What made Steve Irwin so popular amongst various age groups? We personally feel it’s cause he had a curious mind and a fearless heart. Today, on his birthday, we celebrate him and the his contributions to wildlife.
He started his career as a zookeeper in Australia and moved towards being a television personality with his own tv show “Crocodile Hunter”. He was also someone who was highly conscious of the degrading environment around us and spoke about it ever so often. So you could say it was also very much an environmentalist and a conservationist. His parents owned a wildlife park when he was younger (now called Australia Zoo) so he grew up around animals. Steve Irwin was handled crocodiles in his youth and received a live python for his ninth birthday.
A man like Steve Irwin didn’t need a formal degree in the field if he’d been wrestling crocodiles from the age of nine years old. He further worked as a volunteer in Queensland’s East Coast Crocodile Management program wherein he captured over 100 crocodiles, some of which were relocated, while others were given a home in his family park. He then took over the management of the park in 1991 and renamed it “Australia Zoo”. Terri Raines (his wife), was an American naturalist from the United States and they met in Australia when she decided to visit the zoo. They were married shortly after and were truly made for eachother. The Irwins were happily married but chose not to wear wedding rings as in their line of work, they felt it would pose a threat to the animals. They lived and breathed wildlife. In fact, their children were also named after some of Irwin’s favourite crocodiles.
Terri said, “I thought there was no one like this anywhere in the world. He sounded like an environmental Tarzan, a larger-than-life superhero guy.”
Steve Irwin happened to be filming a new show off the cost of Queensland in 2006 when things went south. He was snorkelling right next to a stingray when it stung him near the heart. He died of a cardiac arrest shortly after. The world was devastated that after wrestling crocodiles and the severely dangerous reptiles for years, Steve Irwin was taken down by a stingray. The world of wildlife had lost a good one.
He was a wildlife expert, without a doubt.
Did you know: Steve Irwin feared hippopotamus’ the most in the world? Hippos by nature are quite aggressive and energetic, not lethargic and lazy as they are quite often portrayed. Hippo bites are also among the most dangerous to any human being. Who knew?