Here is an account.
I am terribly saddened by this.
M. and I discovered his show on the Discovery Channel when it first appeared in 1996. We were drawn in and fascinated by his balls-out approach to the animals, and his infectious enthusiasm. The early shows featured he and his new bride, Terri. We told people about this new show and told them they should watch. We watched a star being born.
His effusive personality and love of nature brought him many fans. He brought a lot of interest and publicity to Australia, as well as Queensland, where he ran the Queensland Zoo. When Discovery started the Animal Planet channel Irwin's shows were on in regular rotation. He was a hit in the United States and appeared on many talk shows. He made a feature film and was given the ultimate dubious honor, a spoof on South Park.
But fame brought intense scrutiny. He was roundly condemned for an incident where he brought his infant son near a crocodile during a show
. I thought that people went a little overboard with their criticism, but I guess the question was his judgement. At any rate the controversy passed and life went on. Until today.
What is seriously pissing me off is the moralizing that is going on throughout the internet over his demise. Like somehow he deserved it for playing the odds for too long. He had it coming. Death by stingray is an extremely rare occurance. The expert that was along with Irwin's crew said that there have been seventeen human deaths recorded, and only three in Australia. His death was a freak accident. The odds of a direct hit to the heart by the stingray were infinitesimally small. Death by domestic dog was a greater risk to Steve than swimming next to a stingray.
Another comment I saw on the internet was that his death was karmic justice for exposing his infant to the risk of the crocodile. Really? That's some sort of justice? Good thing for my ass that I don't believe in karma then. What an appalling thought by a hateful person.
I'll just say I am deeply saddened by his tragic loss. I'm terribly sorry for his young family. I admired Steve greatly for living his life to the fullest and squeezing every bit of joy out of it. I'll finish with a poem someone else posted as a small tribute to Steve's life. It's by Edna Vincent Millay:
“He burned the candle at both ends,
It did not last the night.
But while it burned, my foes and friends,
It gave a lovely light.”