Steve Irwin Killed By Stingray
4 September 2006
Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin has died after a string-ray barb caught him in the chest.
The 44-year-old international TV star was swimming off the Low Isles at Port Douglas filming an underwater documentary when the incident happened.
Ambulance officers confirmed they attended a reef fatality this morning at Batt Reef off Port Douglas. It is understood Irwin was killed around midday.
Irwin leaves his wife Terri and young children Bob and and Bindi.
The blonde star of Crocodile Hunter, who made khaki shorts and boots his uniform all year round, was an Australian icon.
But his reptile wrestling antics thrilled overseas audiences even more and he became a fixture on US television in the past decade.
The son of naturalists Bob and Lyn Irwin, Steve learned to live with dangerous reptiles from a young age at the family’s Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park.
He opened his own Australia Zoo in Queensland in 1991, leading him to record the hugely popular Crocodile Hunter the following year.
His catchcry of “Crikey!” brought the unfashionable Aussie phrase back into vogue.
Irwin’s work had a serious side. He was recently made the face of Australia’s quarantine laws and appeared in TV advertisements urging travellers not to endanger Australia’s unique flora and fauna by bringing in foreign specimens.
For all his love of animals, Irwin’s first duty was to his US-born wife, Terri Reines, who appeared by his side from the very first episode of the Crocodile Hunter. In 1998, their daughter Bindi Sue was born and drafted straight into the family business.
A son, Robert Clarence, was born in 2003 and Irwin made world headlines - and suffered a dent on his popularity - when he took the baby boy into a crocodile enclosure, leading critics to accuse him of neglect.