Vale Steve Irwin
Monday September 04th 2006, 5:48 pm

Hooroo, mate.


MORE: LP, TPAF tributes. Video shows Irwin wasn’t playing ‘Croc Hunter’ with the ray– it just up and whacked him while he was swimming past.

7 Comments so far
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Nice picture, Weez. I wasn’t a big fan, but the last year or so I had come to admire the conservation work he did, particularly using his wealth to buy up large land parcels for native animal habitat.

I just heard him described on telly as a “larrikin daredevil” – sounds a fair description.

Comment by tigtog 09.05.06 @ 10:30 am

There’s probably a picture of Irwin in the Macquarie Dictionary next the the entry for ‘larrikin.’

While Irwin certainly didn’t lead a risk-free life, you never would have thought a stupid stingray would get him. Bang, cardio/neuro-toxin injected straight into the heart. It must have been quick, but how awful nonetheless. The stingray experts are saying that such an attack is almost unheard of. I hope he wasn’t goofing around with a ray the way he did with crocs. There’s apparently video of the attack, though I don’t ever expect it to be aired. (edit: Video is said to show Irwin wasn’t taunting or disturbing the animal)

I wasn’t a regular Croc Hunter watcher, but occasionally would see it on Animal Planet. I imagine if I lived in the US, I’d probably have been a bigger fan, but Irwin certainly isn’t this American’s sole impression of Australia.

I have the deepest sympathies for Irwin’s family- they must be in utter shock.

As a clearly recognisable symbol of Australia to the world, I think Irwin does deserve a state funeral. I’ve emailed Beattie & Howard indicating so.

Comment by weez 09.05.06 @ 11:26 am

Clearly definitions of what amounts to taunting or harassing an animal vary considerably. Latest posts are starting to advance the hypothesis that good old Steve was just “observing” the animal, and that then this vicious vindictive ray took the opportunity to have a slash out of sheer spite and vindictiveness. Truth is that ray must have been feeling trapped, cornered, panicked, harassed, and unable to make a ready escape. Whatever rays feel. Otherwise it wouldn’t have lashed out….

Comment by Mick Strummer 09.06.06 @ 9:54 am

Mick, it could be possible that a large shadow passing over the ray might have surprised it. I don’t know what predators eat rays (sharks?), but you’d think they’d cast a shadow human-sized or larger.

It’d be disappointing (and unsurprising) if Irwin was teasing the critter, but that’s not the current story.

The ultimate proof is in the video, but I’m not sure I want to see it on TV, thanks…

Comment by weez 09.06.06 @ 10:26 am

I can’t really do justice in writing to how important Steve is to me. I watched his documentaries from when they started when I was only five years old, and I have no doubt that he is the reason why I hold the worldview that I do today; one of wishing to see utter priority given to the wellbeing of the natural world.

I’ve the guy who collects all the spiders from around the house and puts them into my room so that they don’t get sprayed by other family members.

The last couple of days have been very hard for me and I shudder to think how hard it must be, and is going to be for his family to cope with this tragedy. I would even go so far as to say that I felt like he was a member of my family. He played that much of a significant role in my upbringing. Rest in peace, Steve.

And well done on the pic, Weez.

Comment by Gary F 09.06.06 @ 4:32 pm

I have been swimming with rays many times and they’re way more scared of us than we are of them. It must have just been one of those freak things.

Comment by Dave 09.06.06 @ 5:29 pm

Gary, I’m sorry for the loss of such a major figure in the formation of your value structures.

For all his impish buffoonery, Irwin was a very serious environmentalist and did put his money on the table toward that end. Andrew Denton remarked that there was no difference between the TV ‘Croc Hunter’ personality and Irwin’s private self.

I’d love to be an editorial cartoonist, but unfortunately I have roughly the same artistic hand-eye coordination of the average dromedary camel. Photoshop pasteups are not beyond me, though. Peter Nicholson’s toon from the next day is not only similar to my pasteup, but had I gone with my first draft, they’d have been identical. Admittedly, I cheated, putting St Peter out of frame, for want of a good picture of a bearded, berobed wise-looking character to paste in…

Dave, it could be like encountering a deer or a roo along a motorway at night. They can get confused… and often run right into the path of the vehicle. Sucks a lot when the vehicle happens to be a motorcycle. Been there, done that…

Comment by weez 09.06.06 @ 5:52 pm

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