15 November 2013 - STEVE IRWIN - Aussie Wildlife Warrior


STEVE IRWIN

- AUSSIE WILDLIFE WARRIOR -

G'day guys,

Today I introduce a great Australian conservationist who was sadly killed in the course of his work - Steve Irwin. Today is known in Australia as 'Steve Irwin Day'. All proceeds from the Steve Irwin Day Gala Dinner go to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, so that they can continue the conservation work Steve was so passionate about, and continue to keep his dream alive.

Who was he?

Steve was larger than life, a guy who related to kids and made them appreciate and respect animals. I make no apologies for weeping the day he died. Not only was he a character who made the Aussie expression 'Crikey' famous, but he put his money where his mouth was. His passion and integrity were never for sale. You have to respect someone like that. I sure did.

Facts:
 
Stephen Robert Irwin was born to Lyn and Bob Irwin on 22 February, 1962, in upper Fern Tree Gully, Victoria. He moved with his parents and two sisters to Beerwah, Queensland, where his folks opened the Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park in 1970.



Steve grew up loving all wildlife, especially reptiles. He caught his first venomous snake (a Common Brown) at the tender age of six and would often arrive late to school after convincing his mother to pull over so he could rescue a lizard off the road.


By the time he was nine-years-old, he was helping his dad catch small problem crocodiles hanging around boat ramps by jumping on them in the water and wrestling them back into the dinghy. He always had an uncanny sixth sense when it came to wildlife and he spent his life honing that skill.



In the 1980s Steve spent months on end living in the most remote areas of far North Queensland catching problem crocodiles before they ended up shot by a poacher’s bullet. He worked with his little dog, Sui, and developed crocodile capture and management techniques that are now utilised with crocodilians around the world.


By 1980, the family wildlife park was called the ‘Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park’ and where Steve called home. Steve and his best mate, Wes Mannion, worked countless hours caring for the wildlife and maintaining the grounds.



In 1991 Steve took over managing the wildlife park and met Terri Rains, a visiting tourist, on 6 October. Steve and Terri were married in Eugene, Oregon, on 4 June 1992 at the Methodist church Terri’s grandmother used to attend.


Instead of a honeymoon, the couple embarked on filming a wildlife documentary with John Stainton from the ‘Best Picture Show’ company. The show was so successful it turned into a series and the Crocodile Hunter was born.
 
After Steve’s parents retired in the 1992 Steve worked tirelessly to improve and expand his wildlife park. Re-naming it Australia Zoo in 1998, Steve’s vision for the world’s best Zoo was coming to fruition. In July 2006 Steve set out his ten year business plan for his beloved zoo. He couldn’t know he would be gone just two months later, but he believed his conservation work would go on. His two beautiful children will make sure it does.









Check out this video. It is a commemorative service for Steve that was televised throughout the country and officiated by the then Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard. 


Now, here is a tribute to Steve that day. The song being sung is 'True Blue' by country singer, John Williamson. To be called 'True Blue' in Australia is the highest form of compliment. 




 Clancy's comment: Steve was spiked by a Stingray whilst filming underwater. He removed the barb but soon lost consciousness. Steve Irwin was an absolute legend. Why, because he was an extraordinary role model for young kids. He was also a genuine bloke and wonderful human. It doesn't get any better than that, eh?


Crikey, Steve. Sorry you had to go so early. Loved ya work, mate ... loved ya work!

Pax vobiscum.

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