Enthusiasm, Passion and Conservation
February 22, 1962 - September 4, 2006
Irwin was Just Having a Whale of a Time
The untimely death of Australian and devout conservationist Steve Irwin has touched the world. Irwin is now gone, killed by a stingray's barb that pierced his heart while he was being filmed at the Great Barrier Reef. If you believe in magic, however, you already have a grasp of who he was. Steve Irwin had uncanny ability to interact with animals. His friends called it "The Force", the peculiar animal instinct that bonded Steve Irwin to all creatures great, small and deadly. His dad saw it first, when Irwin was just a boy tracking snakes around the family home. Steve got his first ride on the back of a crocodile at nine years old.
In adult life, signs of the force at play became more evident: the stealth-like crawl through shrubs; the bizarre animal calls; the burning, insatiable desire to leap onto the backs of errant crocodiles and wrestle them into submission. It was a gift, his friends said. Inexplicable. Mystifying. But Irwin knew well where it sprang from: his heart, the fast-beating, seemingly unstoppable engine where he kept a deep love for wildlife. "I put my life on the line to save animals," he said. Steve knew the risks involved with the type of work he was doing and he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Irwin had many scars on his body. Bite marks and puncture wounds - some 3cm wide - covered his brown, leathery skin. Irwin considered scars collateral damage. "Just little pink bits," he would say. Personal injury, Irwin felt, was a necessary evil for a man intent on saving the planet. "I have no fear of losing my life," Steve Irwin said. "If I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it. I am a wildlife warrior"
His message was conservation. Simple. Uncomplicated. Believable.
So long Mate........... we will miss you