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Death of Steve Irwin


John Simkin
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Australian naturalist and television personality Steve Irwin has been killed by a stingray during a diving expedition off the Australian coast.

Mr Irwin, 44, died after being struck in the chest by the stingray's barb while he was filming a documentary in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/5311298.stm

I was at Port Douglas where he was killed recently. Locals said that there were so many things that could kill you on this beautiful part of the coast that they never swam in the sea.

I also went searching for crocodiles while in Australia. My guide was highly critical of Steve Irwin for the way he dealt with these creatures. He pointed out that he constantly goaded wild life into attacking him. He also told the story of an incident that had taken place a few weeks previously. A man wanted a close-up photograph of a crocodile. He therefore used a canoe to drag a piece of meat along a crocodile infested river. Instead of taking the meat the crocodile turned the canoe over and ate the man.

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No one wishes anything like this to happen to anyone but he was a serious risk taker and so it shouldn't really come as a huge surprise. There was a very contraversial photo of him in the papers here where he was shown goading a crocodile while holding his two month old son in the other arm.

Coincidentally, his wife and children were here in Tasmania, bushwalking, when it happened.

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No one wishes anything like this to happen to anyone but he was a serious risk taker and so it shouldn't really come as a huge surprise. There was a very contraversial photo of him in the papers here where he was shown goading a crocodile while holding his two month old son in the other arm.

This film was shown on television news last night. In reality he was at no risk. Crocodiles need very little food as they do not expend much energy. The meat being dangled above the head of the crocodile would have been enough food to last him a week. In most cases, they wait until food comes to them. They will not go out to kill unless they are extremely hungry. Irwin knew that as long as he dropped the meat into the crocodile's mouth it would not attack him or his child. Even so, one can understand why people criticised this stunt.

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The other issue is the one about fame. As a reader pointed out today, our local paper yesterday had dozens of accounts about people dying in tragic circumstances both locally and elsewhere which are glossed over as of little importance and yet we had 4 pages yesterday and three pages today about Irwin. Our values have become very skewed.

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The other issue is the one about fame. As a reader pointed out today, our local paper yesterday had dozens of accounts about people dying in tragic circumstances both locally and elsewhere which are glossed over as of little importance and yet we had 4 pages yesterday and three pages today about Irwin. Our values have become very skewed.

The story has also had a lot of coverage in the UK. One article pointed out that Irwin was very close to Howard. Apparently, Irwin once said that Howard was the best prime minister of all time. I suppose that just confirms his poor judgement.

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