Sunday, September 03, 2006

Crocodile Hunter, we hardly knew ye.

Remarkable. All the bookies in Vegas were sure Steve Irwin would die at the hands, er, teeth, of a crocodile. Alas, the fearless wonder "was killed Monday by a stingray during a diving expedition":
    Irwin was filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef in northeastern Queensland state when the accident occurred, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on its Web site.

    The Australian Broadcasting Corp. said Irwin was diving near Low Isles Reef near the resort town of Port Douglas, about 1,260 miles north of the state capital of Brisbane. ...

    Irwin is famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry "Crikey!" in his television program "Crocodile Hunter," which was first broadcast in Australia in 1992 and has aired around the world on the Discovery channel.

    He rode his image into a feature film, and developed the Australia Zoo as a tourist attraction.

    Irwin had received some negative publicity in recent years. In January 2004, he stunned onlookers at the Australia Zoo reptile park by carrying his 1-year-old son into a crocodile pen during a wildlife show. He tucked the infant under one arm while tossing the 13-foot reptile a piece of meat with the other.

    Authorities declined to charge Irwin for violating safety regulations.

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