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Steve Irwin – Wildlife Expert

Biography | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Stephen Robert Irwin was an Australian wildlife conservationist and a television personality. He was nicknamed the ‘Crocodile hunter’ as he was the host of this famous Australian TV show. Irwin was famous for hosting the show with enthusiasm and his khakis.

Early Life and Career

Irwin’s love for the wild began at a very young age. He grew up on Fern Tree Gully in Victoria, loving wildlife, especially reptiles. He caught his first venomous snake at the age of six and always used to arrive late at school because he wanted to stop to rescue a lizard. His parents moved to Beerwah and opened a Reptile and Fauna Park in 1970. The park was home to native wildlife like freshwater crocodiles, tiger snakes, monitors, geese, magpies and kangaroos. Irwin would daily help with the maintenance of the park and animal feeding.

At the young age of just nine years, Irwin would help his father catch hold of small problem crocodiles by jumping on them in the water and wrestling them back to the boat. He would help his father relocate problem crocodiles back into their habitat. Irwin was incredible in climbing trees and had an eye for snake and bird surveys. After graduation, Irwin started helping as a crocodile trapper, moving crocodiles from populated areas to his Reptile Park.

The Crocodile Hunter

It was in the 1980’s that Steve developed crocodile capture and management techniques which are used around the world today. Irwin was enlisted by the Queensland Government to help volunteer for crocodile capture to relocate them to safe habitats. Irwin captured over 100 crocodiles that were moved to the Crocodile Environment Park.

Australia Zoo

Irwin, along with his wife, filmed a documentary on crocodiles which was an immediate success and it was picked by the American cable and shown on Animal planet. Thus the ‘crocodile hunter’ was born where Irwin and his wife filmed almost 150 episodes. He and his wife put all the money earned from the show towards the management of wildlife in the family reptile park, later renamed as Australia Zoo.

‘Crocodile Hunter’ Killed by Stingray

In 2006, while filming a program in Australia, Irwin died while snorkelling near a stingray and its barb pierced him right in the heart.
Steve Irwin was famous for educating the young about nature and wildlife, especially reptiles. He loved animals since his childhood and followed his passion his entire life.

3 Interesting Facts about Steve Irwin

  1. On his 6th birthday, Steve was given a large python.
  2. November 15th, Steve Irwin Day is an annual international event honouring the life and legacy of the one and only crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin.
  3. He helped educate Australians on how to deal with snakes and avoid deadly snake bites.

“My belief is that what comes across on the television is a capture of my enthusiasm and my passion for wildlife.” Steve Irwin