STINGRAY KILLS "CROCODILE HUNTER" IRWIN
CAIRNS, Australia (AP)- Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.
Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called "Ocean's Deadliest" when he swam too close to one of the animals, which have a poisonous barb on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said.
"He came on top of the stingray and the stingray's barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart," said Stainton, who was on board Irwin's boat at the time.
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To be honest, this news saddens me, but it wasn't all that unexpected. Steve Irwin has been known to take so many risks, so many chances, in his dealings with wildlife during the filming of tv series and the like, that I have always felt it was a matter of time before something like this happened. But for all of that, I will miss this guy.
This news hurts. Whatever else one may think of Steve Irwin, this man championed the cause for the rights and our responsibilities to the world's least popular animals. It was his fondness of the animals that are ugly, the animals that most people don't like, that will always stand out in my memories of him. Even though he led a dangerous life, it is what he did, how he lived his life, that will make Steve Irwin a role model for those in that chosen field to come.
Goddess bless you, Steve Irwin. Rest in peace.