And no, he wasn’t killed by a croc. Unfortunately, his wife may not know yet:
THE Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, is dead.
He was killed in a freak accident in Cairns, police sources said.
It is understood he was killed by a stingray barb that went through his chest.
He was swimming off the Low Isles at Port Douglas filming an underwater documentary when the tragedy occurred.
Ambulance officers confirmed they attended a reef fatality this morning at Batt Reef off Port Douglas.
Irwin’s body is being flown to Cairns.
It is believed Mr Irwin’s American-born wife Terri is trekking on Cradle Mountain in Tasmania and is yet to be told of her husband’s death.
Mr Irwin – known worldwide as the Crocodile Hunter – is famous for his enthusiasm for wildlife and his catchcry “Crikey!”.
The father of two’s Crocodile Hunter program was first broadcast in 1992 and has been shown around the world on cable network Discovery.
He has also starred in movies and has developed the Australia Zoo wildlife park, north of Brisbane, which was started by his parents Bob and Lyn Irwin.
That’s a shame. Steve was an interesting fellow, but considering his proclivity for extreme animal adventures, I guess I’m not completely surprised. Hat tip Drudge.
Update: Reuters has more:
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Steve Irwin, the quirky Australian naturalist who won worldwide acclaim, has died in a marine accident off Australia’s northeast coast, local media reported on Monday.
Queensland state government sources quoted by Australian Associated Press (AAP) said Irwin, 44, whose television show “The Crocodile Hunter” won international acclaim and popularized the phrase “Crikey”, was believed to have been killed by a stingray barb that pierced his chest.
He was filming an underwater documentary off Port Douglas when the accident occurred, the report said.
Sky Television also reported that Irwin had been stung by a sting ray.
Australian emergency officials could not immediately confirm the reports.
Irwin won a global following for his daredevil antics but also triggered outrage in 2004 by holding his then one-month-old baby while feeding a snapping crocodile at his Australian zoo.
Update II: Australia’s Courier Mail:
He dealt daily with all manner of dangerous creatures … giant crocodiles, poisonous snakes, komodo dragons … but it was a less obvious hazard that claimed the life of Steve Irwin.
Irwin had taken calculated risks with all sorts of wildlife for decades, relying on his knowledge of animal behaviour and personal experience to beat the odds.
For someone who spent so much time around killer animals, Irwin seemed to leave a charmed life.
So his demise was all the more shocking because it apparently involved a stingray, an animal regarded as dangerous but not as a killer.
It is understood that Irwin was swimming off the Low Isles off Port Douglas filming a documentary, a task Irwin has carried out on countless occasions.
Yet this time, Irwin, ever so careful around danger, was taken unawares when, apparently, a sting ray he was filming struck out with its tail, the venomous barbs fatally embedding in his chest.
The death brought to an end a career that began with his father’s Sunshine Coast theme park and developed into an international empire in which Irwin was a globally recognised brand.
Working with his American-born wife Terri, and later, children his Bindi and Bob, the Irwin phenomenon continued to grow.
He was as recognised in the USA as he was here, and was one of the best-known Australians on the planet.
Update III: Australia’s News.com:
THE fatal stingray attack on Steve Irwin may have occurred because the animal was startled or frightened, an expert said today.
Victoria Brims, a marine life expert from Oceanworld in Sydney, said the stingray that killed Irwin was most likely provoked.
“I am aware he was filming a documentary and his documentaries are usually very hands on. I can only assume that he had some kind of hands on or close contact with the animal who like us when we get afraid defended itself,” Ms Brims said.
Brims also said that for a sting to result in death the person involved had to be stung close to the heart and also have a reaction to the sting.
“For the most part people get stung on the foot when they accidentally tread on a ray and this can be no worse than a bacterial infection,” Ms Brims said.
“Their barbs are very strong and release poison if touched. It must have got him right near the heart but the barb would not have gone through his chest.”
Update IV: News.com is also saying that a stingray barb is as deadly as a bayonet.
Update V: According to marine experts quoted in ABC News Online, a stingray barb in the chest is almost impossible to survive because of the stingray’s protein-based venom that damages the heart. Seventeen people worldwide have been killed by stingrays and they were all hit in the trunk.
This, honestly, is one of the most shocking things I’ve read in a while.
aw man. this guy was the best. why did he have to die. this is soo sick, i loved watching his shows when there was nothing to do. he is was a hero to me. aw man.
this is super sad. when i first read this i didnt even believe it but then i read it on some other sites.
=[ RIP Steve Irwin
That’s terrible news; great guy –
You cannot release this stuff to the press without his wife knowing also.
i know he was cool, watta aussie icon, damn it but i feel so guilty, i cant help but see the irony of the crocodile hunter being killed by a stingray, now hell yeah stingrays are evil little bastards but i find it kind of tantamount to a lion tamer being killed by a monkey, damn irony! and he has 2 kids! omg how sad =(. poor guy n his family, gah i hate it that hes dead it soo sucks!! `stralia zoo wont never be the same.
This is very sad news. Steve was a wonderful man passionate about everything he undertook.
Our condolences to his wife, family and team at their sad loss. We will miss him very much
steve irwin was a great australian hero. we are in georgraphy and should be working but this is such a shock he will be remembered for his famous quote “crikey” and sadly missed….
Aw, damn. No…
RIP, sir. You made a lot of friends you never met…
Funny he should die like that, was expecting him to die of snake poisoning or being eaten by a shark or something.. the crazy guy was messing with all those little animals for no reason… what was he thinging? well everything must come to an end in this world and I guess it was time up for him..
i am really actually sad, i watch (watched) this guy and i never could imagine him dead
i’m sure it will hit me tommorow that he’s actually dead
R.I.P. Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin
I cant beleive that steve irwin could be dead, at first i was hoping some mongrel had lied and told the media a BS story that steve had died. But then i searched and everyone is saying he’s dead.
I feel so sorry for his children and wife, I mean this was one man that was so passionate about his family! I have no idea how poor little Bindi and Bob are going to cope growing up without there father. This is one death of a celebrity that truly brings a tear to my eye. And I think I can safely say that everyone that has a heart and cares about this man will also be deeply saddened by this tragic accident.
Rest In Peace Mate!
Kind of ironic that he WASN’T killed by a croc. I didn’t even know you could die from a sting ray. I’ve swam around then tons of times before.
Poor steve irwin…you will be missed everywhere buddy…stingrays must die…
I love animals and nature, he was my hero. I wanted to do something of this nature myself: he was funny, exciting, adventurous, a real maverick. I lived my dreams through his documentaries vacariously. I salute you and your memory. May God give your family peace in his passing and promotion to glory.
To Terry, we are not forgotten as long as one of us on earth recalls his name and face. When no one recalls, we shall be together forever in eternity in love with God.
May God have mercy on your soul as you did all those injured animals to be rescued and may he forgive you any sins you may have done.
“I knew that croc would get ‘im!” Only, it wasn’t a croc. I thought he was invincible. So sad. Conservation needs reckless fools to protect the wild. I can’t imagine another one willing to get those close shots or show us the bellyside view of animals that most people fear. Steve Irwin embodied all that I thought of Australia—fearless in laughter and love, unafraid of the earth he lived on. I still remember him choking up with empathy at the horrific events of September 11, speaking in such a heartfelt manner to the American viewers about something he truly did not understand—the hatred and violence of men. He was a childlike man whose love and enthusiasm served as a lesson on how to be of the world you are born into, regardless of the bewildering politics it sometimes thrusts upon us.
Much sympathy for Terri, Bindi, Bob, and Steve’s family, his dad and sisters. We loved him, y’all.
oh my god.. i think imma cry =[ thats so sad!!! i liked him
stunned and shocked. what a shame.
This is quite a shock to me actually. All of us know that we always picked on that guy, saying that he’d die at any moment doing those crazy things. But the reality hits you when you realize he actually did die from a crazy stunt. It makes me feel somewhat guilty actually. RIP, Crocodile Hunter… You will be missed.
my god. we will miss you steve irwin
My family loved to watch all Steve’s adventures. He was a true family man that seemed to be a very happy person. The world will truly miss this man. My deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, children, family and co-workers. I am from Tennessee in the U.S.A. God Bless you all,
We will pray for your family!
Friends in the USA
Steve Irwin is a great example of someone who was driven by “pure passion”.
This guy made me appreciate animals in a way I never had. His compassion and enthusiasm for animals was very infectious.
He will be missed by many people, present and future, and this is one man that the world will miss.
He made my children so happy… It is so very sad.
The way Steve was am sure he was not just watching the stingray swim by. They are not aggressive so something went wrong . I remember my dive instructor said “There are OLD divers and there are BOLD divers but there are no OLD BOLD divers”. I will miss Steve and his wonderful enthusiasm and that facinating accent. He was too young to die. I can’t believe it. Patty
This comment was deleted. Any more nasty comments made about anyone else will be junked and banned.
why do they call him a croc hunter when he does documentaries? well anywayz hes the best! fo shizzle ma nizzle@
Iam realy devestated to here about this tragedy steve was a real idol to me and my family and i know he touched many other families alike i belive and hope that every one will join me tonite under the stars at 8 pm in memory to steve and yell out as he would put it “Crikey” I would also like to send out my heart felt sorry to Terri and the children god bless you all in your hour of need, Australia feels for you all and is there to see you through, loving thaughts Justin Freeman and family . RIP Steve .
Sometimes the news really sucks. This story tops the list. Crikey! Why couldn’t it have been a plane crash, liver disease, or bird flu instead of a fish attack? One cannot call this an accident. Stingrays defend themselves when they feel threatened. Our mate, Steve, was doing his thing…and sting happens. I’m very bummed about this loss. Crikey, you bloody maniac. You are already missed by the animal kingdom. Who will save the world now?
I think people need to learn some respect. I am so sorry about this, I was soppused to be working with him next year, in my ‘University workinf
g year’ and I can’t believe he’s gone. I’m so sad, I was convinced something freaky would kill him, but I’m shocked it’s happened to him at such a young age of 44, rather than when he was older and say something was quicker than him. This is terrible. I know he’d not want us to be angry with the creature, as that’s what he’s all about, but you can’t help it. I’m mad at the deer for harming Cristano da Matta racing driver also. So freaky animals can cause so much trouble.
To Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin – R.I.P. May God bless you and keep you.
To the Irwin family – May God comfort you in your time of enormous sorrow and grief.
At first I thought it had to be a bad joke and now I’m sorry that it wasn’t. 🙁
I wouldn’t wish the fellow any harm, but what honestly made him so “great”?
Playing with snakes and alligators makes you great these days?
REALLY SUX! I feel for his family. I hope children know how proud everyone was of their father.
A damn stingray ! Almost like superman dead from a mosquito bite…..well anyway he lived his life. I wonder how many of these bloggers are really living theirs?????
Oh no, not Steve Irwin… He was one of the good guys. Why couldn’t it be a gangsta rapper or corrupt politician? Why the Croc Hunter? He has made more positive contributions to the world than any of those other guys.
My prayers to his family.
Matt.Rat, Oregon, USA
I can’t beleive it either. He was the best! We love you Steve! Hopefully your kiddies take your place!
This fellow is great man!eventhough he doesn’t know me.I love him for his work and i believe there’s a place reserved already for him up there. rest in peace bro.
I’m an American father of a 7 year old and a 5 year old. I have enjyed watching Steve and Terri Irwin in tv even before my kids were born. This is a very sad occasion for the world as they spread a very positive message to us all. We’ll pray for the Irwin famiy and I sincerely hope that Terri will continue spreading the important message that her and Steve have been spreading for over a decade.
How shocking and sad!
Steve Irwin had LIVED his life and had a sense of joy that he was able to pass on to the rest of us.
My heart goes out to his wife…
He has left the world a better place.
We are very sad to see such a wonderful person gone. Steve Irwin brought to us that he could show the world how wonderful animals were/are to us. We have learnt much more about the wildlife due to his passion for teach.
We are really shocked about the news and will certainly remember this day for many years to come, due the impact the “Crocodile Hunter” had on all of our lives.
God bless Steve Irwin, may you rest in peace.
Tanya and Nick
This is such sad and shocking news. I didn’t believe it when I heard it either, I looked it up on a few different websites. I am very sad for his wife, who doesn’t even know yet.
RIP. You will be missed by many.
What a tragedy
I’ve dove in that spot; never saw any stingrays, but it is always a thrill to see them. I, too, am shocked. I never thought of a stingray as something that could or would inflict a fatal wound … guess we divers better give them more respect.
I wonder if we’ll get to see Steve’s documentary.
What a cryin’ shame. He was a good guy.
Bloody shocker… wonder if he knew Jesus.
His shows were great, he will be greatly missed by many. Thank you for providing information that entertained and assisted many in knowledge needed to be good stewards of God’s creation.
What a terrible, tragic loss of a delightful and amazing man. I am deeply saddened. My heart goes out to his family. I hope he didn’t suffer long….
Great Guy! Its unforunate that such a great influence on wildlife and conservation had to be cut short. I really enjoyed watching his show and I love his zest for life. I wish more people could learn from steves love of life!
This is a sad sad day… Sometimes whean i watch his shows you can’t help but ask yourself how he gets so excited. He’s someone who truly loved what he was doing. May he find more wacky animal stories wherever his journey now takes him. RIP Steve.
This From Fox News Channel. On the day this man dies and all they can think of is negative publicity? Good Lord!
(Story continues below)
“Irwin had received some negative publicity in recent years. In January 2004, he stunned onlookers at his Australia Zoo reptile park by carrying his 1-year-old son into a crocodile pen during a wildlife show. He tucked the infant under one arm while tossing the 13-foot reptile a piece of meat with the other.
Authorities declined to charge Irwin for violating safety regulations.
Later that year, he was accused of getting too close to penguins, a seal and humpback whales in Antarctica while making a documentary. Irwin denied any wrongdoing, and an Australian Environment Department investigation recommended no action be taken against him.”
The only people who cared about such rubbish was the news media. We all know Steve would not have let anything happen to his own daughter. But to bring this up again on such a day is unreal.
My kids and I woke up to the sad news, it was his time, he lived his life to the full. It’s a shame about his wife and kids. They hopefully will carry on his great work. R.I.P:
Our heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Steve Irwin, Crocodile Hunter.
He was a good person with the biggest heart for all creatures big and small. There are some out there who might not be entertained by his cunningness and bravery but there are ALOT of other people who loved him whenever he went on screen and showed us crazy yet fun antics.
He passed away doing what he loved most; trying to protect those who were misunderstood.
May his soul rest in peace.