RIP Crocodile Hunter

I was just gonna leave this picture up and not say anything, but I wanted to add a few words.

I know a lot of people are probably gonna make jokes and stuff and that’s fine, but I actually really liked the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin.

Maybe I wanted to root for a guy who’s cheated death on many occasions, but beyond that, I respect anybody who’s that passionate about something they believe in.

I remember the first time I saw him on TV, he was driving along the rabbit-proof fence in Australia and he spotted a snake or something on the other side. He jumped from his moving vehicle and bounded over the fence, catching his leg on the razor wire as he did so.

Well, he didn’t flinch or really do anything to indicate that he had just slashed his leg open and was bleeding profusely.

Without breaking stride, he grabbed that snake and lifted it up to show the camera with his usual enthusiasm.

You can make the argument that he was just an idiot and people shouldn’t look up to someone just because they put their own safety at risk in order to make a TV show, but I think they’re missing the point.

This is a guy who loved life and wanted to live it on his own terms. Someone who believed in animal conservancy and was willing to go to great lengths to bring the issue to the attention of as many people as possible.

Sure, we all laughed at his antics and I’m not denying the cringe-factor appeal of watching a guy almost get killed by deadly animals, but the fact is, he brought us something that most of us will never get to experience in real life.

Steve Irwin loved animals and believed we should do everything in our power to protect them. He did what he did because he didn’t want his children to grow up in a world without them.

Now his children will grow up without their father, because of one of those animals. I see the irony. I think we all see the irony.

When I read about climbers dying on Mount Everest, I get angry, thinking about how their families must feel. It all seems so pointless: to endanger your life seeking thrills.

But I think Steve Irwin is different. Obviously, he did love the rush from an up-close interaction with a deadly animal, but there was more to it than that.

This is what he loved to do, he believed it was important and he died doing it. I bet he wouldn’t have chosen this, but I’m sure he was aware of the possibility that it could happen.

I just hope his message isn’t lost in the details of his death.

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14 comments

  1. When I first heard of his demise (and death) I was ecstatic. I realize that sounds heartless, but those who know me know that I’ve been a PCA (Pro-Crocodile Activist) for years. Your blog, however, made me realize that there was more to this man besides his joy of teasing and taunting those magnificent, tender creatures of the swamp and for that, I thank you.

    I would also like to thank you for not making any cheap jokes at his expense…such as, “STINGRAYS ON A PLANE!” or anything like that.

  2. That is probably the most perfect eulogy I’ve read on the subject. People, even his fans, forget that he was a rabid conservationist. They also forget he was a father and a husband. Very nice words

  3. When I first heard I had a few moments of “well he finally fucked with the wrong animal” and was sort of amused by the… I dunno, irony or lack thereof? But then I thought about it for a moment and felt ashamed for processing it in such a pop-culture sort of way. He was a neat guy who did good things and advocated a good message, his position as a sort of goofy public personality doesn’t change that. Well said.

  4. You wrote, “He did what he did because he didn’t want his children to grow up in a world without them (animals).”

    He did what he did because t.v. producers gave him more and more money to get exhibitionistly crazy with animals on t.v. I don’t believe that he did what he did so that his children could grow up with animals. Was he really thinking of his children when he continued in his line of work?

    You also wrote, “He was someone who believed in animal conservancy and was willing to go to great lengths to bring the issue to the attention of as many people as possible.”

    No, he went to great lengths to create thrills for himself and for the t.v. audience. Aren’t you called ‘HollywoodPhony?” Can’t you see the bottom line in Erwin’s choice of career? His bottom line was not conservancy. He was a risk-taker, he got jobs doing it on t.v., which only encourages you to do more and more risky things on t.v. for more money and to keep your job.

  5. Steve Irwin was somewhere in between. He wasn’t a conservationist, if that was the case no one would know his name. I wouldn’t say that he was strictly a TV personality either, his love for nature and the animals he pursued showed in his work. He lost me when he decided to play with dangerous animals while holding his infant child. That showed that it was the thrill seeking daredevil in him is what ran the show. But bottom line is that we all will die and at least he did it doing something he was passionate about.

  6. Steve Irwin was a conservationist first, a tv personality second. Do the math. He was 44 years old when he died. Worked with animals for his entire life, and a tv personality for less than 10 years. What he did was not for publicity. It was for animals.

  7. I agree with the sentiments here: he was a conservationist FIRST, a tv-personality second. He was a funny-card, and a great-guy who loved animals. For loving animals, for wanting to save the natural-environment, he gets my vote as a nice-man. Sure, I would normally be the first to make a joke at a dead-person’s expense since a) they’re dead, and b) dead-people cannot sue you, though their Estates can. I already miss the man, why couldn’t it have been Dick Cheney getting his heart pierced by a stingray? Or why couldn’t Preznent Bush’s head explode like in ‘Scanners’? Or why couldn’t Ted Nugent get trampled-to-death by a deer, or gored by a wildcat? Or why…

  8. Woah. I just found your blog, thanks to a heads up from Bob Odenkirk, and I gotta say, you’re astoundingly funny and witty. And at first I wasn’t sure what direction this blog was gonna take, but I must say, well said. Steve ruled.

    -Anonymous Charles

  9. Regardless of his motives (how can we ever *really* know?), his impact on youth and their desires to pursue conservation and respect his messages should NOT be belittled. As a volunteer and activist locallly, I have seen many children (including my own) begin with an appreciation for The Crocodile Hunter and continue on to become volunteers, activists, and conscientious members of society and occupants of this planet. We were blessed by what he gave and he is very much missed, abroad as well as at home. Thank you for a very fitting memorial post.

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