Article originally published on WorthSharingIt.
Photo Copyright © 2017 bindisueirwin/Instagram | Entertainment | February 24 2017
It’s likely that we’ll never meet another man like him ever again. Steve Irwin was truly one of a kind.
Ever since he was a kid, Steve Irwin knew what his calling was. Though over time, as he pursued his passion for animals and wildlife, he came under some scrutiny, there’s no denying the sheer talent and abilities he had.
- It’s in his genes.
His parents held normal jobs – his dad was a plumber and his mom was a nurse – but they both loved exploring nature in their spare time as a hobby.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors/Facebook
- He’s not the first of his family to own an animal park.
When Irwin was barely ten years old, his parents moved to the Sunshine Coast of Australia and opened a reptile park called Beerwah Reptile Park.
- He owned his first reptile when he was six.
Irwin received a python for this sixth birthday and decided to called it “Fred.”
- Irwin caught his first crocodile before he was ten.
His dad took Irwin on his first crocodile catching expedition when he was just nine. “I got my legs around his neck and he was thrashing about… I knew then that catching crocs was the only life I wanted,” Irwin later recalled.
- He had a gift.
Although Irwin had animal-care in his genes, everyone around him couldn’t help but notice that he, more so than other people, had a gift and a “real instinct” with animals.
- He met his wife in his zoo.
In 1991, Irwin took over his parents’ reptile park and renamed it the Australia Zoo. It was there that he met Terri Raines, who later became his wife.
- Irwin’s honeymoon inadvertently catapulted him to stardom.
He and his wife went on a honeymoon in Northern Australia camping and relocating crocodiles. With the help of a friend, who also happened to be a television producer, Irwin used footage from his honeymoon in the first ever episode of Crocodile Hunter.
- He never blamed his injuries on the animals he worked with.
Any time he got bitten, Irwin put the blame on himself. He believed that his extensive knowledge of animals should allow him to avoid these mishaps, so the bite was simply a lack of understanding on his part.
- He donated $1 million each year.
Every year, Irwin made sure to donate $1 million to his charity, Wildlife Warriors, and also committed further spending to help relocate animals back to their natural habitats. He and his wife were all about conservation and defending wildlife.
- He once fed crocodiles while holding his son.
When Irwin’s son, Bob, was still a baby, his father once took him on a shoot during which he also had to feed hungry crocodiles. Critics acme at him with allegations of child abuse, but Irwin insisted his son was safe the entire time.
- Irwin is actually scared of parrots.
He told Larry King in an interview in 2004 that he was actually scared of parrots because he’d suffered many painful bites from them in the past.
- He doesn’t have a degree in science.
All of Irwin’s knowledge was passed down to him from his parents and obtained from personal experience with handling animals.
- He and his wife chose not to wear wedding rings, although they were married.
Both Irwin and his wife thought that wearing the metal band on their finger could prove to be dangerous to either themselves or the animals they were handling, so they chose instead to never wear this piece of jewelry.
- Irwin named his daughter after two animals.
Irwin’s daughter, Bindi Sue was named after two of her father’s favorite animals, a saltwater crocodile called “Bindi,” and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier he and his wife had had as a pet, called “Sue.”
- Irwin didn’t just have a soft heart for animals.
Irwin didn’t just dedicate his life to saving and helping animals. When he heard that there were two scuba divers lost at sea in Mexico, in November 2003, he and his entire crew stopped operations to help with the search efforts.
- There are two animals named after Irwin.
In 1997, Irwin found a new species of turtle and named it Irwin’s turtle (Elseya irwini). Later, in 2009, another scientist discovered a new species of an air-breathing land snail and named it Crikey steveirwini.
- He was accused of disturbing wildlife.
Even a man like Irwin wasn’t perfect when it came to handling animals. In June 2004, Irwin was accused of disturbing whales, seals, and penguins while filming a documentary in Antarctica. But no charges were ever laid.
- He died when a normally docile creature attacked him.
Stingrays are generally gentle creatures, but this one struck Irwin with his barb hundreds of times. One pierced his heart, which ultimately caused Irwin to bleed to death. Crew members speculated that the stingray was reacting to being boxed in by everyone around him.
- Irwin’s death was caught on film.
After death investigations finished, the family requested that all footage of Irwin’s death be destroyed. None of it survives. It’s said that his death was the only time a fatality from a stingray had been caught on film.