Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

Crocodile Hunter Dies Monday Morning

September 5, 2006

Interesting news item, given my dream last night.

‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin Dead

SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) — Steve Irwin, the enthusiastic “Crocodile Hunter” who enthralled audiences around the world with his wildlife adventures, died Monday morning after being stung by a stingray while shooting a TV program 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.

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 “The Ocean’s Deadliest” with Philippe Cousteau, grandson of Jacques, according to Irwin’s manager and friend John Stainton. But weather had prevented the crew from doing work for that program, Stainton said, so Irwin decided to do 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,” Stainton said.

Wildlife documentary maker Ben Cropp, citing a colleague who saw footage of the attack, told Time.com that Irwin had accidentally boxed the animal in. “It stopped and twisted and threw up its tail with the spike, and it caught him in the chest,” said Cropp. “It’s a defensive thing. It’s like being stabbed with a dirty dagger.”

Ambulance officers confirmed they attended a reef fatality Monday morning off Port Douglas, according to Australian media. (Gallery: The life of the “Crocodile Hunter”) . . .

“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 a huge loss to Australia.” . . .

“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 about Steve Irwin and you think of people who are 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 animals at his parents’ Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park and had been handling such creatures since he was a child. . . .

Though stingrays can be threatening, their sting — usually prompted by self-defense — is not often fatal. The bull ray that apparently stung Irwin was “a one-in-a-million thing,” Cropp told Time.com.

read full article here