Today is the 10-year anniversary of the shocking, and tragic death, of Steve Irwin. Irwin, also known as the “Crocodile Hunter”, was shooting footage for a TV show when a stingray shot one of its barbs into Irwin’s chest. On the day of his death in 2006, The Age reported on the tragedy. In the article, Steve Irwin’s manager, and friend, John Stainton, commented on the unexpected death.
“He came over the top of a stingray and the stingray’s barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart. It’s likely that he possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I don’t think that he… felt any pain. He died doing what he loved best.”
“You think about all the documentaries we’ve made and all the dangerous situations that we have been in, you always think `is this it, is this a day that maybe his demise?’ (But) nothing would ever scare Steve or would worry him. He didn’t have a fear of death at all.”
Documentary maker Ben Cropp spoke with members of Irwin’s team and came up with a theory as to why the stingray attacked Steve.
“Steve got probably maybe a bit too close to the ray, and with the cameraman in front, the ray must have felt sort of cornered. It went into a defensive mode, stopped, turned around and lashed out with its tail, which has a considerable spike on it. Unfortunately, Steve was directly in its path and he took a fatal wound.”
— Moe (@moethemyth) September 4, 2016
At the time of his death, Steve Irwin was only the third person to have been killed by a stingray in Australia. According to wildlife experts, stingrays only attack when they feel threatened.
Steve was so beloved in Australia that Prime Minister John Howard commented on the tragic loss of life.
“I am quite shocked and distressed at Steve Irwin’s sudden, untimely and freakish death. It’s a huge loss to Australia. He was a wonderful character. He was a passionate environmentalist. He brought joy and entertainment and excitement to millions of people.”
At the time of Irwin’s death, his daughter, Bindi Irwin, was only eight-years-old. Today, on the 10-year anniversary, Bindi posted a photo of her and her father when she was a baby. In only hours, the tweet from Bindi went viral with 17,000 retweets and 44,000 likes.
You’ll be my hero for my entire existence. I love you more than words can describe. pic.twitter.com/R9OUzGWUwO
— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) September 3, 2016
A few days ago, the family of Steve Irwin was shocked to discover a letter inside of a book which was addressed to his parents Lyn and Bob. The letter was inside of an envelope that read “Please be happy to know that your strength and wisdom have been passed on.”
In the letter, Irwin expressed how important his parents were in raising him and making him the man that he was. The letter will be published in its entirety as part of a memoir that will be available later this year. An excerpt from the letter can be found below.
“Probably one of the most unfortunate things in a ‘bloke’s life’ is that it takes over 30 years to realise how essential you have been to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS. At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength! For the rest of my life I will reflect on the unbelievably GREAT times we’ve shared and will continue to share. You’re my best friends!”
What are some of your favorite moments from watching Steve Irwin?
[Image Via AP Photo/Russell McPhedran, File]