On this day …….. 4th September 2006
Stephen Robert “Steve” Irwin was born on 22 February 1962 in Essendon, Melbourne, Victoria. He moved to Queensland when he was still a child, where his parents developed and ran the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park. For his sixth birthday, young Steve received his greatest wish – his very own 3.6m long scrub python for a pet. Steve grew up learning how to catch and care for crocodiles. He used his skills to assist the Queensland Government’s East Coast Crocodile Management program, which involved, among other ventures, catching North Queensland crocodiles. In 1991, Irwin took over the running of the reptile park, which was later renamed “Australia Zoo”. As a passionate environmentalist, Irwin became known for the television program “The Crocodile Hunter”, an unconventional wildlife documentary series which he hosted with his wife Terri Irwin. Irwin’s outgoing personality, energetic vitality and outrageous antics in the series made him an international celebrity. He also starred in Animal Planet documentaries, including The Croc Files, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries, and New Breed Vets. Australia lost one of its most popular icons and ambassadors in the early afternoon of 4 September 2006. Steve Irwin was filming an underwater documentary off the Great Barrier Reef, when he was fatally pierced in the heart by a stingray barb. He is survived by his wife Terri, daughter Bindi, born in 1998 and son Robert (Bob), born in 2004. The family intends to continue Steve’s remarkable legacy of caring for a variety of wildlife, and raising environmental awareness across the world.