It’s been 10 years since the death of the famed wildlife expert Steve Irwin, known best for his role as the fearless “Crocodile Hunter”, and still, his presence is one that has been irreplaceable to this day. Not only was the Australian daredevil an endearing spirit on the screen, he was also a loving family man, and an all-around positive force in this oftentimes negativity-fueled world of ours. In 2006, Irwin was killed in a freak accident involving a stingray barb, but his optimistic nature, daring spirit, and famous expressive catchphrase “crikey” continues to live on in all of our hearts.
Just days before the 10th anniversary of his death, Irwin’s parents discovered and opened a letter sent from their late son to them, an emotional note that reminds us all of Irwin’s immense kindness and appreciation for life. Irwin’s father had stumbled across the letter while working on the forthcoming memoir about his son, which is entitled The Last Crocodile Hunter. The letter was addressed to both of his parents, Bob and Lyn, and showcased the wildlife expert’s newfound appreciation for everything that his parents have done for him.
"At 32, I am finally starting to figure it out. In good times and in bad, you were there. Your strength and endurance to raise me will not go unrewarded. My love for you is my strength!" Irwin wrote in the letter. He also went on the lament that fact that it took him 30 years to realize that his parents helped "to build my character, my ethics and, most importantly, my HAPPINESS." The sincere letter ends with Irwin calling his parents his “best friends”.
It’s a rite of passage to smoke weed and watch The Crocodile Hunter.”In honor of the unfathomable feats and loving acts that constantly left the entire world in awe, MERRY JANE takes a look back at the most memorable times in the life of Steve Irwin.
Gets Bit By a Snake, Doesn’t Even Flinch
In 1991, Irwin went onto a local kids television show with a python wrapped around his neck. While he was discussing the real possibility of getting bit by this frightened snake, the python lunged and bit into Irwin’s neck, leaving the television show’s host with her jaw dropped. Irwin, on the other hand, barely even flinched, and stood there calmly as the snake sunk his fangs into the wildlife expert.
Irwin Hangs Out With a Komodo Dragon
One of the most memorable episodes of Irwin’s wildlife show was when he traveled to a remote part of Indonesia to get a close look at the komodo dragon, one of the largest and most dangerous reptiles in existence. This episode is one of the best representations of how Irwin was able to educate and excite us like no other.
Irwin Gets Animal Conservation Ship Renamed in His Memory
In 2007, shortly after his untimely death, the Sea Shepherd Conservation received permission from Steve’s wife, Terri Irwin, to rename their whale defending ship to Steve Irwin. The ship’s captain, Paul Watson, spoke extremely highly about the late and great Crocodile Hunter, and also mentioned the Irwin was adamant about protecting whales, as he has about all wildlife.
“Steve Irwin's life demonstrated how one person can make a significant difference in the world," Watson had said. "Steve wanted to come to Antarctica with us to defend the whales and now he will be joining us in spirit with his name emblazoned on the fastest and most powerful whale protection ship in the world."
Irwin is survived by his wife, Terri, along with his children Bindi and Robert. Recently, to commemorate her late father, Irwin’s daughter Bindi had taken to social media to express her love and admiration for who she called “my hero for my entire existence”. Irwin passed away at the age of 44, and although it seems far too soon for such a magnificent life to end, the wildlife expert truly lived an adventurous and profound life that would take most of us many lifetimes to accomplish.
He Played Around With the World’s Deadliest Spiders
In his time as the most famous and daring wildlife expert in the world, Steve Irwin didn’t just wrestle crocodiles and get tangled up with snakes, he also gave us an in-depth look at some of the most lethal spiders out there. In one episode, he calmly pokes and prods at the deadly Australian Bird Spider as it prepares to try and give Irwin a deadly bite.
Steve Introduces his Baby to a Giant Crocodile
What was once seen as an extremely controversial and potentially dangerous idea, one of Irwin’s most recognizable acts was feeding a gargantuan crocodile while clutching onto his newborn baby. Although he received a sizable amount of flack from the public at the time, Irwin maintained that it was important that his kids received “crocodile savvy”. Although I would never trust my own child to be held next to a hungry crocodile, I guess if I had to, Irwin would have been the most trusted man for the job.