Wildlife conservationist, Steve Irwin became a renowned animal rights protector worldwide, giving sanctuary to displaced animals. The Crocodile Hunter once went over the edge with his passion for animals, by feeding a hungry crocodile while holding his then one-month-old son, Robert Irwin.
Australian Zoologist, Steve Irwin, goes down in history as one of the most honored conservationists to walk the earth. His works on wildlife made him a beloved figure, but with that came moments of criticism as well.
The late star once sparked public disapproval, after being caught on cameras, feeding a crocodile, while carrying his one-month-old son. The icon apologized for the alleged misdemeanor after being called out by concerned children activists who feared for the life of Steve Irwin’s son.
Steve Irwin poses with a three-foot long alligator. | Source: Getty Images
THE STEVE CROCODILE-BABY STUNT
The alarming incident took place during a show called, “Bob’s Croc feeding Debut,” at his Australian Zoo located in the Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
The reality television star entertained a large audience with the unusual show, throwing chunks at a big, hungry crocodile with his son on his other hand. The routine also included moments when the naturalist dangled the child teasingly at a safe distance from the hungry reptile, to the astonishment of the spectators.
Robert Irwin visits Hallmark's "Home & Family." Source: Getty Images
STEVE APOLOGIZES FOR EXPOSING CHILD TO DANGER
Following complaints from various quarters, which resulted in a warning from the state police as well as the Department of Family and child services, the zoologist stepped forward to apologize for his misconduct saying:
“I’m so sorry that it got to this, but that’s the way it is. If I could have my time again, I would probably do things differently.”
However, the wildlife conservationist maintained that he kept a safe working distance from the croc, adding that he would have been considered a bad parent if he failed to educate his kids “to be crocodile savvy because they live in crocodile territory.”
The father promised there would be no repeat of the incident, and no legal actions were taken against him or his wife.
Robert Irwin and Terri Irwin visit the Build Series to discuss Steve Irwin Day and the 2nd season of “Crikey: It’s the Irwins” at Build Studio. | Photo: Getty Images
A GLANCE AT STEVE IRWIN’S LIFE
Before he met his untimely death in 2006, Steve Irwin was a living legend. The naturalist was born on February 22, 1962, in Essendon, Victoria. His parents, Bob and Lyn Irwin were both wildlife enthusiasts and founded an animal park in Queensland together where Steve grew up around crocodiles, mastering the act of catching the scaly reptile.
The icon attained global recognition for hosting the wildlife series, “The Crocodile Hunter,” and went on to host other series including “Croc Files,” “The Crocodile Hunter Diaries,” and “New Breed Vets,” all of which he filmed alongside his wife, Terri Raines.
STEVE IRWIN’S DEATH
The famed adventurer lost his life in September 2006, due to multiple stabs from a Stingray barb, which resulted in injuries to his heart and lungs.
The documentary star met his end during the filming of a new documentary series, “Oceans deadliest,” where he encountered the 2.4-meter wide sea animal.
The Crocodile Hunter", Steve Irwin, poses with a three foot long alligator at the San Francisco Zoo | Photo: Getty Images
Steve’s underwater cameraman, Justin Lyons, who was the sole witness to the legend’s demise recounted the tragic scene on Australia’s Network Ten television saying:
“I panned with the camera as the string warm swarm away. I didn’t even know it had caused any damage. It wasn’t until I panned the camera back, and Steve was standing in a huge pool of blood that I realized something had gone wrong.”
The cameraman also explained that the star had trouble breathing afterward, and nothing could have been done to save him even with the best paramedics, and Steve knew that too as he breathed his last words, “I’m dying.”
STEVE’S WIFE AND KIDS
The wildlife specialist left behind a wife and two kids, Robert and Bindi Irwin. The Crocodile Hunter and Terri Raines married in 1992, months after their first meeting in Australia.
Both shared the same interests in preserving the fauna, and had the most extraordinary honeymoon, filming and catching crocodiles for their romantic getaway.
Terri Irwin attends the Steve Irwin Gala Dinner. | Source: Getty Images
Their daughter, Sue Bindi Irwin, was born on July 24, 1998, while son, Robert Clarence, arrived in December 2003. Both have adopted the long upheld family venture as wildlife conservationists.
Steve Irwin’s daughter revealed plans to get married this year, also implying that the 15-year-old would do the honors of walking her down the aisle in her late dad’s stead, which Robert was glad to oblige.
Steve Irwin poses with his family. | Source: Getty Images
THE PETA CASE
Even in death, the star continued to get accolades for his works on wildlife, which included the discovery of new species, creating sanctuaries for animals, and educating the masses on wildlife conservation.
His approach was, however, considered inappropriate by some, who have raised cases against him in the past, the most prominent being the 2019 PETA criticism of the adventurer.
To mark the 57th birthday remembrance of the reality star on February 23, 2019, Google honored his legacy with a google doodle, as the icons on Google’s search page featured slideshows of Irwin and his croc adventures.
Bindi Irwin poses with her father, Steve Irwin. | Source: Getty Images
Shortly after the due honor, an animal rights organization termed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA tweeted a criticism against the Google doodle, implying the wildlife conservationist was undeserving of the honors.
Following PETA’s Steve Irwin criticism, twitter users lashed out at the organization, labeling them “an embarrassment” to animal rights, while defending the legend.
Notwithstanding what anyone else thought of the legendary adventurer, Steve Irwin’s family were determined to carry on his legacy.
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