The crocodile hunter gained his popularity as a celebrity wildlife expert. He was an enthusiast in reaching his work through international television to the animal lovers and reptile paramours. His way of interaction, adventure and risking instincts brought exciting episodes of an exhilarating series. His expedition with the wildlife diversity came to an end with the final episode of his documentary, Ocean’s Deadliest, which was aired in 2007, when a stingray pierced his chest, marking the end of a legend and an era. Irwin’s legacy has carried on, both through repeated viewings of his hit series and with the help of his family; wife Terri, daughter Bindi Sue and son Bob. Here, we are listing 10 wild Facts About Steve Irwin, ‘The Crocodile Hunter’, to remember this amazing human being.
#10. His history of being bitten came in too often.
Irwin knew the risks of playing with animals. Even though the animals were rough when he was around, he understood that it was their natural behavior. At the same time, he also knew that the adrenaline rush is what drives people to tune in.
“Now and again I do get bitten,” he told ABC Australia. “And it’s that, you know, that sense of morbidity that people do have. There’s no use sticking your head in the sand and going, ‘Oh, no, they’re only here because, you know, I talk well.’ Nah, man, they wanna see me come unglued”.
In reality, Steve understood the risk he was taking but he did it because of his love for animals.
#9. He grew up in a zoo.
Steve realized his fondness of animals and his purpose in life from his circumstance in life itself. He grew up in a zoo. His dad was a herpetologist, one who studies reptiles, and his mom was a wildlife rehabilitator. His talent in handling wildlife came with his genes. His family moved to Beerwah, near Queensland, in Australia and opened the Beerwah Reptile Park in 1970. He spent his primary years helping to feed the animals before eventually taking over as the owner. It is still in operation as the Australia Zoo.
#8. He met the love of his life at the Australia Zoo.
He found his partner in crime and life-long companion, Terri, at The Australian Zoo. Terri discovered her love for animals at an early age, much like her husband. Terri’s father used to bring home injured animals from the streets. He was in the trucking business in Eugene, Oregon. In 1986, Terri opened Cougar Country, a facility that helped rehabilitate foxes, raccoons, bobcats, bears, and, of course, cougars, and release them back into the wild. In
1991, Terri took a trip to Australia and visited the Australia Zoo, where she first laid eyes on Steve during one of his crocodile shows. “I was absolutely floored,” Terri told Barbara Walters in 2006. “That was it. This man was a real-life hero. I fell then and there, love at first sight, not a problem. I said to my friend, ‘I got to meet this guy’”.
#7. Parrot loathing.
The reptile lover didn’t care for parrots, though. In fact, he was terrified of them. He had admitted that it was true on record, stating, “The only animals I’m not comfortable with are parrots, but I’m learning as I go. I’m getting better and better at ’em. I really am … For some reason parrots have to bite me. That’s their job. I don’t know why that is”.
#6. The first episode of The Crocodile Hunter was filmed during their honeymoon.
“We dropped our honeymoon, we went to north Queensland, and we helped this crocodile and filmed a documentary on the premise that the cameraman just chases Steve around. Steve hadn’t been to acting school, he had no preconceived notions. His background was exactly what you see on television, he’s done that all his life. We thought we’d do one show. What happened was, it did really well, so we did a part two. And from then on, we found that Steve’s
natural behavior in the wild happens to be fascinating!” Terri said as a testimonial to their honeymoon days. Irwin’s natural enthusiasm made his show an immediate success. They were a match made to sail a long way together, which they did.
#5. A new species was discovered by Steve.
Steve Irwin actually discovered a new species of turtle. The species is called Elseya Irwini (Irwin’s snapping turtle). The discovery was made by accident, when he caught it on a fishing trip and realized he had never seen another turtle like it. They sent the pictures to herpetologist John Cann who confirmed they had found something brand new.
#4. The celebrity show he hosted.
The Crocodile Hunter was the top rated show in Australia and America. The series was even enjoyed by millions of viewers across the globe. Irwin’s main aim was to educate the public about these animals and contradict the many myths surrounding them. He believed that educating the public was the only ultimate solution, when it came to conserving wildlife and its natural habitat.
#3. The “Crikey Steve Irwini” snail that is named after Steve Irwin himself.
In 2009, Dr. John Stanisic discovered a tree snail that he named accordingly – the Crikey Steve Irwini. He told ABC Australia that it was “a colorful snail, with swirling bands of creamy yellow, orange-brown and chocolate, giving the shell an overall khaki appearance”. Crikey became a phrase that everyone associated with Steve, and of course his all khaki attire. The snail named after the late Crocodile Hunter is also one of the world’s slowest moving creatures.
#2. The enthusiastic Steve.
When Steve was interviewed on his show’s amazing popularity, he replied to Scientific American, “Nothing to do with my looks, that’s for sure! Yeah, I normally get a big croc out in the foreground of any filming”. His theory was explained in his words as “You know what I reckon it is? My belief is that what comes across on the television is a capture of my enthusiasm and my passion for wildlife. Since I was a boy, from this house, I was out rescuing crocodiles and snakes. My mum and dad were very passionate about that, and I was lucky enough to go along. The first crocodile I ever caught was at 9 years of age, and it was a rescue. So now what happens is the cameras follow me around and capture exactly what I’ve been doing since I was a boy. Only now we have a team of, you know, like 73 of us, and it’s gone beyond that”. As the audience, I want you to come with me, right? So we get cameras, every
one of us, if we’ve got a four- or five-man film crew, including myself and Terri, every one of us can use a camera. I have one in my green backpack that I pull out for the hardcore shots where you’ve gotta get right in there, so the cameras always right there, in there, while I am doing my thing. So when I am talking to the camera, I am talking to you, in your living room”.
His life’s goal was to increase people’s knowledge about conservationism. He had an amazing talent of understanding the reptile’s body language with his own abilities he developed for himself. A true bloom genuine hero of the times, in Khaki.
#1. He once fed a crocodile while holding his baby son, causing a major controversy.
He once held his one month old son, baby Bob, in one hand while he was feeding a chicken carcass to a crocodile with the other, during a live show. This made the media to go crazy, and in no time, controversies were at Steve’s doorstep. Comparisons were made with Michael Jackson when MJ tried to balance his son Prince Michael II over a hotel balcony.