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Sep-16-2006 21:08printcomments

Loss of Crocodile Hunter Still Being Felt Worldwide

Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist," was killed September 4th by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. Irwin was 44.

Photos of Steve, Terri, their family and furry friends
Photos of Steve, Terri, their family and furry friends all provided by The Australia Zoo

(BEERWAH, AUSTRALIA) - Australia Zoo and Wildlife Warriors Worldwide are continuing to mourn for a beloved friend and respected leader.

The global response to the loss of Steve Irwin and the public outpouring of empathy we have received has been overwhelming, and a significant comfort to those of us who knew him.

This is not just a loss for us, but for a planet full of people who loved him so well, and for the world’s precious wildlife that he laid his life on the line to protect.

Steve was a true original; he brought energy and passion to everything he did. Whether it was performing groundbreaking crocodile research on board his vessel Croc One, filming wildlife documentaries or simply celebrating his children’s birthdays, Steve didn’t do anything by half. A hard-core Wildlife Warrior and dedicated family man, Steve did for conservation and education what no one had ever done before. He brought wildlife conservation right into people’s living rooms and created a whole new generation of Wildlife Warriors.

The exceptional life Steve led is a testament to his respect for all creatures great and small, and his passion for wildlife was matched only by his passion for family life.

We here at Australia Zoo offer our heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Irwin family for your condolences and kind words. Many people have expressed a desire to donate to Wildlife Warriors Worldwide in memory of Steve. All donations will be greatly appreciated and applied directly to saving animals in the wild. Steve’s legacy will live on in the continuation of his life’s work.

Steve and Terri biographies:

Stephen Robert Irwin was born to Lyn and Bob Irwin in Victoria in February 1962. Bob Irwin was a keen enthusiast of reptiles and moved his family to Queensland in 1970 to start a small reptile park at Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast. Australia Zoo became a true family business, flourishing until 1991 when Bob & Lyn retired, turning over management to their son, Steve.

Living in the Zoo, Steve grew up with animals of all kinds, taking part in the animals daily feeding, care and maintenance. His 6th birthday present was what he had always wanted – his very own scrub python! It was 3.6m (12ft) long and while most other children were opening cans of pet food for their cats or dogs, Steve was out catching fish and hunting rodents to feed to his crocodiles and snakes.

Bob taught the young Steve everything there was to know about reptiles – even teaching his nine-year-old how to jump in and catch crocodiles in the rivers of North Queensland at night. This father and son’s proud boast is that every crocodile in their Zoo (the numbering some 100 animals) was either caught by their bare hands or bred and raised in their Zoo.

As he grew older Steve followed in his father’s footsteps and volunteered his services to the Queensland Governments East Coast Crocodile Management program which saw him spend years living on his own in the mosquito infested creeks, rivers and mangroves of North Queensland catching huge crocodiles single-handed. His record of successful catches is still staggering to this day.

Since 1991, Australia Zoo flourished and expanded under Steve’s guidance. In 1990 a chance reunion with his friend, television producer John Stainton, filming in the Zoo for a TV commercial, gave Steve the opportunity to show his diverse animal talents to the world when they both took a punt and make the first documentary, "The Crocodile Hunter" in 1992.

The tremendous success of this one program quickly encouraged the making of more and so over the next 3 years, 10 one hour episodes were made and on television screens all over the world. Steve has now filmed over 70 episodes of "The Crocodile Hunter", 53 episodes of "Croc Files", 43 episodes of “Croc Diaries” and his next television series is called “The New Breed Vets” for release in 2005.

Steve has the greatest respect and understanding for all animals – something that has been instilled into him by his family for all of his life – and he's proud to share his passion with everyone who visits his Zoo and with his five hundred million viewers world-wide.

In June 1992, Steve married Terri Raines from Oregon. They had met a few months earlier when Terri visited the Zoo whilst on holidays in Australia. They now spend their lives together educating people everywhere to care for all of our world’s wildlife.

Terri Raines was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1964 joining two older sisters. Her father ran a successful construction business – very much a family affair and in 1979 Terri joined her dad to learn all the skills of managing their large trucking business. As a small child, Terri was exposed to her father constantly bringing home injured animals from the highways his trucks traversed and this was to eventually instill in her an ongoing commitment to saving and rehabilitating wild animals.

In 1986 she started a rehab facility called "Cougar Country" to re-educate and release predatory mammals such as fox, possum, raccoon, bears, bob-cats, and of course cougars back into the wild. Soon she was handling 300 animals a year.

Later in 1989 she joined an Emergency Veterinary Hospital to work as a vet technician to gain further valuable knowledge on the care and support to all kinds of animals. Life couldn’t have been busier as she still kept a hand in helping her dad run the family business, rehabilitating animals through her "Cougar Country", working spare moments at the Vet Hospital and looking after her own 15 cats, several birds and a dog. There was hardly any time for dating… wildlife always came first.

So it was in October, 1991 that she visited Australia to explore the rehabilitation scene in our wildlife parks. It was while she was on the Sunshine Coast visiting a friend that she decided to drop into Australia Zoo at Beerwah "just out of curiosity". A chance meeting with the man doing the Crocodile demo, Steve Irwin, was to change her life forever. A whirlwind courtship saw the couple get engaged four months later and married on the 4th June 1992 and honeymoon on location of their first television documentary.

Terri left everything she had worked so hard for in the United States all behind… her family’s business, her rehab centre, her veterinary work and all her beloved pets – but it was almost as if fate had taken a hand. From the dreams of a small child, she was to share her lifelong ideals for wildlife with the world. She quickly adapted to her new role beside Steve at the Zoo, feeding and caring for their hundreds of animals and accompanying him on his adventures into crocodile territory or the harsh outback to study snakes and goannas.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Angel October 13, 2007 3:23 pm (Pacific time)

I wish I were Bindi Irwin she had the bestest father in the world.

Markus March 28, 2007 1:37 am (Pacific time)

I love you steve and your family i think Bindi is gonna be a Super Wildlife Warrior She's cute and your son and Wife. im only 13 years old but when im gonna be older i wanna help animals just like you did. i dont know how to say it but you kinda saved my soul dont know how to explain . if you didnt do that program i would be on the streets and selling narcotics and listen to heavy metal R.I.P steve ... i love you man your the kindest coolset most exiting person i've known of . just want to thank you ... thank you MATE :)

Nathaniel March 4, 2007 4:24 pm (Pacific time)

He was a great man

H. Nadeau December 29, 2006 4:18 pm (Pacific time)

It makes it easier to see Steve on the tv still, but sooner or later the show will have reruns. I will miss him greatly. He showed my family the animals that we will never get to see here in NH. Terri, you and your children are in my thoughts and prayers. Be strong. Time will help. Good luck in all that you do.

susanah lee November 20, 2006 10:25 pm (Pacific time)

hi i'm so sorry 4 your loss my is broken i no he was a great father and husband all my luv susanah

elizabeth November 13, 2006 12:15 pm (Pacific time)

you are the greatest I watched all your shows but it is hard for me too.

Louise De Marzo September 20, 2006 2:42 pm (Pacific time)

Steve you will be greatly missed! We love you here in California, USA. My prayers are with you Terri, Bindi and Bob. May you gain strength from the memories of your beloved Steve.

Anonymous September 20, 2006 2:34 pm (Pacific time)

Steve was a good bloke. Enough said. RIP mate.

For Steve and Family - Austr September 20, 2006 6:32 am (Pacific time)

R.I.P Steve. and thankyou for bringing so much to Australia.. and putting us on the map. May Terri, Bindi and Bob find the strength to carry on. Forever remembered in our hearts. xox

Ryszard Petru September 20, 2006 3:06 am (Pacific time)

Byłeś wspaniały - zawsze Cię podziwiałem.Mam nadzieję , że syn odziedziczył Twoje geny.

(Rough translation)

You was fine you - always hope < stuff > podziwiałem.Mam, that son has inherited your genes

James mark September 20, 2006 2:30 am (Pacific time)

steve you were mt hero mate and the world was a jungle out there and mate you were the king of it you will always be missed

Mike.C September 19, 2006 1:47 pm (Pacific time)

thank you Steve for the things

peggy mcgrath September 18, 2006 4:13 pm (Pacific time)

Condolences,from all of us here in Newfoundland Canada,Steve was the greatest.May God keep a very special eye on Terri,Bindi and Bob.

Anonymous September 18, 2006 2:54 pm (Pacific time)

soo sad;( but the kid messes sround wid animals thats what he deserves :(

Kristi September 18, 2006 11:58 am (Pacific time)

I loved watching the crocodile hunter. He will be greatly missed. I know first hand what tragedy does to a family. My husband died 7 years ago from a car accident. He left behind a 2 year old son. My thoughts are with his wife and kids.

Charles - Seattle September 18, 2006 10:38 am (Pacific time)

All You Need Is Love --- And as a result we had Steve Irwin. He was a Special treat in Life. Steve Loved Life. What a Wonderful Family.

Eurico Veiga September 18, 2006 4:49 am (Pacific time)

Everything you do in life with love remains forever,and that`s exactly what Steve did when he was amoung us,his love for wildlife was so pure that you could see it through his eyes.He was a living example of love and respect for nature,something extremely difficult to find in this material world,and that is exactly what made him so unique.God bless all his family and can give them strength to overcome such difficult times.

Rosella Edick September 18, 2006 1:28 am (Pacific time)

I'm from the U.S. Although I always enjoyed seeing Steve Irwin on t.v. I'm taken aback at how much sadness I feel from his passing. He was a very lovable, funny, genuine and remarkable man. He will be very missed. I send my condolances to his wife, children and family, who he obviously loved so much, and vice versa. Maybe it's true "the good die young".

Rhonda September 17, 2006 10:44 pm (Pacific time)

His enthusiasm and passion for his family and Zoo will be missed.. I don't believe it will be forgotten. He DID accomplish the goal of showing people the animals becasue then they will want to save them... As much as we loved him I can only imagine what his family is feeling and I just sincerelt hope and pray that they have the speical time they need to remember him privately...

naomi and kiera September 17, 2006 8:41 pm (Pacific time)

we love you steve, our thoughts are with your family great memories left behind and wont be forgotten RIP xoxo

georgie September 17, 2006 7:04 pm (Pacific time)

Steve has always been an aussie icon and he always will be its what god has planned for him!!! i love ou steve my deepest sympathy terry and family!! xoxo

hakan September 17, 2006 6:53 pm (Pacific time)

we all miss you up here in Turkey,rest in peace great man.

aussie-oi September 17, 2006 6:22 pm (Pacific time)

Steve Irwin was in the right time and right place to hit the 'big time'. People are forgetting there are MANY hardworking, passionate and dedicated 'warriors' in many different 'industries', and (unlike steve) alot of them don't make money off their endeavours. Remember Steve, but rally behind the living too.

samuel bayly September 17, 2006 4:55 pm (Pacific time)

I loved the crocadile he was my hoer terri I wish you feel better and the children.

Connie Hall September 17, 2006 4:53 pm (Pacific time)

condolences to the Irwin family and friends at the zoo....

taylor goldman September 17, 2006 4:31 pm (Pacific time)

YOU ARE THE GRAETEST PERSON IN THE WORLD.Happy dreams to your daughterandson.

Greg September 17, 2006 4:06 pm (Pacific time)

Steve was a one of a kind of man. His zeal for animals of all kind will live on in my heart and that of the world as well forever. My best of hopes and wishes to Terri and the kids and too all who love him all over this planet.

Sharon September 17, 2006 3:21 pm (Pacific time)

I still can't believe Steve is gone, his energy and zest for life and the creatures he loved was a true testimony of a great guy. Terri and the children will always be in my prayers. God Bless

Kirsten September 17, 2006 3:04 pm (Pacific time)

i watched your tv shows all the time. u are the greatest. iloveu . r.i.p

Stefani September 17, 2006 2:43 pm (Pacific time)

Thank you for giving us a light on Steve's life! I am sadden at the death of Steve. I loved his TV program. Steve is irreplaceable, but his love of animals big and small will live on in the hearts of the many who admired him. MISS YA MATE!

ronandmargie September 17, 2006 2:39 pm (Pacific time)

We had just arrived for vacation in Hawaii and awoke to read the sad news. I saw so many type of anamals and fish that I have never seen otherthan shows like steve's. He was our favorite, most every creator we saw I thought of Steve and Terri and their family. We love them and miss Steve. May God bless and ease the pain.

eric lineback September 17, 2006 12:56 pm (Pacific time)

i love when you used to see steve and buch of his co workers on top of a hugh croc

zara lynch united kingdom September 17, 2006 12:08 pm (Pacific time)

love watching steve going to miss him he was well loved bye everyone hope terri going to carry on and wez and bindi we will never forget him

Dakota September 17, 2006 12:02 pm (Pacific time)

Steve Irwin was an amazing man. He always lived life to the fullest. what an orinal! truely 1 in 1,000,000

jimmy blandford September 17, 2006 11:30 am (Pacific time)

he was my hero i wanted to bejust like him he will be missed and still remembered

Albert Marnell September 17, 2006 10:57 am (Pacific time)

I liked Steve Irwin and he spoke very highly of you all. Why do people know more about Steve Irwin than "The Truth and Lies of 9/11?" No wonder the country is a mess!

Tara September 17, 2006 10:53 am (Pacific time)

It was sad to see him go but he died the way he wanted to with animals . We'll miss you Steve Irwin

Cary September 17, 2006 10:36 am (Pacific time)

Steve made an impact on the whole world with his love of animals and his love of family. He will truly be missed. His work, his life, was important. If his children choose to do so, the work, the legacy are theirs. Terri, know that you are loved as well and millions of people's hopes and prayers are with you always.

Danielle September 17, 2006 7:38 am (Pacific time)

So Sad

Corin Bradfield September 17, 2006 6:18 am (Pacific time)

Steve. We shall see you in the eyes of your family. In them we shall watch your passion and commitment continue. You will live on in them and all us who you touched. Although it pains us greatly that your time with us has ended so soon, we give thanks and look forward to seing the seeds of your labour spring forth and flower. Know that we cannot look at the red dust, the darkness of the jungle and the crystal waters of the ocean and not feel you in our hearts. Lets pray that we live the rest of our days, half as well as you did. Farewell Brother.

Anonymous September 17, 2006 12:41 am (Pacific time)


James September 16, 2006 11:30 pm (Pacific time)

One thing I would like to point out, without getting into a long post I don't have time for now, is PLEASE do some research and boycott PETA if you love animals. What they have said and continue to say about Mr. Irwin, among many other things, is nothing short of dispicable. While we may not all agree on his wild personality and some of his methods even, nobody can deny that he did help put animal awareness and conservation on the mainstream map. He pretty much single-handedly put Animal Planet up there as a well known channel, allowing millions of children and adults alike to see and appreciate animals. Sure there was Cousteu(sp?) and others, but he made loving and appreciating animals cool, so to speak. The more research I do on PETA the more I can't believe I was a former supporter. Way too many worthwhile animal charities out there to give money to those militant human hating, radical supporting, self loving jerks. Thanks for listening and have a good day.

alisceanne smith September 16, 2006 10:29 pm (Pacific time)

itt makes you stop and smell the roses.time is not ours

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