Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter!
Steve Robert Irwin was born in Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria on February 22nd, 1962. His family moved to Beerwah, Queensland. They opened the ‘Beerwah Reptile Park’ in 1970.
Steve loved wildlife, especially reptiles. At the tender age of six, he caught his first venomous snake – a common brown. It is said that Steve would often arrive late to the school, he often managed to convince his mother to pull over, so that he could rescue even a lizard off the road!
Steve was pretty adventurous from a very young age. When he was just 9-years-old, he used to help catch small problem crocodiles, hanging around boat ramps. He used to jump on them in the water, wrestle them back into the dinghy. When it came to wildlife, Steve always had an uncanny sixth sense!He spent his entire life honing the very same skill!
The wildlife park was renamed as the ‘Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park’ by the 1980s. It was Steve’s home, the place he loved the most! He spent hours at the place, working continuously along with his best mate West Mannison. Together, they took care of the wildlife and maintained the grounds!
Steve’s love for crocodiles kept growing. He used to spend months in the most remote areas of far north Queensland, helping the government catch problem crocodiles. His dog Sui used to accompany the crocodile hunter in all his missions. The crocodile capture and management techniques developed by Steve are utilized with crocodilians around the world!
From October 4, 1991, Steve started managing the park. Soon he came across Terri Raines – a visiting tourist. The couple got married in Eugene, Oregon on June 4, 1992.
Instead of going for a honeymoon, the couple took up the task of filming a wildlife documentary while relocating a problem crocodile in far north Queensland. The show was an instant hit, giving birth to the series called ‘The Crocodile Hunter!’ The TV series soon became an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary that was hosted by Steve and his wife Terry. They worked tirelessly for improving and expanding the wildlife park. It was renamed as ‘Australia Zoo’ in 1998, gradually their vision for the best zoo in the world was coming into fruition. Even today, the zoo strives hard to achieve Steve’s message of ‘conservation through exciting education!’
Steve never missed an opportunity to share his love for wildlife with his children, Bindi and Robert. He taught them the importance of treating every living being with kindness. Steve was really proud of his children, he had often said that if he wanted to be remembered for anything, it was for being a good dad!
Steve and Terry had set out a ten-year business plan for their favorite zoo in July 2006. However Steve met with a tragic death two months later. His family continues to work hard for achieving all goals Steve hoped to attain.
Achievements of Steve Irwin
- In 2018, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- He was honored with posthumous Queensland Greats Award in 2015.
- In 2009, a newly identified species of land snail was named Crikey steveirwini, in honor of the great man.
- In the same year, he was inducted into the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame as well.
- The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve which spreads across a sprawling 330,000 acres is made up of rainforests, wetlands and savannahs. The Reserve was set aside as a tribute to the conservation efforts of Steve Irwin in the year 2007.
- Steve Irwin was awarded honorary professorship by the University of Queensland’s School of Integrative Biology in 2006.
- In 2004, he was recognised as the ‘Tourism Export of the Year’. In the year, he was also among the nominees for ‘Australian of the Year’.
- In 2002, he played the lead role in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.
- He established a conservation charity – Wildlife Warriors.
- In 2001, Steve Irwin was awarded the Australian Government Centenary Medal for ‘service to global conservation and Australian tourism’.
- In 1997, a new turtle species called Irwin’s turtle (Elseya irwini) was discovered.
- In 1992, Steve Irwin started filming the documentary series ‘The Crocodile Hunter’.
Interesting facts about Steve Irwin’s kids
Steve Irwin’s kids have rightfully inherited the passion for life and love for wildlife from their father. Ever since his tragic ending, they have continued to keep his memory and legacy alive by taking care of animals and spreading awareness on the importance of wildlife conservation. Both of them are active staff members of the Australian zoo. Bindi and Robert continue to conduct interviews, give lectures on the importance of protecting animal habitats.
Here are some fascinating facts about them.
- Bindi was named after Steve’s favorite saltwater female crocodiles.
- Growing up at the family’s Australian zoo, the kids were homeschooled.
- Bindi has appeared on several television shows including the wildlife documentary series called ‘Bindi The Jungle Girl’.
- They both starred in the movie, Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove.
- Robert Irwin is named after his grandfather. He loves photography, mountain biking and reptiles.
- The siblings are active global ambassadors for ‘Wildlife Warriors Worldwide’ which was started by their mother Terri Irwin and late father Steve Irwin in 2002.
- They are authors of their own book series!
- Their reality tv show ‘Crikey! It’s the Irwins’ is a global hit!
- Bindi has her own clothing line called Bindi Wear. A major chunk of the profits go to Australia Zoo’s international conservation programs.
In this blog, we have discussed the life of Steve Irwin and his family.