A Load of Bright
An atheist's views on religion and the supernatural

In Memory of Steve Irwin

It is one year today since the tragic, premature passing of Steve Irwin. He was “fatally pierced in the chest with a sting ray barb”. I remember hearing the news on the radio on my way to work that morning. While I would never have called myself a fan, I did admire him greatly, and I was deeply saddened. I could not believe how quickly people made light of it.

I have learned a lot more about Irwin in the year since his death. While some had criticised him claiming that he intruded upon animals in their natural habitat, others say that above all he loved and cared for the animals he knew so well, and always had their well being in mind. Rightly or wrongly, I find myself agreeing with the latter.

What is indisputable, is that Irwin had a wonderfully entertaining, extrovert personality. He oozed confidence, and viewers all over the world warmed to him. It often seemed as if he had no fear.

Considering all of the dangerous beasts he handled so skilfully, it is a heart-rending irony that he was killed by a creature that normally would have posed little threat to him. I heard a lot of comments around the time along the lines of, “well, he had it coming to him” or “if you will keep playing with matches, you’ll eventually get burnt”. How very easy it is to say something like that from the comfort of your own home. Very few people are willing to risk their lives, time and time again, to do what they love. Irwin was one such person, and ultimately his passion cost him his life.

It is not easy for us humans to get close to the animals which Irwin was so at ease around, especially in their own natural environment. His brave work has enabled us to learn a great deal about some of the creatures with whom we share this planet. We are indebted to him for his courage and good humour, and when the world loses such a person, it is a loss to us all. He deserves to be remembered, not with sadness, but with joy, as I’m sure he would have wished. I’ll be raising a glass to Steve’s memory tonight, I hope you’ll join me.

4 Responses to “In Memory of Steve Irwin”

  1. Here here!
    I too was a big fan of Mr. Irwins’. As I am of Zoo’s and Zooilogical pursuits in general. I just got home from taking my 2 yr old to the Cincinnati Zoo, a wonderful place that would not exist if it were not for good people like Steve Irwin and so many others.

    Lets face it, The Crocodile Hunter was the butt of jokes before his death. In some ways he was asking for it with a public persona so full of humor, it was obvious that he himself didn’t let it get to him.n It was only a hop skip and jump to gallows humor in his case. We should not let that get in the way of all the good he did or all the enjoyment he brought us.

  2. Here here.

  3. I was also sadenned with the loss of Steve last year, but I was MUCH more sadenned with loss of Perry DeAngelis recently, one of the rogues from the podcast the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe.

    It came to my surprise that I haven’t seen any post on it in here or on Daylight. Perry was no Carl Sagan, but he was also a candle in the dark.

  4. I was a fan of irwin…. i use to watch his shows on tv….. its really sad that we’ve lost the real life hero…. we will remember u steve…

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