Steve Irwin, ‘The Crocodile Hunter’, Died at 44

Stephen Robert “Steve” Irwin died on the 4th of September 2006 at the age of 44, nicknamed “The Crocodile Hunter”, he was an Australian wildlife expert, television personality, and conservationist.

Born on his mother’s birthday to Lyn and Bob Irwin in Essendon on the 22nd of February 1962, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, he is of Irish descent on his father’s side.

He moved with his parents as a child to Queensland in 1970, where he attended Landsborough State School and Caloundra State High School.

Irwin described his father as a wildlife expert interested in herpetology, while his mother Lyn was a wildlife rehabilitator.

Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted with his wife Terri.

Together, the couple also owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin’s parents in Beerwah, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of the Queensland state capital city of Brisbane.

In 1991, Irwin met Terri Raines, an American naturalist from Eugene, Oregon, who was visiting wildlife rehabilitation facilities in Australia and had decided to visit the zoo.

According to the couple, it was love at first sight.

Terri said at the time, “I thought there was no one like this anywhere in the world. He sounded like an environmental Tarzan, a larger-than-life superhero guy.”

They were engaged four months later and were married in Eugene on 4 June 1992.

Together they had two children: a daughter, Bindi Sue Irwin (born 24 July 1998), and a son, Robert Clarence “Bob” (named after Irwin’s father) Irwin (born 1 December 2003).

Bindi Sue is jointly named after two of Steve Irwin’s favourite animals: Bindi, a saltwater crocodile, and Sui, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who died on the 23rd of June 2004.

In 2001, Irwin appeared in a cameo role in the Eddie Murphy film Dr. Dolittle 2, in which an alligator warns Dolittle that he knows Irwin is going to grab him and is prepared to attack when he does, but Dolittle fails to warn Irwin in time.

Irwin’s only starring feature film role was in 2002’s The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, which was released to mixed reviews.

In the film Irwin (who portrayed himself and performed numerous stunts) mistakes some CIA agents for poachers.

He sets out to stop them from capturing a crocodile, which, unknown to him, has actually swallowed a tracking transmitter.

The film won the Best Family Feature Film award for a comedy film at the Young Artist Awards.

The film was produced on a budget of about US$12 million, and has grossed $33 million.

Ford continued to make many notable films during his prestigious 50-year movie career, but he is best known for his fine westerns such as 3:10 to Yuma (1957) and The Rounders (1965).

Ford pulled a hugely entertaining turn in The Sheepman (1958) and many more fine films.

In the 1970s, Ford made his television debut in the controversial The Brotherhood of the Bell (1970) and appeared in two fondly remembered television series: Cade’s County (1971) and The Family Holvak (1975).

Irwin died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary film titled Ocean’s Deadliest.