Early this morning, while filming a new documentary, Steve Irwin, better known as the Crocodile Hunter, was fatally wounded by a stingray.
It's odd to feel sadness while thinking of Irwin. He always managed to have a smile on his face even when dealing with some of the worlds most dangerous animals and that smile was contagious.
He fit the image of the stereotypical Aussie, as made famous by Paul Hogan and the Crocodile Dundee movies, to a tee; relaxed in the face of danger and always in control. In fact one of my favorite scenes was when he was bitten by an unknown snake and he had to walk back to his jeep to retrieve his encyclopedia to try and find out what type it was; all the while the snake was still attached and he continued to crack jokes.
It's hard to think of the Crocodile Hunter as anything less than invincible, but sadly that was not the case.
As of the time of this post the Australian blog post regarding Steve's death had over 2300 comments from fans sharing their thoughts and memories of how he impacted their lives, and the Discovery.com memorial site is receiving so much traffic that they are warning people to expect problems when trying to connect. He truly was one of the few people who could claim a worldwide fan base. But of all the quotes I have seen regarding Steve Irwin's life and legacy today, I believe Russell Crowe put it best when he described Steve as:
"The Australian we all aspire to be".Steve leaves behind his wife Terri, as well as his two children, Bindi, 8, and Bob, 2.