Australia – The beloved “Crocodile Hunter” passed away on this day a decade ago. His daughter and son, Bindi and Robert Irwin, were eight and two years old, respectively, at the time of his death.
Steve Irwin was a well-known conservationist and wildlife presenter, who left behind an important legacy for wildlife conservation, education, and appreciation that transcends generations. This was in large part thanks to his straightforward and heartfelt style both in front and behind cameras.
Steve, at the age of forty-four, was stabbed multiple times in the chest by a stingray, while filming for one of his TV shows in the far north of Queensland, in the waters of Port Douglas. His camera operator, Justin Lyons, witnessed the event while swimming with Steve in what would turn out be his last moments, as he describes that the animal suddenly attacked Steve with its barb, delivering “hundreds of spikes in a few seconds.”
In the living memory of a great father and beloved son
At the 10th year anniversary of his unfortunate passing, his daughter Bindi, now 18 years old, shared with the world via the social network Twitter a picture of both of them together. In the image, Steve holds her baby daughter with a single hand. In the picture’s caption, Bindi wrote that her father would always be “her hero” and that she loved him “more than words can describe.
Just a week before, Steve’s father Bob revealed that he wrote a book, a memoir of Steve titled The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father and Son Legacy, set for an October release. The book contains a previously undiscovered letter from Steve, dedicated to his parents, written twelve years before his death — at the age of thirty-two.
“Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a ‘Bloke’s Life’ is that it takes over 30 years to realize how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS,” wrote the crocodile hunter to his father
His death, just about to receive the highest academic honor possible
John Stainton, Steve’s TV show producer, revealed that the self-taught biologist was set to receive an honorary degree from the University of Queensland. As he sadly notes, Steve was meant to receive the honor when he got back from the fateful trip.
And those ten years ago, Steve’s death had received many tributes from around the world — a testament to his impact in the sphere of wildlife conservation. The Australian Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, described his untimely passing as a great loss for the country.
Steve was born on February 22, 1962, in Essendon, Melbourne. When he was eight, his family moved to Queensland, where his parents started the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park.
From then on, Steve grew up surrounded by crocodiles, lizards, and snakes. He used to feed the animals and took care of them. At the tender age of six, he was given a scrub python and by the age of nine, he was wrestling crocodiles. Steve took over the park’s direction in 1991 and renamed it Australia Zoo in 1992.
Source: The Guardian