Steve Irwin: 4 September 2006

By Rifqah Husna

Fifteen years ago today, Steve Irwin has passed away due to a fatally stab attack of a stingray.

Steve Irwin was born to a couple of wildlife keepers on 22 February 1962 in Victoria, Australia. In 1970, his parents settled down in Beerwah, Queensland, and founded Beerwah Reptile Park. Eventually, the reptile park expanded and developed into Australia Zoo.

After married in 1992, Irwin and his wife, Terri, filmed documentaries about managing relocations of problem crocodiles around Queensland. Their documentaries had actualised into a TV documentary series “The Crocodile Hunter”, and the series helped in propelling his name around the globe.

Other than the seven-year long series, from 1997-2004, Irwin supervised and published multiple more wildlife documentaries. In 2006, Irwin and Terri outlined a 10-year-plan for Australia Zoo, where he has been managing since 1991. However, his age was cut short.

In September 2006, Irwin and his crew stayed at Batt Reef for a documentary filming entitled ‘Ocean’s Deadliest’. After eight days of filming, they were searching for the Tiger Shark. Unfortunately, the bad weather that kept them accompany hindered their process. But Steve Irwin was not a person who would just sit and stare.

He and the cameramen rode on a boat and surveilling around to find something to be filmed. Soon enough, Irwin noticed an 8-foot-wide stingray within the chest-level water. Immediately, they formulated a plan, dived into the water, and shot the filming.

Everything went very well until the last shot. Out of a sudden, the stingray stabbed its tail on Irwin’s chest repeatedly within a few seconds. When the crew got a glimpse of Irwin wallowing in blood, quickly, they pulled him up onto the board.

His crew had done their utmost to keep him breathing by applying CPR. Yet, as the medical team arrived more than an hour, Irwin was confirmed dead at the age of 44. A jab of the dagger-like-tail spine penetrated his heart and left a wide 2 inches of a stabbing wound.

As identified, the cause of an aggressive attack by the stingray was because it might be assuming Irwin’s shadow as its deadly prey, the Tiger Shark.

All in all, Steve Irwin’s legacy has been sufficient in educating about the significance of preserving wildlife. Notably, his efforts were carried on by Terri and their children, Bindi and Robert. ***

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