I never thought I'd be writing about the passing of Steve Irwin, but fate seems to have a sense of irony. For any of you who are living under a rock, Steve Irwin, the famed and loved Crocodile Hunter, died recently from a fatal stingray attack.|
What drives me nuts about this is how much of a freak accident it is. Stingrays are rarely agressive and almost never deadly. Steve just happened to catch the attack in the heart; a one-in-a-thousand shot on the stingray's part. He died shortly thereafter en route to proper medical care.
Almost everyone I've talked to has been saddened by it. Let's face it; almost noone actually disliked Steve. Some grumpy Australians didn't like him as a national icon and some cremudgins thought he should grow up and get a real job, but deep down inside, we all loved him. His dynamic personality, his crazy antics with wrestling crocs, and his expertise on every animal in existence were just a few of the things that made him great.
I hate it when people comment on how he's just an "entertainer" or just "macho." No, Steve wasn't just another circus act or a macho maniac; he was a true nature expert and conservationist. The reason he wrestled crocodiles was by and large for relocation and protection. He knew everything about the lives and behavior of the animals that he caught.
I've seen one or two other Crocodile Hunter wannabes, including a hilarious Ebaumsworld clip of a guy chasing down a venemous snake and then getting bitten. The big difference between these weirdos and Steve is Steve's attitude. Steve didn't shout challenges at snakes; he talked with them. He really held one-sided conversations with them. He was gentle and caring to even the most deadly creatures. He honestly loved animals.
The saddest thing about Steve's death is the wife and two children he left behind. Regardless of whether you liked him or not, you have to admit that seeing people left behind is terrible. He loved his family and they loved him. I'm not sure whether they're going to follow in his footsteps or not, but God be with them, especially now.
We've lost a great man, an icon, and to many, a hero. Some kids have equated Steve with Superman. Personally, I thought he was awesome. Steve, you'll be missed. God rest his soul.