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Steve "crocodile hunter" Irwin died in accident


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http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=127473

As mourners made a shrine of Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo north of Brisbane, a colleague of the popular crocodile wrangler has revealed details of the freak accident which ended his life.

Video footage of Steve Irwin's last moments shows the Crocodile Man pulling out the stingray barb which had pierced his heart, according to Irwin's producer John Stainton.

Mr Stainton described the video as the worst thing he had ever seen.

"I have seen the footage and it's shocking," Mr Stainton told reporters in Cairns. "It's a very hard thing to watch because you're watching somebody die and it's terrible."

"It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here [in the chest], and he pulled it out and the next minute he's gone. That was it. The cameraman had to shut down."

 

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Its all over the news today and tonight and there is tributes on pretty much every channel at some point. It said he made millions but gave millions back into conservation organisations. You would never have picked it could happen to such a top bloke, it seems truly unfair

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absolutely devestated still! but its amazing the tributes coming into australia zoo, all the flowers, cards, items and kaki shirt being sign on, plus more. it fantastic he definately deserves this reception from the australian public, and im proud as well. yes there is a bit of steve in all aussies and im proud to be one!

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^Yes he really does make me proud to be Aussie too. When I heard my teacher and some other students talking about it at school yesterday I had no idea what they were going on about but then I heard his name and I was utterly shocked. I didnt know he was so big overseas until yesterday when reading all the messages of support. He truly was a good bloke... :cry:

 

With the John Howard showing emotion bit, I heard he was crying on some radio station.

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^^ me either i didnt know how respected and well known he was until all his well wishes and support have come in. channel 7 did a good job on their tribute, i was laughing and crying at the same time. im going to watch channel 9 tomorrow night i know this will be a bit more in depth. i hope that his family takes up the invitation to have to have a state funeral thats been offered...

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Crocodile Hunter Irwin 'did not provoke fatal stingray'

 

Last updated at 16:16pm on 5th September 2006 commentIconSm.gif Reader comments (42)

SteveIrwinAP040906_228x176.jpgTributes: Steve Irwin's death has shocked his fans around the world

 

'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin was videotaped pulling the fatal stingray barb from his chest seconds before dying, officials said today, as tributes poured in for a man even strangers called a mate.

 

 

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances in the death of Irwin, who was stabbed through the heart on Monday while snorkeling with a stingray during filming of a television program on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and no evidence he provoked the animal.

 

John Stainton, Irwin's manager who was among the television crew on the reef, said the fatal blow that struck the presenter and conservationist was caught on videotape, and described viewing the footage as having the "terrible" experience of watching a friend die.

"It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest), and he pulled it out and the next minute he's gone," Stainton told reporters in Cairns, where Irwin's body was taken for an autopsy.

"That was it. The cameraman had to shut down," Stainton said.

The tape of the death of the man known by TV audiences worldwide for his infectious enthusiasm in the series "The Crocodile Hunter" was secured by Queensland state police as evidence for a coroner's inquiry - a standard procedure in high-profile deaths or those caused by other than natural causes.

Irwin, 44, was shooting footage for a new wildlife project he was making with daughter Bindi, 8, for airing next year in the United States when he was fatally stung off the north Queensland coast.

Irwin's American wife Terri, Bindi and their son Bob, almost 3, returned late Monday from a trekking vacation in Tasmania to Australia Zoo, the wildlife park where the family lived at Beerwah in Queensland's southeast. Irwin's body was being flown home today from Cairns. No funeral plans were announced.

Queensland Police Superintendent Michael Keating said there was no evidence Irwin threatened or intimidated the stingray, a normally placid species that only deploys its poisonous tail spines as a defense, and the case involved no suspicious circumstances.

Stingray experts have speculated that the animal that killed Irwin - who rose to fame by getting dangerously close to crocodiles, snakes and other beasts - probably felt trapped between the cameraman and the television star.

Stainton said Irwin was in his element in bushland, but that he and Irwin had talked about the sea posing threats the star wasn't used to.

"If ever he was going to go, we always said it was going to be the ocean," Stainton said. "On land he was agile, quick-thinking, quick-moving and the ocean puts another element there that you have no control over."

State funeral

State Premier Peter Beattie said Irwin, who he described as possibly the best known Australian in the world, would be afforded a state funeral if his family approved.

At the park, hundreds of people filed past the entrance laying floral bouquets and handwritten condolence messages. Khaki shirts - a trademark of Irwin - were laid out for people to sign.

"Mate, you made the world a better place," read one poster left at the gate. "Steve, our hero, our legend, our wildlife warrior," read another; "I thought you were immortal. How I wish that was true," said a third.

The park opened today because it was what Irwin would have wanted, said Gail Gipp, an animal health worker at the park.

"We are determined to carry on what he would have wanted," Gipp said.

Irwin was propelled to global fame after his TV shows, in which he regularly wrestled with crocodiles and went face to face with poisonous snakes and other wild animals, were shown around world on the Discovery Channel.

The network announced plans for a marathon screening of Irwin's work and a wildlife fund in his name.

"Rarely has the world embraced an animal enthusiast and conservationist as they did Steve Irwin," Discovery Networks International President Dawn McCall said in a statement.

Experts differed on the number of human deaths caused by stingrays - from up to 17 to just 3 - though they agreed that they were extremely rare.

Australian news Web sites reported being choked by heavy traffic seeking new on Irwin, newspapers devoted their front and several inside pages to the story and some of Irwin's high-profile friends expressed their sadness.

"He was and remains the ultimate wildlife warrior," said Oscar-winner Russell Crowe, who appeared with Irwin recently on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

"He touched my heart, I believed in him, I'll miss him. I loved him and I'll be there for his family," Crowe said in New York, Australian media reported.

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Irwin 'wanted no state funeral'

 

o.gif_42045534_irwinwife_ap203.jpg

Mr Irwin's documentaries were shown around the world

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video_text.gifIrwin with crocodiles

 

The father of Australian "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin has spoken out against a state funeral for his late son being offered by the government. Bob Irwin said the popular naturalist had been an "ordinary bloke" and would not have wanted a grand funeral.

However, Mr Irwin added that the final decision on the matter would be made by Steve's widow Terri.

The TV star died on Monday in a stingray attack while filming sea creatures off the Australian coast.

Speaking to reporters outside his son's zoo in the north-eastern state of Queensland on Wednesday, Bob Irwin thanked all those who have been paying their respects.

But he made clear that if it had been up to his son, a state funeral would have been refused.

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start_quote_rb.gif I'll remember Steve as my best mate ever end_quote_rb.gif

 

 

Bob Irwin

 

"He's just an ordinary bloke, and he wants to be remembered as an ordinary bloke," Mr Irwin said.

Australian PM John Howard and other leaders have said Mr Irwin can have a state funeral if his family requests one.

So far Terri Irwin has not responded to the offer. On Tuesday she spoke briefly over the public address system at the zoo.

"It was very brief. She was very choked up," a zoo spokesman quoted by the Associated Press news agency said.

The spokesman said Ms Irwin thanked the staff for their support.

Footage

Zoo workers have been astounded by the number of messages and condolences they have received and the entrance to the zoo is now said to resemble an impromptu shrine.

"We are still in shock, but it's great to see so many people coming to show their support," a zoo spokeswoman told the AFP news agency.

o.gif HAVE YOUR SAY

start_quote_rb.gif His programmes were a joy to watch end_quote_rb.gif

 

 

Graham Rodhouse

Helmond, Netherlands

 

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Obituary: Wildlife showman

 

"It's incredible the impact that Steve had on people's lives around the world," she said.

One of the notes left by mourners at the zoo read: "Crikey! We will miss you" - echoing the exclamation Mr Irwin would utter when confronting dangerous wild animals on camera.

Mr Irwin was regarded by many Australians as a national treasure and as news of his death broke, news websites across the country found it difficult to cope with the demand for information.

Meanwhile his manager has said film footage of the ebullient TV naturalist's final moments should never be shown.

The tape was currently in police custody and should be destroyed, John Stainton told the CNN television network.

The tape apparently shows Mr Irwin pulling the barb left by a stingray's tail from his chest moments before his death.

"It should be destroyed," Mr Stainton said. "When that (tape) is finally released it will never see the light of day, ever.

"I actually saw it and I don't want to see it again," he said.

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When I first heard of Steve Irwin's death, it was on a news update and i was just like "no way". So then I went on to a news channel and checked and I was just so shocked... it still hasn't sunk in properly. I honeslty cried on Monday because of his death... its terrible. I feel so horrible for Terri and the kids... Steve and Terri were so in love, and poor Bindi will be taking it hard. Little Bob is liekly to not have many, if any, actual memories of his father whihc is terrible...

 

It's just so sad and shocking...

 

Oh, and that Germaine Greer lady needs to dig a hole and stay in it. I can't believe all those negative things she said about Steve.

 

Have a great time in Heaven, Steve!

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