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"Crocodile Hunter" Irwin Killed By Stingray

9/4/2006 1:08 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Steve IrwinSteve Irwin, the Australian known to millions of fans worldwide as the Crocodile Hunter, died today after being stung by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.

Irwin was filming a segment for a show called "Ocean's Deadliest" when he swam on top of a stingray. The animals have a poisonous barb on the end of their tails, and the stingray's barb went through his ribcage and into his heart, killing him, according to his friend and colleague, John Stainton.

"The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and one of the proudest dads on the planet," Stainton told reporters. "He died doing what he loved best and left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said, 'Crocs Rule!'"

Famous for his Discovery Channel show "Crocodile Hunter" -- and his trademark exclamation, "Crikey!" -- Irwin was also known for being a conservationist. He leaves behind his American-born wife, Terri, who was often referred to as the "Crocodile Huntress," and two children, 8-year-old daughter Bindi Sue and his nearly 3-year-old son, Bob.

Prime Minister John Howard, who hand-picked Irwin to attend a gala barbecue to honor President Bush when he visited in 2003, said he was "shocked and distressed at Steve Irwin's sudden, untimely and freakish death."

"It's a huge loss to Australia," Howard said. "He was a wonderful character. He was a passionate environmentalist. He brought joy and entertainment and excitement to millions of people."

"Steve was one of these guys, we thought of him as invincible," wild animal expert Jack Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium, told ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday.

"The guy was incredible. His knowledge was incredible," Hanna said. "Some people that are doing this stuff are actors and that type of thing, but Steve was truly a zoologist, so to speak, a person who knew what he was doing. Yes, he did things a lot of people wouldn't do. I think he knew what he was doing."

News of Irwin's death spread quickly, and tributes to Irwin were put up far and wide. At Australia Zoo at Beerwah, south Queensland, floral tributes were dropped at the entrance. "Steve, from all God's creatures, thank you. Rest in peace," was written on one of the cards that accompanied a bouquet.
572 COMMENTS

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1.

Down with stupid people!    

I love steve it is so funny how we let people into our living rooms and feel for them almost like family. I wish aswell that steves legacy will be here for my grand kids ten to twenty years from now. I hope the very best for his family. I hope the paparazzi dont go after bindi. I think her mother will try to protect her but I belive steve would want her to follow his footsteps?

2891 days ago
2.

jennifer    

What a sad end to such a great man's life.

2979 days ago
3.

areyoukidding    

His poor family!!! It's a sad day when someone like him dies so soon. His legacy will live on.....

2979 days ago
4.

Alyn Brodsky    

It's truly tragic that this guy who gave so much to the world and was TRULY a man to be admired, had to die in his prime, when so much unmitigated trash--no, make that unmitigated sh*t--who lack talent, are thoroughly boring, and are making absolutely no contribution to the human condition, keep parading their vomitous antics before the public, paying PR pimps men to get their damn pictures and comings and goings into the media. I can think, off-hand, of at least fifty "celebrities," some of whom are famous just for being famous, that I wish that sting ray had gotten instead of Steve. Let us keep the good thought for Steve's wife and children every time we are confronted with the likes of Tom and Mel and Paris and Lindsay and Rosie and all their f*cking brothers and sisters that a gullible media, catering to gullible idiots, continue to throw in our collective face.

2979 days ago
5.

Scoob    

He lived his life full-tilt, high-speed. The way we should all live. Deepest condolences to his family.

2979 days ago
6.

Lisa    

It's a sad lost to a great man. We should all remember that he died doing what he loved most and try and live our lives to the fullest like him.

ADMF

2979 days ago
7.

ValjGra    

My son, when he was younger and I use to watch his show all the time. Crikey we will miss Steve! God Bless his family!!

2979 days ago
8.

Livewire    

The guy was a conservationist which made him alright in Livewire's book. RIP, ya crazy bastard. Granted, which all the stunts the guy would do for a living, it was a matter of time before he kicked the bucket, he was kinda like a kid poking a bear with a stick.

Livewire nominates Star Jones to take his place. Or better yet, Rosie Pumkinhead O'Donnell. Imagine if Pumkinhead slips and the crocodiles get her? The lucky reptiles would feast for months (well, maybe not so lucky, as the crocs would get sick to their stomachs and throw up Rosie vomit all day long and pollute the waters.

Thanks for laughing,

Livewire

"He is the most sensitive man I have ever met!, a national treasure!" - Madonna, 2004, on Livewire

2979 days ago
9.

Angelina    

My condolences to his family. He didn't die in vain, he died doing what he loved most in the world. R.I.P.

2979 days ago
10.

RiverRat    

How sad that this wonderful man is dead so soon. He was always fun to watch and yet he managed to teach at the same time. He won't be replaced any time soon. Condolences to his wife and children and all of Australia - he was a national treasure.

2979 days ago
11.

Lance K.    

Praying for his family.

2979 days ago
12.

Marty Martin    

God bless you and your family mate. I will miss you.

2979 days ago
13.

sherri    

wow, truly shocked he died by that 'animal' . I always thought it would be a snake etc.
What a loss, what a sad day for the world

s

2979 days ago
14.

Russ Dow    

He was a true conservationist who lived his life on the edge to entertain us and make us laugh. I think he died doing what he loved to do. RIP you crazy bastard.
Deepest condolances to the family..we'll never forget him.

2979 days ago
15.

NetApex    

It was an unfortunate twist of fate to take such an endearing man in his prime. God be with his family.

2979 days ago
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