Sept. 4, 2006 — Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian
television personality and conservationist known as the “Crocodile Hunter,” was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.
Irwin was at Batt Reef, off the remote coast of northeastern
Queensland state, shooting a segment for a series called “Ocean’s Deadliest” when he swam too close to one of the animals, which have a poisonous barb on their tails, his friend and colleague John Stainton said.
“He came on top of the stingray and the stingray’s barb went up and into his chest and put a hole into his heart,” said Stainton, who was on board Irwin’s boat at the time.
I thought Irwin was foolish for handling such dangerous animals and putting himself in such risky situations constantly. I knew that someday his lifestyle would catch up to him, but it saddens me because I loved his programs and I knew how important a figure he was to children who looked up to him. He’ll be missed dearly.