Steve Irwin was making a movie at the Great Barrier Reef in September 2006 when the barb of a stingray suddenly punctured his chest. A short while after, he passed away.
Steve Irwin achieved recognition as the well-liked host of the television series The Crocodile Hunter in the late 1990s. The Australian wildlife expert’s unabashed love of animals and terrifying encounters with hazardous critters made him synonymous with the program that had his enduring nickname.
Irwin seemed to be able to find a way out of any tricky situation, despite the fact that many people feared for his safety. However, while filming in the Great Barrier Reef on September 4, 2006, Steve Irwin was struck by a stingray and passed away abruptly.
Steve Irwin’s passing
The fact that stingrays are typically docile animals that swim away when startled is perhaps the most stunning aspect of how Steve Irwin died.
Why then did the stingray chase him? What occurred to Steve Irwin the day before he passed away? And how did a man renowned for handling reptiles and crocodiles end up being slain by such a kind animal?
Steve The “Crocodile Hunter”
Steve Irwin’s father built the Australia Zoo, where he spent his childhood managing exotic animals.
Stephen Robert Irwin was born on February 22, 1962, in Upper Fern Tree Gully, Australia, and it almost seemed as though he was destined to work with animals. After all, both his parents were well-known animal lovers. After moving to Queensland in 1970, Irwin’s parents established Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park, which is today known as Australia Zoo.
Due to his upbringing in an animal-friendly environment, Steve Irwin consistently displayed a sixth sense when it came to wild animals. In fact, he only had to be six years old to catch his first poisonous snake.
He reportedly wrestled his first crocodile at age 9 while being watched by his father. It’s not surprising that Steve Irwin grew up to be an authority on wildlife like his father, Bob Irwin, given his untamed childhood.
Terri Irwin, Steve Irwin’s wife, once remarked of him, “He’s like Tarzan meets Indiana Jones.”
Irwin had a marriage to his wife that was equally as risky as his connection with life. Irwin and American naturalist Terri Raines met by coincidence in 1991 while she was touring the park that his parents had established. Steve had already taken over management by that moment. Terri referred to their meeting as “love at first sight,” and the two quickly got married.
Soon after the couple tied the knot, Steve Irwin gained media notice. He and his wife started making wildlife documentaries at the start of the 1990s for a new show called The Crocodile Hunter. The series, which was a tremendous success in Australia, would finally be broadcast in the United States in the late ’90s.
Irwin was renowned for his close encounters with some of the most deadly species on the planet, including as crocodiles, pythons, and enormous lizards, while filming the show. The audience erupted in ecstasy.
The Public Did Not Like Some Of His Approach
Steve Irwin became a well-liked international celebrity due to his passion for the outdoors, risky interactions with wildlife, and catchphrase “Crikey!”
But as his popularity increased, people started to criticize his tactics, which some people called careless. Owner of the Alice Springs Reptile Centre in Australia, Rex Neindorf, recounted how Irwin’s tremendous familiarity with animals occasionally affected his judgment.
In reference to a 2003 incident in which Irwin came into contact with a two-yard-long lizard, Neindorf remarked, “I advised him specifically not to handle [the animal] and to use a broom, but Steve simply ignored me.” “His arm eventually had roughly ten incisor marks. Blood was seen all throughout. Steve the comedian was there. He really put up a show.
Irwin sparked even more controversy in January 2004 when he was photographed holding his one-month-old baby Robert and feeding a crocodile in front of the public.
Later, Irwin expressed regret on numerous TV platforms. He claimed during his appearance on Larry King Live that the crocodile appeared to be lot closer than it actually was.
Irwin told King, “I’ve been feeding crocodiles with [my oldest child] Bindi for like five odd years. “I would never put my kids in risk.”
Irwin’s coworkers believed that he was safety conscious, but his unrestrained attitude toward animals will eventually catch up to him.
Steve Irwin’s Cause of Death
How Steve Irwin Passed Away
In 2006, Steve Irwin passed away following a vicious stingray attack.
In order to record a new television series called Ocean’s Deadliest, Steve Irwin and his TV crew traveled to the Great Barrier Reef on September 4, 2006.
Irwin and his team originally intended to capture scenes with a tiger shark when they began filming less than a week ago. Instead, they decided on an eight-foot-wide stingray for a different project after failing to locate one.
The idea was for Irwin to approach the animal while the camera recorded it swimming away. Nobody could have foreseen the ensuing “freak maritime accident.”
The stingray didn’t swim away; instead, it sat up on its front and started stabbing Irwin in the chest repeatedly with its barb.
According to Justin Lyons, the cameraman who captured the tragic sight, “It went through his chest like a hot knife through butter.”
It wasn’t until Lyons saw Irwin lying in a pool of blood that he realized the extent of the injury. Irwin was promptly put back in the boat by him.
Irwin reportedly told Lyons, “It perforated me lung,” signaling that he was in trouble. He didn’t know, though, that the thorn had punctured his heart.
“As we’re motoring back, I’m yelling at one of the other crew members on the boat to put their palm over the wound, and we’re saying to him things like, ‘Think of your kids, Steve, hang on, hang on, hang on,'” Lyons recalled. He simply said, “I’m dying,” while gazing up at me in a serene manner. And it was his final statement.
Irwin’s heart had been so severely damaged by the stingray that there wasn’t anything anyone could have done to save him, the cameraman said. When he passed away, he was only 44 years old.
According to Lyons, the stingray likely mistook Irwin’s shadow for a tiger shark, which feeds on them frequently, and began to attack him as a result.
Lyons claimed that Irwin had given specific instructions that everything that happened to him should be documented. That implied that both his horrific demise and the numerous attempts to save him were documented on tape.
Authorities quickly received the tape so they could review it. The film was given back to the Irwin family after it was unavoidably determined that Steve Irwin’s death was a terrible accident. The Irwin family then claimed that the video of Steve Irwin’s passing had been destroyed.
The Steve Irwin Legacy
The legacy of Steve Irwin is continued by his wife and his two kids, Robert and Bindi.
The Australian Prime Minister promised to organize a state burial for Steve Irwin after his passing. Fans hurried to the Australia Zoo and offered flowers and grief cards in his honor, but the family turned down the gift.
Even now, 15 years later, Steve Irwin’s passing still breaks our hearts. Irwin’s reputation as a passionate wildlife educator is still highly regarded today, nevertheless.
Wild animal handling was a part of Irwin’s children’s upbringing, just as it was for him. His daughter Bindi aired her own children’s wildlife program, Bindi the Jungle Girl, and was a regular guest on his television program. Robert plays the lead role in the Animal Planet series Crikey! Along with his mother and sister.
Like their father, both of Irwin’s kids are also involved in wildlife conservation and work alongside their mother to manage the Australia Zoo. And soon, a new Irwin generation will probably be participating in the fun. Bindi and her spouse made their first child’s impending arrival public in 2020.
There is little doubt that Steve Irwin motivated his offspring to continue his legacy. They obviously want to ensure that his passion of animals is never forgotten.
Bindi Irwin once said that her father “always said he didn’t care if people remembered him as long as they remembered his message.”
- “Steve Irwin”. Australia Zoo. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
- “Honour Steve Irwin’s passion for nature” Archived 21 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Queensland Government Department of Education and Training, 2006.
- “The Irwin Family” Archived 17 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Australia Zoo web site. Retrieved 14 January 2011.