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Steve Irwin

Stephen Robert Irwin

22 February 1962 - 4 September 2006

 
Steve Irwin
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Australians - Great and Famous, and the Not So Famous
» 22 February, 1962 - 4 September 2006 «
Remembered for his enthusiasm and his passion
It was with shock that the world learnt of the tragic death Steve Irwin, killed by a freak stingray attack whilst diving off Port Douglas.

Born in Essendon (west of Melbourne), in the Australian state of Victoria, Stephen Robert Irwin became famous the world over as the ‘Crocodile Hunter’. Indeed, he also proudly wore the title of ‘Wildlife Warrior’, reflecting his passionate enthusiasm for conservation not only in Australia, but around the world. His boundless energy, in-your-face ‘crikeys’, king gees shorts and short-sleeve shirt provided not only for a larger than life persona, but an iconic character that was found fascinating by many and loved by children.

His father Bob was a plumber and his mother Lynn a maternity nurse, but even back then the family consuming passion was the rescue and rehabilitation of the local wildlife, with Bob being a reptile enthusiast. In 1970 the Irwin family moved from Essendon to Beerwah in Queensland and opened the Beerwah Reptile Park (now called ‘Australia Zoo’).

The young Irwin shared his parents passion with wildlife. On snake catching trips, the young Irwin would walk in the mud footprints of his father, following his every move. On his 6th birthday he was given a scrub python and began handling crocodiles at the age of nine, By the age of 12 he was hurling himself on the back of crocodiles.

In the 1980s Irwin left the family nest to find himself in Queensland wilderness. He was to stay for 5 years, conversing with his dog, working in a dream job, trapping saltwater crocodiles, in areas considered a danger to tourist. It was a job he did for free, having struck a deal with the local authorities that every croc he captured, he would send back to the family reptile park in Beerwah.

 He became a crocodile trapper, removing crocodiles that had moved into populated areas, performing the service for free, in exchange for keeping them for the park. Steve was also to follow in his father’s footsteps, becoming a volunteer for the Queensland Government’s East Coast Crocodile Management program.

Steve took over the management of the park in 1991 and in 1992 met his future wife Terri Raines  at the park. For their honeymoon they went crocodile-trapping and footage of the honeymoon became the first episode of ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ series, a series so successful, it has aired in 120 countries around the world.

Steve Irwin met a tragic death just after 11 am, on the 4 September 2006, when a stingray barb  pierced his heart as he was filming off the coast of Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. He was in the area filming a documentary called ‘The Ocean’s Deadliest’. However due to inclement weather, he decided to shoot some footage for a series featuring his young daughter Bindi.

Snorkelling in the shallows off Batt Reef, the water was alive with stingrays, some of them as large as two metres across. It was during the dive as Irwin swam over the top of the ray that the barb of the ray struck Irwin, entering his chest and piercing his heart.

Family

  • Father: Bob Irwin
  • Mother: Lyn (died 2002 in a car accident)
  • Wife: Terri Irwin (married 4 June 1992)
  • Daughter: Bindi Sue Irwin (born 24 July 1998)
  • Son: Robert Bob Clarence Irwin (born 1 December 2003)

Filmography

  • Crocodile Hunter - the first one hour documentary was broadcast in 1992, with over 50 episodes being made.
  • Hunter: Spitting Cobras of the World (2000)
  • Crocodile Hunter: Crocodiles of the Revolution (2000)
  • Dr Dolittle 2 (2001) - Steve Irwin appeared in a brief cameo.
  • The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002)
 

Source: see links below.

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Steve Irwin - Other links

Australia Zoo
Formerly the Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park and home of The Crocodile Hunter.
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