Crocodile Hunter Dies
I always thought this guy was crazy, but that is what made people like him I suppose. I wasn't his biggest fan, but this is sad. The guy had two kids that are pretty young.
Article from: The Age
September 4, 2006 - 5:10PM
One of Steve Irwin's close friends and business partners today described the Crocodile Hunter as a wildlife icon who died doing what he loved best.
Mr Irwin, 44, died today after he was fatally wounded by a stingray barb to his heart while filming a sequence on Batt Reef off Port Douglas for his daughter's new TV series.
Mr Irwin's producer and closest friend, John Stainton, said emergency services were called from Cairns Rescue Base and met Croc One - Mr Irwin's rescue vessel - at Low Isle on the Great Barrier Reef.
He said the boat's crew performed CPR on Mr Irwin during the 30-minute run to Low Isle, but medics pronounced him dead about noon.
"The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and one of the proudest dads on the planet. He died doing what he loves best and left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind," said Mr Stainton in a statement.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mr Irwin's Australia Zoo said it was probably the worst day any of the staff had experienced.
Describing the zoo as "one huge family", he said more than 500 people a day thanked Mr Irwin for his friendship.
"His wife has lost a husband and he's got two kids. And at the end, that's the all of it," he said.
Tasmania Police this afternoon confirmed Mr Irwin's American-born wife Terri was travelling in Tasmania, where she is reported to be trekking on Cradle Mountain.
A spokeswoman said police had made contact with Mrs Irwin and "passed on a message relating to the death of her husband".
'A bloody good bloke'
Tourists joined locals to pay tribute by leaving bouquets of flowers at the front entrance of the zoo at Beerwah made famous by the naturalist and media personality.
Rod Cameron of Brisbane said he rushed to the zoo as soon as he heard the tragic news.
"We heard the news ... it's very sad and we are very upset. Australia just lost a bloody good bloke," he said.
"We grew up in Brisbane, followed his career. We just thought he was a good guy for what he did for Australia.
"He put us on the map, I reckon."
Mr Irwin was famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry "Crikey!"
The Crocodile Hunter was first broadcast in 1992 and has been shown around the world on cable network Discovery.