05 September 2006

Crocodile Hunter, Rest In Peace

I'm sure you have all heard the news of the death of Steve Irwin, who was mentioned here just a few days ago. It was suggested to me by a few people that I might alter that post, but I decided against it. What was written then was accurate. His death does not change that. However, I felt I should perhaps explain a little more why Australians felt the way they did.
No one here was wishing death on him. It is always tragic when someone dies much too early. Most people appreciated his conservation efforts, most recently his prevention of the establishment of crocodile hunting safaris in Queensland. He rubbed Australians the wrong way with his exaggerated accent and mannerisms. I have heard him referred to as a caricature of himself. People felt he was a sell out to American media interests--never a good way to make friends back home.
Personally, I liked him. I thought he was crazy, but he was good at what he did. His numerous imitators prove the success of the formula. Most importantly, he was sincere in respect for the environment and wildlife.
For more on Australia's reaction to the loss of Steve Irwin, here are a few links to articles from the Sydney Morning Herald. Bizarre death of 'remarkable' man is their story on the event. A deluge of tributes is a collection of quotes from some of the Australian VIPs. Superstar ignored at home provides further insight in to how Steve Irwin was viewed in his home country.

No comments: