On Sept. 4, 2016, a decade had passed since Australian wildlife expert and crocodile handler, Steve Irwin died in the line of duty. Ironic is the fact, that it was not one of those giant reptiles that made him succumb to his wounds, but a completely different animal. An animal which is considerably less ferocious but packs a mean punch. It took a stingray to bring down the man who tamed crocodiles.
Justin Lyons was the cameraman accompanying Irwin while filming for a new documentary, “Ocean’s Deadliest,” on that fateful day. “I panned with the camera as the stingray swam away – I didn’t even know it had caused any damage. It wasn’t until I panned the camera back and Steve was standing in a huge pool of blood that I realized something was wrong,” recalls Lyons. He claimed the stingray’s barb had pierced Irwin’s heart. These moments were recorded on camera, as per the wish of the crocodile hunter. He says that he would never make the footage public, in respect of Irwin’s family.
He was a widely popular wildlife expert, TV show host, and conservationist from Australia. The crocodile hunter gained worldwide fame from the television series, “The Crocodile Hunter.” He co-hosted this series with his wife Terri. He and his wife also ran a zoo near Brisbane.
Irwin’s legacy, 10 years after his death, is all good as his pet project, the Australia Zoo, is probably one of the largest zoological facilities in Australia and continues to attract visitors. His parents, Bob and Lyn, established the zoo in 1970, as Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park. Irwin’s widow currently owns the facility.
Meanwhile, his daughter Bindi remembered her father on the 10th anniversary of his death in a tweet: “You’ll be my hero for my entire existence. I love you more than words can describe.” This year, the anniversary of Irwin’s death coincided with Father’s Day, in Australia. Bindi chose the day to share a picture of her father. She, along with her younger brother Robert, wished a happy Father’s Day to Australia. Irwin’s legacy, 10 years after his death, appears to have grown in leaps and bounds.
Bindi was only 8 years old at the time of her father’s untimely demise but that did not deter her from speaking at his funeral. Now, 10 years later, she referred to her father as a “superhero” who passed away. In July, she shared a picture on Instagram, on her 18th birthday, of her father holding her in his hand when she was just one-year-old.
Bindi has been in the news for a rather controversial topic. In an Instagram video, she could be seen wrestling a 15-foot crocodile, just like her father. Some people on the internet were quick to call this an act of animal cruelty. Others defended her actions as necessary to train, in case these animals needed treatment. It seems that Bindi is definitely following her father’s legacy, even 10 years after his death.
The University of Queensland was set to give Irwin an honorary degree before his death. “They were going to bestow that on him when he got back… he would have been so stoked,” claimed John Stainton, Director of “The Crocodile Hunter” and Irwin’s close friend.
Letter From Irwin to His Parents Surfaces As His Father Is Set to Launch His Autobiography
Irwin’s father Bob has released a previously unopened letter from his son, which he discovered while conducting research for his autobiography. He claimed that he found the letter when it slipped out from another book he was reading. Irwin wrote the letter supposedly 12 years before his death.
“At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength,” reads one paragraph. This is probably one of the most emotional conversations that a father and son could share. “There are so many people who have been inspired by Steve Irwin. I am really, really proud of that,” declared his father, whose autobiography “The Last Crocodile Hunter: A Father and Son Legacy” will be released in October 2016.
Written by Abdullah Sultan Usmani
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Women’s Weekly: Steve Irwin’s last words revealed
Women’s Weekly: This letter from Steve Irwin to his parents will break your heart
Inside Ottawa Valley: Bindi Irwin remembers dad Steve
Daily Star: Steve Irwin’s daughter Bindi sparks storm with croc wrestling vid
9News: Steve Irwin was set to receive honorary degree before his death
9News: Bindi pays tribute to dad Steve Irwin on tenth anniversary of his death
Twitter: Bindi Irwin
Image courtesy of Richard Giles’ Flickr Page – Creative Common License