Tuesday, September 05, 2006

R.I.P. Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin (1962-2006)

The death of Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin is one of those stories I always expected to see, but I am still surprised anyway. Irwin was the living embodiment of the old joke about second marriages: the triumph of hope over experience.

Watching Irwin on tv was like watching a bad soap opera, eliciting the response, "I can't believe he is doing that!" But he did. Over and over again. Corraling crocodiles, staring down lions, sitting on a rock situated right over a rattlesnake nest, and so forth. How many times can one man tempt fate? Now we know.

We can praise Irwin for giving wildlife preservation a higher profile, which he certainly did, but was it worth his life? I would say no, but he would probably have said yes. He had a love for animals that bordered on the psychotic.

But that was why I watched Irwin. I watched him with the hope that nothing would happen to him, and then amazement that nothing DID happen to him. Time and again, he proved the triumph of the will over even Mother Nature. He showed us the superiority of mankind over all living creatures. And he did it with love and respect for all living creatures.

Unfortunately, experience caught up with Irwin. All he did was swim too close to a stingray, which lifted its tail to fend him off. I don't know whether the stingray was going for Irwin's heart, but it got him there.

In the end, Irwin gave his heart for that which he loved so dearly. May we all die so honorably.


William R. Barker said...

Even in death he taught us something: Don't swim too close to the stingrays... they have STINGERS!

Seriously... I never really thought they were dangerous. Perhaps I just always thought "mantaray" which are apparently far different from stingrays.


EdMcGon said...

From the sound of the early reports, it sounds like the stingray punctured his heart. The toxins may have never had a chance to effect him.