Tuesday September 22, 2020
Sep-16-2006 21:08TweetFollow @OregonNews
Loss of Crocodile Hunter Still Being Felt WorldwideSalem-News.com
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.
(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.
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