I have been meaning to write a tribute for our dear friend Steve Irwin for a long time and just haven’t had the time and energy. I still don’t, but I had a mocha frap and I’m wide awake and since there was a special about him tonight on Animal Planet, I’m in the mindset.
When My Love and I first heard that Steve had been killed by a stingray we thought it was a hoax or at least an exaggeration. Maybe he looked dead when they pulled him from the water but then he got to the hospital and was treated and a full recovery was expected.
No such luck, however. As more and more reports came in containing the circumstances of his death the reality of it began to sink in. We were both heart broken; for his family, for his friends and coworkers, for his mission, and for ourselves. We loved The Croc Hunter and had always planned on visiting the Australia Zoo someday to meet him in person. We wanted our kids to meet him. We wanted to experience his passion and personality first hand. We both shed a tear for the loss of this great person.
PETA would have us believe that he got what he deserved and that it serves him right for “disturbing” the animals. They want us to think that Steve manhandled every creature that he came in contact with and that his interactions with the animals stressed them. I even read reports from animal activists the day after his death criticizing Steve’s work, his zoo, and his way of life – that he profited at the expense of animals. Well I say, CRIKEY, give me a break. I had never before seen any nature show where the host didn’t grab the snake by the neck and squeeze it to keep it from biting. Steve usually got bit if that is what the animal decided to do. He didn’t squish them under a stick or trap them under his boot. He picked them up, kept the heads at a safe distance, and became their friend. He loved the animals, he kissed the animals (right on the lips), he was one of them and they knew it.
As for his zoo…I don’t think that PETA realizes that most of the animals in the facility would be dead if they weren’t there. The animals kept captive in the Australia Zoo probably lived better than Steve or his staff. Most were there for the sake of education and conservation. Would you animal rights people rather have two healthy, beautiful, rare animals well taken care of in a captive setting or none of those animals at all? And whether or not Steve made a lot of money is of no consequence since most of it was dumped back into research, conservation, maintenance, and providing for the animals that were exhibited. Kind of like a parent setting up a trust fund for a child. Who could criticize that?
Steve Irwin just seemed like a great guy, albeit a little crazy. That is what made him so great though, he was crazy, he knew it and he was not the least bit ashamed of it. He was crazy about what he did for animals. Teaching the world to respect them, preserve them, and not to fear them. Even though I saw no evidence that he was a Christian, I believe that the world was blessed by his short life on it. My Love and I were blessed to have him in our lives and we will miss him.
Thank you, Steve.
By His Grace