During a random Internet check last night, my lover found a breaking news bit about Steve Irwin being killed in a diving accident. Since it was very fresh news and only CNN seemed to have anything to report, I thought perhaps they were wrong. I hoped they were wrong.
We both waited and kept checking. By the time we went to sleep, it was obvious that the news was real. Stevo had died.
This morning I spent some time chasing links and reading articles. Animal Planet is starting a fund in his honor and I will donate.
Itâ€™s not like I ever met him or planned on meeting him. I donâ€™t even have cable TV right now and havenâ€™t gotten to see his show in a couple years. I discovered him by accident one night, flipping channels while getting ready to go to the strip club. (I liked watching/hearing various shows while getting ready, usually â€œThe Simpsons,â€ â€œMonty Python,â€ and â€œThe Crocodile Hunter.â€) This cute Australian, spouting bizarre phrases, with an unquenchable enthusiasm for all animals and an especially soft spot for non-cuddly animals; grabbed my attention and never let go. It was impossible not to fall in love with him. Every night that his show was on, I watched. I had a smile on my face when I left home and sometimes ran late because I had to see what was going to happen.
I miss the guy. I feel deep sympathy for his wife and children. Steve is an irreplaceable man. I doubt there is anyone else on earth remotely capable of filling his shoes in any way. He touched me, like a whole lot of people, because he was always a real person, not a celebrity.
Iâ€™m not trying to saint him. But one of my personal philosophies has always been that someone who loves animals canâ€™t be all bad. And his love for the creatures on earth knew no bounds. His passion for reptiles has saved many of them and created a worldwide awareness of the uniqueness of these amazing critters. And he helped to de-terrify them. Although he always respected the animalâ€™s right to be and its powers, it was always amusing to watch a deadly snake desperately trying to get away from â€œraw Stevo.â€
In an interview that I found online, Steve describes himself and his reason for being.
Ben: “Do you feel any competition with Crocodile Dundee, the fictional character, versus the real person?”
Steve: “Oh mate, firstly I think ‘Crocodile Dundee’ was an exceptional set of films. Really, really good. The best thing about ‘Crocodile Dundee’ was the whole world got to glimpse Australia, and I guess that’s what Crocodile Hunter’s all about too. I reckon Crocodile Hunter’s like a combination of Tarzan and James Bond, where when I’m dead and buried they’ll be working out who the actor’s going to be to play Steve Irwin, because I’m a real life character. I’ve rescued crocs since the day I could walk. I catch snakes getting them off the road. My mom was a pioneer in wildlife rehabilitation. I am flesh and blood. I’m not an actor. I live as a wildlife warrior. I put my life on the line. I will die for conservation. That’s my destiny and that’s why God put me on this planet — to conserve and educate people about wildlife.”
I feel that he was a truly good and decent person; a light in this world. He was all about life and joy. I will miss him.