[Vision2020] Death of a Crocodile Hunter

J Ford privatejf32 at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 4 12:39:23 PDT 2006

Geez....I loved this guy's programs and drive.  He took chances that *I* 
would never consider safe, but he's goal was always to protect animals.  I 
feel sorry for his wife, Terry, and his two bairn.  What a loss to the 
conservation world.

J  :]

>From: "Tom Hansen" <thansen at moscow.com>
>To: "Vision 2020" <vision2020 at moscow.com>
>Subject: [Vision2020] Death of a Crocodile Hunter
>Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2006 07:20:52 -0700
> >From CNN -
>Death of a Crocodile Hunter
>Steve Irwin
>SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Steve Irwin, the TV presenter known as the
>"Crocodile Hunter," has died after being stung by a stingray in a marine
>accident off Australia's north coast.
>Media reports say Irwin was snorkeling at Batt Reef, a part of the Great
>Barrier Reef about 9 miles (about 15 kilometers) from the town of Port
>Douglas, when the incident happened on Monday morning.
>Irwin, 44, was killed by a stingray barb that pierced his chest, according
>to Cairns police sources.
>Irwin was in the area to film pieces for a show called "Ocean's Deadliest"
>with Phillippe Cousteau, grandson of Jacques, Irwin's manager and friend
>John Stainton told CNN's "American Morning." But weather had prevented the
>crew from doing work for that program, said Stainton, so Irwin decided to 
>some softer features for a new children's TV show he was doing with his
>daughter, Bindi.
>"He came over the top of a stingray that was buried in the sand, and the
>barb came up and hit him in the chest," said Stainton.
>Ambulance officers confirmed they attended a reef fatality Monday morning
>off Port Douglas, according to Australian media. (Watch scenes of Irwin,
>known for his his enthusiasm and support for conservation -- 2:49)
>Queensland Police Services also confirmed Irwin's death and said his family
>had been notified. Irwin was director of the Australia Zoo in Queensland.
>Read the TIME.com Obituary:
>He is survived by his American-born wife Terri and their two children, 
>Sue, born 1998, and Robert (Bob), born December 2003.
>"The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and
>one of the proudest dads on the planet," Stainton told reporters in Cairns,
>according to The Associated Press. "He died doing what he loved best and
>left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said,
>'Crocs Rule!' "
>Australia Prime Minister John Howard said he was "shocked and distressed at
>Steve Irwin's sudden, untimely and freakish death," according to AP. "It's 
>huge loss to Australia."
>Irwin became a popular figure on Australian and international television
>through Irwin's close handling of wildlife, most notably the capture and
>relocation of crocodiles.
>Irwin's enthusiastic approach to nature conservation and the environment 
>him a global following. He was known for his exuberance and use of the 
>phrase "Crikey!"
>"It's unbelievable, really," Jack Hanna, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal
>Adventure" and director emeritus of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo, told CNN. "You
>think of Steve Irwin and you think 'invincible.' "
>Hanna, a friend of Irwin's, noted that Irwin's persona of the Crocodile
>Hunter was no act. Irwin grew up around crocodiles, snakes and other 
>at his parents' Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park and had been handling 
>creatures since he was a child.
>"The guy lived his life this way," said Hanna. "It was how he was raised.
>You knew that this guy, from the time he was 8 or 9 years old, was working
>with crocodiles and snakes."
>Though stingrays can be threatening, their sting -- usually prompted by
>self-defense -- is not often fatal. The bull ray that apparently stung 
>was "a one-in-a-million thing," wildlife documentary maker Ben Cropp told
>TIME. "I have swum with many rays, and I have only had one do that to me."
>"A wild animal is like a loaded gun -- it can go off at any time," Hanna
>told CNN. "You have to be careful of that." But, he added, it's not the
>animals who are inherently dangerous, but the way they may react around
>humans. "It's not fair to the animal. It's only using the defenses that God
>gave it," said Hanna.
>Rise to popularity
>Irwin first became popular with his show "Crocodile Hunter," which first
>aired on Australian TV in 1992. Eventually, the program was picked up by 
>Discovery Network in the United States, establishing Irwin worldwide.
>His popularity led to a film, "The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course"
>Irwin's image suffered a setback in January 2004 when he held his then
>1-month-old baby Bob while feeding a crocodile at his Australian zoo.
>In a statement released to Australian media, Foreign Minister Alexander
>Downer expressed his sorrow and said that he was fond of Irwin and was very
>appreciative of all the work he had done in promoting Australia overseas.
>In 2003, Irwin spoke to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Australian
>Story" television program about how he was perceived in his home country.
>"When I see what's happened all over the world, they're looking at me as
>this very popular, wildlife warrior Australian bloke," he said, the ABC
>"And yet back here in my own country, some people find me a little bit
>embarrassing. You know, there's this ... they kind of cringe, you know,
>'cause I'm coming out with 'Crikey' and 'Look at this beauty.' "
>At Australia Zoo at Beerwah, south Queensland, floral tributes were dropped
>at the entrance, where a huge fake crocodile gapes, the AP reported. 
>honked their horns as they passed.
>"Steve, from all God's creatures, thank you. Rest in peace," was written on
>a card with a bouquet of native flowers.
>"We're all very shocked. I don't know what the zoo will do without him. 
>done so much for us, the environment and it's a big loss," said Paula 
>a local resident and volunteer at the zoo, after dropping off a wreath at
>the gate, according to the AP.
>"He has left a legacy," Stainton told CNN. "That people do love some of the
>unloved animals like crocodiles and reptiles that people wanted to kill.
>He's actually put a position in their hearts for them. I want that to
>continue. ... I want people to really go out there and remember Steve Irwin
>for what he really was, which was a great conservationist, saving wildlife
>and actually promoting wildlife that people didn't love."
>Seeya round town, Moscow.
>Tom Hansen
>Moscow, Idaho
>"Only by going too far can one possibly find out how far one can go."
>- Jon Dyer
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>           mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com

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