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Creator / Steve Irwin

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"Since I was a boy...I was out rescuing crocodiles and snakes. My mum and dad were very passionate about that and, I was lucky enough to go along."

Stephen Robert Irwin (22 February 1962 Ė 4 September 2006), nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an Australian zookeeper, television personality, wildlife expert, environmentalist, and conservationist. He achieved worldwide fame with his television series Crocodile Hunter, which documented his generally giddy interactions with the frequently dangerous wildlife of Australia and helped him fill the shoes left open after the death of fellow conservationist Jacques Cousteau. He and his wife, Terri, co-owned and operated the Australia Zoo, and his children Robert and Bindi Sue have been eagerly following in their fatherís footsteps in their love of and respect for wild animals of all kinds.

He died in 2006 after being stung in the chest by a stingray during the filming of Ocean's Deadliest. Reportedly, his last words were that the stingray didnít mean to sting him. The documentary was aired later; the footage of Steve's death was given to Terri, who destroyed it without watching it.




Aren't these tropes gorgeous?

  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • He caught a whole lot of flack in 2004 for feeding a crocodile while holding his son Bob. His wife Terri acknowledged the headline, "Steve Irwin: Australian For 'Stupid,'" but said her favorite was "Crocky Horror Picture Show."
    • His family continue to lean into that controversial moment; Robert feeding that very crocodile is a popular attraction at the zoo, and when Bindi's daughter Grace was a few days old, the family jokingly exposed her early on to some "crocs" (the shoes).
  • Admiring the Abomination: He always reacted to wild animals, especially the dangerous ones, with respect and childlike glee. He was like a real-life Rubeus Hagrid.
  • Awesome Aussie: Took over this role in the 1990s.
  • Big Fun: He was a bit on the burly side, but everything he did, he did with his whole heart.
  • Dented Iron: Later in life, all his animal encounters started to take a visible toll on his body. Then again, for him this meant giving up surfing in favor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Steve played wingman for his publicist even after finding out said publicist was gay, because "blokes love me".
  • Face Death with Dignity: According to those present, Steve was aware he was dying after the fatal stingray sting, but was calm and didn't panic.
  • Fatal Method Acting: He died while filming a documentary in 2006, though the footage was never released to the public and Terri quickly destroyed the only copy.
  • Fluffy Tamer: He loved all animals, especially the dangerous ones, and knew how to handle them safely (though he typically had help).
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: A literal example, as he asked Terri to marry him on their fourth date.
  • Friend to All Living Things: To the point where he even pardoned the stingray that fatally wounded him, stating that it didnít mean to injure him so badly.
  • Generation Xerox: Robert and Bindi are both the spitting image of their dadnote  and share his love of animals.
  • Great White Hunter: Approached this from the conservationist angle, treating every rescue and wild animal with infectious enthusiasm.
  • The Insomniac: According to Steve and Me, Steve was a workaholic, only sleeping about four hours a night. He would work on the zoo from sunup to well after dark, and even during family vacations he would get up at the crack of dawn to go on walks and scope out places to visit.
  • Irony: Everyone (including Steve, himself) assumed he'd get killed by a wild animal, and ultimately he did — in a freak accident involving an animal which is usually harmless rather than by one of the crocodiles or venomous snakes.
  • It's All My Fault: Whenever Steve was attacked or injured by an animal, he always stressed that the blame was his, as they were only behaving the way they were supposed to. He also took the responsibility for nearly getting himself and Terri killed on their honeymoon: they went mountain climbing, her tied to him as a safety measure, but she slipped and began to drag them both down. Literally the only thing which prevented their deaths was that Steve had a fist holdnote  on the slope. After they made it to safety, he admitted it was a mistake to take Terri (a novice) on an unfamiliar ascent.
  • Keet: Steve was excitable and jolly both on- and off-camera. He frequently got bored and ran off to find wildlife during lulls in shooting, and was dreaming up new projects for both his conservation and filming careers even before he finished the ones he was already working on. Not surprisingly, Steve's parents said in The Steve Irwin Story that as a child, he bordered on hyperactive, was never where he was supposed to be, and was always running off to climb trees, or catch snakes and lizards.
  • Love at First Sight: Reportedly, he and Terri hit it off immediately.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: When he first saw Terri, he was so lovestruck that he almost got eaten by the crocodile heíd been hand-feeding at the time.
  • Nice Guy: Steve had a heart as big as all of Asia, Europe, and Africa combined; he rarely spoke unkindly of anyone, human or otherwise.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When the badass who regularly wrangles crocodiles says that crossing a river full of hippos for 5 minutes is the scariest moment in his film career, you better listen.
  • Stout Strength: He was solidly built, and decades of wrestling crocodiles had made him very strong. One of his friends even said that if Steve got hold of you, there was no getting away from him.
  • Taught by Experience: All of his animal handling skills were learned in the field.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack":
    • Bindi Sue Irwin was named for a crocodile named Bindi and a family dog named Sui.
    • Steve Irwin, in turn, has a species of tree-dwelling snail named after him, Crikey steveirwini.