Adnan Ashraf Ripon
I was an ardent watcher of Discovery Channel and Animal Planet and I never missed any program where Steve Irwin was there. To me he was the real life Tarzan or real life Crocodile Dundee (If anyone remembers the film) as he showed daredevil courage to save and play with animals like crocodiles, tigers, snakes and lizards. I loved him because he fought with powerful quarters to stop game hunting, and stop poaching.
On Monday morning, when I read online the news about his death, I was profoundly shocked. I did not know him personally but it felt as if I lost someone in my own family. I surfed all the channels and read everything about him. At the end, what gave me some satisfaction is the thought that at least Steve Irwin died in the hand of an animal and not a human being. He loved animals and he met his death at the hand of one, Just as a soldier wants to die in a battle-field. What better tribute could he get from the animal world? Below is an account on his life as I collected from the Internet.
"Steve Irwin (44), the hugely popular Australian television personality and environmentalist known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” was killed Monday by a stingray during a diving expedition. Irwin was filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef in northeastern Queensland state when the accident occurred, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on its Web site.
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said Irwin was diving near Low Isles Reef near the resort town of Port Douglas, about 1,260 miles north of the state capital of Brisbane.
Irwin is famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry “Crikey!” in his television program “Crocodile Hunter,” which was first broadcast in Australia in 1992 and has aired around the world on the Discovery channel.
He rode his image into a feature film, and developed the Australia Zoo as a tourist attraction.
Irwin had received some negative publicity in recent years. In January 2004, he stunned onlookers at the Australia Zoo reptile park by carrying his 1-year-old son into a crocodile pen during a wildlife show. He tucked the infant under one arm while tossing the 13-foot reptile a piece of meat with the other.
Authorities declined to charge Irwin for violating safety regulations. Later that year, he was accused of getting too close to penguins, a seal and humpback whales in Antarctica while making a documentary. Irwin denied any wrongdoing, and an Australian Environment Department investigation recommended no action be taken.
Irwin was also seen as a vocal critic of wildlife hunts in Australia. The federal government recently dropped plans to allow crocodile safaris for wealthy tourists in the Northern Territory following his vehement objections.
Irwin told the Australian television program “A Current Affair” that “killing one of our beautiful animals in the name of trophy hunting will have a very negative impact on tourism, which scares the living daylights out of me.”
He is survived by his American wife Terri, from Oregon, and their daughter Bindi Sue, 8, and son Bob, who will turn 3 in December.
( Steve Irwin is seen in the above photo with his wife & a friend)
(The article is based on a report of The Associated Press)
(R) thedailystar.net 2006