Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin killed by a… stingray!

You’ve probably heard the news already that crocodile hunter Steve Irwin was killed while filming in the ocean for a series called “Ocean’s Deadliest.” What really shocked me was that it wasn’t a shark or a poisonous jellyfish that killed the danger-loving showman, but a gentle stingray!

Iconic Aussie wildlife daredevil Steve Irwin has died as he loved living: seeking out the world’s most dangerous and exotic creatures in their own domain.

But, in a strange twist, it was one of the less dangerous creatures that he has confronted that ultimately claimed his life.

The ebullient environmentalist, one of Australia’s best known exports, was killed when he was lashed in the chest by a stingray’s poison barb while filming underwater on the Great Barrier Reef on Monday.

“We have probably lost one of the most passionate wildlife people on this earth,” said Irwin’s producer John Stainton, who was filming with Irwin when his heart was pierced by the stingray’s venomous tail.

Irwin’s overflowing passion for animals, reptiles, fish and other creatures — however deadly they might have been — was a lifelong affair that made him a household name across the world.

I went swimming with stingrays while on a Caribbean cruise with my family several years ago, and I’ve seen stingray tanks set up close to the ground at aquariums so that children can “pet” the gentle creatures. Stingrays are considered safe and almost tame, and it’s ironic that one killed a man so well known for grappling with fiercer animals.

Here are some pictures I took of stingrays while swimming with them and feeding them. They’re not thought of as dangerous at all, and cruise excursions usually offer a “swim with the stingrays” outing.

Whatever your opinion of this guy, it’s sad that he leaves behind a family. I still can’t imagine him getting killed by a stingray of all things.

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5 Responses to “Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin killed by a… stingray!”

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  1. Betty says:

    I think it’s absolutely shocking that he was killed by a stingray… but then again, the stringrays at cruise excursions are used to people being around and I know that some aquariums actually remove the poisonous barbs to *make* them less dangerous… and judging from Steve Irwin’s past television shows, I’m sure that he was probably in a dangerous area, with feeding sharks or other stingray predators that would make the stingray much more dangerous than what you woud see at a tourist spot. Shocking. I will miss his crazy shows.

  2. sun says:

    A shocker! I feel sad for his wife and kids and send them love and wish them nothing but the best.Its heartbreaking when someone so young passes on such circumstances.

  3. millie says:

    Wow.. that’s really sad. they may be gentle but they look scary to me!

  4. Randi says:

    Tragic. I’m not from Australia but my understanding is that he did a lot for nature and wildlife conservation.

  5. Melle says:

    Even though I didn’t like him, I still felt very sad after hearing the news. It seems so surreal because nobody thought he would die so early, he’s so young, and he was a strong man. Sad sad news :(