Monday, September 04, 2006

Farewell Steve Irwin and Thanks.

We lost a good one today. Steve Irwin "The Crocodile Hunter" passed away after being stung in the heart by a stingray near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. He was just 44 years old.

I was lucky enough to meet Steve Irwin and thank him for all that he had done on behalf of the rest of us.

Steve Irwin was a tireless crusader for almost every animal on Earth. Steve understood that we needed a balance of life to keep the planet stable. He fought against poachers and worked to create safe environments for creatures that many of us would just as soon see extinguished. Not Steve. He got it. We humans were a small piece of the Earth's puzzle and really needed to just fit in... not wipe out everything else.

Steve Irwin was also an educator. His programs, while entertaining, were also filled with valuable information. We watched the kids programs as often as his prime time shows --- that's where you often saw more of the baby animals!

And finally Steve Irwin was a proud family man. The path he took into animal handling and conservation was cut by his father and Steve never stopped reminding us of that. Steve shared many of his adventures with Terri his wife. (One can only imagine the devastation she feels at this time.) Steve and Terri's on-screen partnership was as natural as Steve's connection with the biggest and deadliest animals... they fit perfectly together. Together since 1991 their love produced two little ones, Bindi Sue and Bob.

From what we were allowed to see on television Steve Irwin led a rich life filled with adventure, love, success and the ability to live out your dreams. He did work that benefitted all of us by supporting the cause of wildlife preservation.

Steve Irwin's moniker was "The Crocodile Hunter" - but the word hunter doesn't really belong there. Steve was a fan of those prehistoric looking creatures. He protected them from those would hunt them to extinction. He loved the crocs and it showed. I would venture a guess that they loved him too...

Today, at Australia Zoo, I'll bet Steve's old friend and biggest challenge - a huge croc named AGRO (he was a tad aggressive) is shedding a few tears - genuinely sad, crocodile tears.

G'day Steve, and Thanks.

(Photos borrowed from the web - courtesy or Reuters and AP)


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