Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP, Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter)

I was completely shocked to wake up this morning and read that Steve Irwin, better known as The Crocodile Hunter, had died after a gruesome encounter with a stingray. What a horrible way to die. This was a man who worked tirelessly to educate people to appreciate and respect wildlife, and now he may be reduced to a cautionary example.

However controversial his past behavior may have been, Steve Irwin was, above all, an educator. Animals are often misunderstood, mistreated, and overlooked, and Steve Irwin did his best to enlighten people about wildlife. I was surprised to read that he was also a dedicated conservationist, and that it was this work, not his fame as a TV personality, in which he took the most pride.

Apparently the circumstances of Irwin's death were unusual, almost freakish. In the case of bizarre accidents such as this, the events surrounding the person's death overshadow that person's life and work. I sincerely hope this does not happen. It would be an insult to the man's memory and to his family. Anyone wishing to honor Steve Irwin's memory should donate to his charity, Wildlife Warriors Worldwide.