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“Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin tempts fate once too often

| September 4, 2006 | Reply
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After tempting fate for years, Australian “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin has finally been killed while filming a documentary on Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.

Irwin, 44, was a passionate naturalist best known to American audiences as the lunatic on TV who liked to poke dangerous animals with a stick.

The Crocodile Hunter died after being struck in the chest by a stingray’s venomous barb, according to a plethora of news reports. Death by stingray is extremely rare; Irwin’s death is only the second on record in Australia, and the first since 1945.

“What happened to Steve Irwin is like being stabbed in the heart,” Dr. Geoff Isbister, a clinical toxinologist (which I didn’t even know was a thing) at the Mater Hospital in Newcastle, Australia, told the BBC. “It has little to do with the venom and all to do with the trauma caused by the barb of the stingray.”

Though he frequently acted like a lunatic in public and on television, Irwin was a brilliant environmentalist and a heck of an entertainer (not to mention educator). Not since the days of Jim Fowler on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson has watching an animal expert on television been so much fun.

G’bye, mate.

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Category: Reality Bytes

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