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Cryo Chamber

Death of a cultural icon

The animals finally fought back.  I often thought Steve Irwin was an idiot, pushing his luck and that of his family for ratings. He wasn’t a very good role model for his children, and now hes the perfect role model and posterchild for "Don’t go playing with fanged, barbed and venomous critters".

Admittedly, he will be missed. :(

Irwin, 44, was killed almost instantly when the stingray stabbed him in the heart with its poisonous 20cm barb as he snorkelled off Port Douglas, in north Queensland, yesterday morning.
His American-born wife, Terri, was trekking in Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park when the news broke of her husband’s death and was last night being raced back to Queensland with her two children Bindi, 8, and Bob, 2.

"The footage shows him swimming in the water, the ray stopped and turned and that was it," said boat owner Peter West, who viewed the footage afterwards.
"There was no blood in the water, it was not that obvious … something happened with this animal that made it rear and he was at the wrong position at the wrong time and if it hit him anywhere else we would not be talking about a fatality." Irwin was shooting a documentary on dangerous marine life, in shallow water at Bat Reef, about 32 nautical-miles offshore, at about 11am (AEST).
Tributes poured in from around world for Irwin, a renowned environmentalist who was estimated to be earning more than $4 million a year from his Queensland reptile park, Australia Zoo.
Footage of the attack shows Irwin swimming above a 2.5m stingray before it turns on him and sends a poisonous barb through his heart.

Irwin was pulled from the water by a cameraman and a crewman, put on an inflatable tender and taken to a support boat about 500m away.

Crewmembers say he was barely conscious in the minutes after the sting, but died as his production team rushed him to his vessel, Croc One, and to a nearby island for emergency treatment.
A charter dive boat crew desperately tried to revive him on the beach, but were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards by Queensland Rescue Service officers, who had flown to the area by helicopter.

Irwin’s body was last night flown to Cairns for a post-mortem as police seized all available evidence and interviewed witnesses in order to prepare a report for the Coroner.
A coronial inquest is expected.

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