Steve Irwin

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Steve Irwin

Stephen Robert "Steve" Irwin (born February 22, 1962 in Essendon, Victoria, Australia) is the owner and manager of Australia Zoo at Beerwah, Queensland, Australia. He is best known as The Crocodile Hunter, which is the name of the unconventional nature documentary series on television he, assisted by his American-born wife, Terri Irwin, presents. His larger-than-life persona and seemingly outrageous antics are key features in the presentation, which provides a forum for educational information about wildlife conservation and conflicts with humans in various parts of the world. The program has made the Irwins televison personalities on several continents.

Born in the Melbourne area, he moved with his parents as a child to Queensland, where his parents, Bob and Lyn, ran the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, a small reptile park. Steve grew up around crocodiles and other reptiles. He became a crocodile trapper, removing crocodiles from near populated areas, performing the service for free with the quid pro quo that he kept them for the park.

In 1991, he took over the running of the park, now renamed the "Australia Zoo", and in 1992 met (at the park) and married Terri. The footage, shot by John Stainton, of their crocodile-trapping honeymoon became the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter, which became wildly successful in America.

In 2002, their first feature film, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, was released. In 2003, Irwin was reportedly in line to host a chat show on Australian network television.

The Irwins have two children: a daughter, Bindi Sue Irwin (born 24 July 1998), and a son, Robert Clarence Irwin (born 1 December 2003). Their dog, Sui, from which their daughter's middle name was derived, died in June 2004.

Under Steve's expansive leadership, the operations have grown to include the zoo, the television series, and The Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation, and International Crocodile Rescue.

Controversy arose during a public show on 2 January 2004, when Irwin carried his infant son in one arm while feeding a dead chicken carcass to a crocodile with the other hand. He then set the child down on the ground near a pond with a crocodile in it. Child welfare and animal rights groups criticized his actions as irresponsible and tantamount to child abuse. Steve stated any danger to his son was only a perceived danger and that he was in complete control of the situation. His defenders pointed to his several decades of "hands on" experience and direct interaction with crocodiles, his well-known love for his children, and his respect for his role as a father. Terri commented that their child was in no more real danger than a child being taught to swim would be. No charges were filed.

Five months later, in June of 2004, Irwin came under fire again when allegations were made that he came too close to and disturbed some wildlife (namely whales, seals and penguins) while filming a documentary in Antarctica. Interacting with Antarctic wildlife in an unapproved manner may be a breach of Australian federal and international laws. Subsequently, the issue ended without charges being filed.


External links

pl:Steve Irwin

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