And so it was that I awoke to the news that Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter
, had died in a tragic accident
. He was killed when a stingray's barb pierced his chest whilst he was filming off the Great Barrier Reef.
Like many, my first impressions of Stevo were of a man with a death wish who would antagonise animals on purpose. Watching more of him though it was obvious he was a deeply committed, passionate conservationist who made it near impossible not to share his enthusiasm for nature.
He provided iconic character and imagery, the wildly happy man holding one of the most deadly snakes just inches from his face against the striking back drop of the arrid Australian desert and its booming blue sky was always a welcome guest in millions of homes across the world including mine.
His message was always that we should appreciate just how fragile nature is, and that we should never forget that we are only a small part of it. His death is a sharp reminder of that fact.
Here's a nice clip
of him at his zoo showing off one of his crocs with his wife Terri commentating. Rest in Peace Stevo. We'll miss you.