Tuesday, September 05, 2006

TOPIC: Steve Irwin Will Be Remembered...
Steve Irwin: "I'm a conservationist through and through. ... That's why I was put on this planet, for the benefit of wildlife and wilderness areas. That's what I'm into. That's what makes me pumped, mate. That's what myself and Terry and our families have been all about." (on the Andrew Denton Show)
Over the past 24 hours, I have read quite a few eulogies to Steve Irwin. The Crocodile Hunter, Animal Planet, the Discovery Channel -- were all partially built on the efforts of Steven Irwin. Steve left behind more than 200 million viewers in 35 countries -- many adoring fans; along with a handful of critics. There are a few articles and memorialized interviews worth noting. Steven left huge shoes to fill in the world of wildlife conservation. Let's hope Terri Irwin, Wes Mannion, John Stainton and the rest of the team at Australia Zoo will continue the legacy that Robert, Lyn and Steve Irwin began more than two decades ago. Here are a few articles of note:
Statesboro Herald (AP)
CNN.com (view related links, too)

The only negative press (of note) was Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune. Thankfully, the public is correcting Johnson's perspective and inappropriate blog post via the Tribune blog's Comments section.
Here is the reply I sent:
"Steve [Johnson],
In your own words to Mike (above), 'Obviously, Irwin, though (sic) television's power, had crossed the line in people's lives to being more than just a remote, 'famous' person.'
You are SO correct. Steve Irwin almost single handedly made unloved and ugly reptiles lovable and enjoyable to countless thousands. He was the real deal LONG before cameras rolled. He spent years camping along the rivers of Australia, rescuing crocodiles for little or no payment -- and NO notoriety. He built a small "petting" zoo into THE Australia Zoo. Yes, he was much more than a 'remote famous person'.
As for his so-called taunting and harrassment, you and the others are wrong and obviously uneducated about animal behavior. Steve took the time to settle wild animals that felt threatened by his presence, so that he could show us their beauty, their personality and their worth in this world.
As for his conservation efforts, did you know that Steve Irwin spent much of his money buying land for what -- wildlife conservation. We're not talking about plush land for development. We're talking swamps and desert and land that was never meant for human habitation. Steve and his team also worked to save the lives of many animals, including specific species NOT native to Australia.
Folks need to learn what they are talking about before they start typing. You, Steve Johnson, should be ashamed of bringing up an old piece that by mere coincidence has some truth -- post-mortem.
Photo courtsey of Milky2005

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