Steve Irwin was, arguably, the finest animal enthusiast and wildlife conservationist that the world witnessed and his death on 4th September, 2006 was a dreadful loss to the entire community of animal lovers.
While trying to shoot for an under water wildlife documentary titled ‘Ocean’s Deadliest‘, Irwin suffered a fatal injury from a stingray barb and succumbed before the paramedics could arrive.
Irwin, born to Bob and Lyn Irwin, spent the better part of his childhood growing up at Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park which was later renamed as the Australia Zoo. Irwin took active interest in animals, particularly crocodiles, from an early age and took over the reins of governance of the wildlife park from his parents in 1991.
Irwin married Terri, an American naturalist, and got married to her the same year. The newly wed couple spent their honeymoon catching reptiles and filming them which was later made it into the first episode of the world renowned TV show, the ‘Crocodile Hunter‘. Irwin grew in fame and so did the TV show; soon ‘The Crocodile Hunter‘ was being telecast-ed across 130 countries worldwide.
Irwin’s death defying acts with the crocodiles along with his terrific presentation skills made him an instant hit among television viewers worldwide and the show’s target rating points started to soar sky high. Soon enough the show was picked by famous wildlife television channel Animal Planet and the reach escalated to almost 200 countries around the globe.
The final episode of the popular show was aired after Irwin’s death showing the viewers a collage of the Australian environmentalist’s experiences around the world.
Irwin’s khaki clad look became a rage, almost an instant hit among animal lovers and his famous phrase ‘Crikey’ became synonymous with the Australian.
It’s a shame that he died at such a premature age but that’s how he lived the better part of his life; being nonchalant about the dangers that his acts presented him with. Irwin revolutionized the very concept of environmentalism; he was concerned about the land clearing and the future of wildlife on earth. But rather than taking to a preachy way of passing the message to the people, he started apprising them of the vast excitements that the wildlife can offer.
Sir David Attenborough heaped praise on the Aussie calling him a ‘born communicator‘. We are not contesting, Sir.
If, Steve Irwin would have been alive, he would be 52 years old. Happy Birthday, Steve! Crikey!