admirable cause to devote your life to. As he himself said: “Let’s face it, I’m a conservationist … and conservation’s a very hard sell.”

  • http://viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Well, I thought it quite ironic that, on the day The Australian reported Steve Irwin’s death, they also reported that a panel of top environmental scientists were downgrading their estimates on the impact of global warming.

    Tim Russert recently questioned Gore on the fact that he was using the worst-case scenarios as the figures in his film when, really, we were uncertain. Gore tossed that back and said that the uncertainty means, basically, that he could be right. Lame excuse.

    And when you compare Gore to someone like Steve Irwin, you see that not only was Irwin more influential in promoting the care of our environment, his approach was better as well.

    Gore builds walls by tearing people down. He takes a political approach to everything. Irwin just wanted to educate and inform, and he wanted to promote love of the environment by promoting understanding of it. Gore’s approach is to terrify people with worst-case scenarios.

    And while that might motivate people in the short term, it demotivates people when they find out they’ve been snookered. Irwin wanted to start a love affair between his viewers and the world around them. THAT is what will ultimately make a difference.

    People critisize all the “Irwin-wannabes,” but that only shows you that his approach is catching on and that people all over the world want to be like him. That’s a good thing, not a bad one.

    You know, the one commercial promoting environmental awareness that I remember from my childhood is the one where the Native American is looking out on a trash-covered field and he has a tear in his eye. It reminded me that we have a duty to care for the land that they cherished.

    On a funny note, something like thirty years later at the end of the Movie “Wayne’s World II,” when Wayne and Garth are standing in the field that was trashed by concert-goers, they see the same Native American guy standing there looking at the field with a tear in his eye. They look at him and start saying, “don’t cry, we’ll clean it up, really,” and start scrambling to pick up all the trash.

    Not a real situation, but you can see how love moves mountains, and civilizations too. Watch the video excerpt of Irwin crying over the death of a croc. If that doesn’t move you, nothing will.

  • http://viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Well, I thought it quite ironic that, on the day The Australian reported Steve Irwin’s death, they also reported that a panel of top environmental scientists were downgrading their estimates on the impact of global warming.

    Tim Russert recently questioned Gore on the fact that he was using the worst-case scenarios as the figures in his film when, really, we were uncertain. Gore tossed that back and said that the uncertainty means, basically, that he could be right. Lame excuse.

    And when you compare Gore to someone like Steve Irwin, you see that not only was Irwin more influential in promoting the care of our environment, his approach was better as well.

    Gore builds walls by tearing people down. He takes a political approach to everything. Irwin just wanted to educate and inform, and he wanted to promote love of the environment by promoting understanding of it. Gore’s approach is to terrify people with worst-case scenarios.

    And while that might motivate people in the short term, it demotivates people when they find out they’ve been snookered. Irwin wanted to start a love affair between his viewers and the world around them. THAT is what will ultimately make a difference.

    People critisize all the “Irwin-wannabes,” but that only shows you that his approach is catching on and that people all over the world want to be like him. That’s a good thing, not a bad one.

    You know, the one commercial promoting environmental awareness that I remember from my childhood is the one where the Native American is looking out on a trash-covered field and he has a tear in his eye. It reminded me that we have a duty to care for the land that they cherished.

    On a funny note, something like thirty years later at the end of the Movie “Wayne’s World II,” when Wayne and Garth are standing in the field that was trashed by concert-goers, they see the same Native American guy standing there looking at the field with a tear in his eye. They look at him and start saying, “don’t cry, we’ll clean it up, really,” and start scrambling to pick up all the trash.

    Not a real situation, but you can see how love moves mountains, and civilizations too. Watch the video excerpt of Irwin crying over the death of a croc. If that doesn’t move you, nothing will.

  • Martin Lav

    Flanagan,
    Good article, but what you criticize Gore for you do the same yourself “builds walls by tearing people down”. Did you not just do this in your article to Gore and anyone who shares his views? As the previous poster suggests “And trashing Al Gore in this was for what purpose again?”- Jan
    There was no need for this comment in a piece supposedly to honor a conservationist. Unless you like tearing down one wall, in order to build your own.
    Shame you couldn’t keep follow your own observation:
    “He takes a political approach to everything. Irwin just wanted to educate and inform”

  • Mark Rothschild

    While Australia has lost a favorite son, and his family a loving father and husband, the world has lost a wonderfully devoted educator, entertainer and conservationist. Steve Irwin’s contributions were many, and he will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched.

  • Justin

    Why would you make this tragic event in to an opportunity to criticize Al Gore??? Very distasteful, in my opinion.

  • Darcie Cluney

    R.I.P steve. i loved you. and everyone wishes you were stiil here.he brought alot of happiness to australia and HE also you did so much for animals. I LOVE HIM SOOO MUCH R.I.P.

  • http://viewpointjournal.com David Flanagan

    Actually, I did not criticize Al Gore. Instead, I criticised his APPROACH to creating both awareness of and sensitivity towards the environement. And I think it is perfectly appropriate to contrast the positive and uplifting example set by Steve Irwin as opposed to the fearful and negative example set by Gore, where he constantly seeks to blame someone.

    Yes, I blame Gore for playing the blame game. I honor Steve Irwin for his hugely positive influence on us all.

    Thanks.

  • Martin Lav

    And it would appear to me that the posters here are also criticizing your APPROACH as well.
    We blame Flanagan for playing the blame game. We honor writers who stick to honoring someones memory and contribution, without feeling the need to bring someone else into the equation to attack, just to “show” an example of a wrong approach. One obviously adopted by you yourself.

    Don’t you get it?

  • shane

    steve was a great guy he had a great talent a rare talent i always watched crocdile hunter i miss him very very much i fill sorry for hes family.rest in peace steve.

    by shane

  • shane

    i will miss you steve .rest in peace

    by shane

  • shane

    WELL DONE STEVE REST IN PEACE

  • shane

    Steve irwin was one of the greatest guys on tv he was so talented hes daughter are going threw a hard time also nthe little boy and hes wife we all still hope you were still here but best wishes to famileyrest in peace STEVE IRWIN R.I.P

  • nobody u need to know

    if you go on this one site people thinks its funny he is gone.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sahface sarah

    clearly he was the coolest kid

  • http://brittanycordle Brittany Cordle

    i have never met steve but i have fallin in love with him… he has done great things… for animals and people. my goal in life was to become a part of the steves staff at the australian zoo… i am still going to stick with that and i will only push myself harder untill that is accomplished… i wish his family well and just want them to keep staying strong…

    RIP steve Irwen

    brittany a loving fan..

  • Lily

    hi im lily i am a fan of you

  • D.J. May

    Hi I’m D.J. May Steve was Cool. I’ve watched him since I was two, I am eleven now. I am a big fan. It was vary sad that he passed. I love animals. Steve was Great on TV.

    Sincerly,
    D.J. May

  • katie

    hay everyone who’s on this site reading this i am writting this cause when i grew up i watched tv steve irwin crocdile hunter show i am 13 yrs old now i am so up set that steve died i’v always wished that i could one day meet steve and his family. but now i can’t meet steve but i can still meet the rest of the family i’v always wanted to be a very close friends i wish i could be on their show and live with them be bindi’s and bob’s sis i love them so much i even watch bindi’s show on abc kids cause i love her so much even that i no it’s for little kids. so everyone do the same thing and watch I LOVE U IRWIN FAMILY AND THE ZOO GANG. LoVe KaTiE XOxoXoXXoo.

  • stacy

    steve was a great guy and lots miss him and wish that he would come back or he could have lived but some of us are hurt worse that others like me for example i love animals and wanted to meat him when i grew up and wanted to work with him but now i cant and i have a huge hole in my heart were he used to be. i was cring the whole day after my mom told me the news and at night seh said that my grand father who was a great chef would be up there right know serving him diner and telling him how i want to be just like him sinceialy
    stacy

  • stacy

    i hope that every one fells better after saying some thing and leting out there fealings and i hope that every one that wanted to meat him can still meat his family

    sinceraly
    stacy again

    p.s. hope you all get to meat his family to fill that missing piece in your heart

  • Laurel

    I have watch Steve and Terri right from the beginnig. I watched him feeding croc on internet from the Zoo. What a great life he had but a hard one. We really don’t know how hard it was for him we get small sight of it from watching him and hearing it from the family but we don’t know. Someone with such life and feeling.

    Steve is gone and it is very sad, but I think he would want everone to move on and stop being sad for him and his family. I think he would want everyone to to help the the earth to start to heal.(global warming)

    Laurel
    Canada