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Crocodile Hunter: RIP

As I'm perusing through various websites this morning, I notice that Steve Irwin had died. Because a stingray got him.

You remember Steve, the moron who poked snakes and tigers and basically anything that would, given the chance, either eat him, or do the most amount of damage possible.

I mostly remember him because of the spot on impression our friend Mike used to do in high school, replacing snake with...well, a piece of male anatomy starting with C.

We never understood the attraction, or the need to torment, oh, I dunno, a highly venemous rattler or mambo or whatever he was tormenting that week. It seemed like a lot of risk for no apparent reason. So I never watched the show. Quite honestly, the guy drove me freaking nutty.

So to hear he died doing what he loved was cool. But then I saw that he had two young children.

And in thinking about this all day long, I'm a little annoyed.

I lost my mother to a disease she couldn't beat. She fought it, and I lost her anyway. Since then, my life has been framed by this loss.

This guy had children, and continued to act in ways that I consider dangerous. Personally, I don't ever want to chill out with a stingray, or anything that could kill me. I don't play with guns either, for much the same reason. I read the reactions of people, most of them saying oh, how sad, and at least he died doing what he loved.

But at what point do you have a responsibility to your children and family? A what point is an adult who has reproduced responsible to say "enough" and stop doing things that endanger their life? I don't find my honor in leaving your children when they still need you. That three year old boy will never get to know his father, aside from videos of him handling wild creatures. That little girl won't have her father around for any of the big moments in her life.

I find it rather unfair, and selfish, that someone would consider their job before their family in this manner. And perhaps I feel it more keenly because of my experiences, but it seems wasteful. The only thing I ever saw when watching this man's show was someone taking foolish chances with their life. Shouldn't having children make you at least stop and think about the consequences?

And why do we applaud this man? Women constantly today talk about how men are not at the same "level" as women in terms of being parents. What if the person who was stung and killed was his wife, and not him? People would be up in arms that a mother would throw her life away, and deny her children a mother, just to pet a stingray. So why is he treated like some type of hero?

Don't get me wrong-I find this death sad, and hope the family will come out of it ok. But it didn't need to happen, and I really do wonder if there isn't a time that everyone needs to grow up, and stop playing chicken with Wild America. While I can recognize the good he may have done for "science", there's something else that really bothers me.

Those two kids needed him too.

did you miss the uproar when he fed a croc while holding his one month-old son?

It is strange how he died while diving. If I had to pick a way to go, playing under the water near a beautiful reef, doesn't sound so bad.

I would agree with you Karrie, but I read that a being stung by a stingray is INCREDIBLY painful, not to mention it pierced right through his heart. I can't imagine a less peaceful death, as he was probably also faced with struggling to swim, unless he just passed out.
I do think he needed to be more cautious with his life, I have thought that ever since he had children, and that's why I never watched the show, I never wanted to *SEE* something happen to him. I think his life's work was something to be proud of though, as he had a huge following and he was devoted to teaching people(especially kids) about dangerous and sometimes rarely seen animals. I don't know what kind of consolation that will be to his kids when they grow up, but I can imagine they would question why he chose to stay in a field that endangered his life every day. I do think that if you are going to have that kind of job, you should NOT have children.

I totally agree with you Magdalena. If he wanted to continue playing russian roullette with his life, (IMHO) he shouldn't have had kids.

I myself did (so very many) stupid things before my wife and I had our daughter. Now I make decisions based on the premise that she'll want me around for most of her life.

So Steve, sorry you had to go out in such a stupid, painful way, but let's be honest here: Did anyone think he was going to go out in a nursing home in his sleep?

Yes to all these thoughts, and let me add to your information about Crikey Steve Irwin (we've had this all day on radio on Sydney!) - his team is heading to the studios next week to put together his last television series, called something like "The Ocean's Deadliest Creature". What are the odds on them including footage of him right up to the second the ray's sting struck? That series is going to rate through the roof!

As for his addiction to danger, I think you sum it up very well Thordora. For most of us, things do change once we have kids and no matter what risks we might have been willing to take personally, most of us realise we can't continue that way.

Sure, you could get hit by a bus on the way to work any day of the week, but that's different to choosing a job where you make your money lying on the ground and letting a venomous snake slither all over you!

I have to ask, what was he doing to that stingray? Aren't they supposed to be mild non-agressive creatures that usually swim away when threatened?
The man was an idiot who endangered his life for spectacle. Some weird cross between Timothy Treadwell and Michael Jackson.

Stingrays hide in the sand, from what I've read he swam over one. He may not have known it was there until it was too late.

Great perspective Thor, I never would have thought of it from that angle. So true.

Maybe that's why since having the kiddos Glen has been dead set about not going overseas.

I do sound pretty harsh. I actually found him really amusing. But Thor's right. He had kids.

When you choose to have kids your life's not really your own for a few years. But it has it's rewards.

I'm pretty sure the stingray was hiding and he startled it, not knowing it was there.

It does seem prudent to take less risk when you become a parent. Regular life is risky enough.

However, I think their family is pretty unique. Steve was not the only one in his family in this line of work - his parents and his wife also work in this dangerous field, just not on camera. They probably don't perceive the risk the same way us regular folk do.

What about other risky professions, like coal mining or something? For me, those initially seem more acceptable because its not a 'glamorous' tv thing. But, really, Steve's work was education, not glamour or fame. And coal mining is pretty dangerous too.

Good topic - really makes you think!

I agree w/ what you're saying in general but a lot of parents have dangerous jobs. Should only single people work in such jobs?

I dunno. I'm still sad for the poor guy.

Especially since he wasn't actively pursuing danger when the end came. He was actually filming what everyone considered to be the non-dangerous portion of the film when he died. Maybe he could have lived his life in a more careful manner but I can't fault him. Especially now that he's gone.

I don't think he expected it-who did-but he was doing stupid crap long before this, without any real concern.

I'm not saying he had it coming-it's sad, and his family misses him. I just wonder if as parents, the game board doesn't change.

And you're right Eden-should everyone stop working jobs that are dangerous? I don't know. BUT, I believe that the implied risk of chasing alligators is a little higher than working in a mine or being in the army reserves (well, in Canada at least)

I can't help but think of that shot with his son him and the croc. THAT'S what makes me angry for this children-that he didn't seem to have the sense of when to stop.

Either way, it was a terrible thing. Another child without a parent is not something I want to see.

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