Survival Trainers

Why The Crocodile Hunter Didn’t Survive

Play Video

Survival Trainers
———————-
Steve ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ Irwin spent his whole life handling some of the world’s deadliest creatures. “We take a very unfortunate spill, nearly killed by the…” And the morning of September 4th, 2006, was no exception. He and his film crew had stumbled upon a massive

Bull stingray, about 2.5 m (8 ft) wide. Intrigued by the creature, they dove into the water and began filming. But within seconds, things took a terrifying turn. Steve approached the ray, and it started swimming away. His longtime friend and cinematographer

Justin Lyons followed it with his camera. When he panned back to Steve, he found him engulfed in a cloud of blood. The stingray had stabbed him in the chest. The crew knew they needed to act fast. Steve was bleeding heavily in the ocean,

Which meant one thing: sharks were coming. Dozens of meters away from the inflatable boat, Irwin struggled to stay alive but couldn’t swim. Luckily, his team managed to pull him up before the sharks arrived. Only then did they realize

The gravity of the situation. Steve had a massive one-foot-long (30 cm) barb lodged in his chest, very close to his heart. Justin desperately tried to keep him awake as they raced to get him help. “Think of your kids, Steve,”

He shouted as he tried to get the legendary Crocodile Hunter to hang on. Steve just murmured, “I’m dying,” passed out, and never regained consciousness. The Crocodile Hunter had one golden rule for his crew: never stop filming,

No matter how badly injured he gets. Even if he dies. But what happened to the fateful footage? Did it ever get leaked? Did Steve manage to rip the stingray’s barb out of his chest? Or is that a myth? And was the tragic accident his fault?

“Scene one, take one. And someone goes mark.” Steve Irwin catapulted to worldwide fame with his show “The Crocodile Hunter” in 1992 at the age of 30. That was the pinnacle of his lifelong dedication to wildlife. Steve grew up surrounded by Australia’s wildest creatures.

Both of his parents were passionate animal conservationists. They founded the Beerwah Reptile Park in Queensland, which later became the renowned Australia Zoo. Throughout his childhood, Steve’s father showed him how to handle all kinds of animals, even the really dangerous ones. Legend has it

That at just six years old, he caught his first venomous brown snake, one of the world’s deadliest. He followed his father on many of his expeditions, relocating crocodiles to keep them out of harm’s way from humans. But also to rescue them from hunters.

“There’s one, dad, there’s one.” At just nine years old, Steve mounted a croc’s back for the first time. Two decades later, that technique became the trademark move that made him famous. “Please welcome Steve Irwin.” “Good boy.” “You gotta be fast.” “Yeah, I got it. Yeah.”

“This is the locking device.” However, not everyone was a fan of his up-close and personal style with animals. The famous animal rights organization PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, called him out on a number of occasions for his unnecessary harassment of animals.

Another nature enthusiast and communicator, Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau, openly criticized Steve’s methods, suggesting he was interfering with nature, disrupting animal habitats and behaviors. And Rex Neindorf, the owner of Australia’s Alice Springs Reptile Centre,

Wasn’t fond of his recklessness. In 2003, he warned Steve about handling a two-meter-long lizard without protection. He ended up with about ten incisor marks on his arm. There was blood everywhere. “That was Steve, the entertainer. He was a real showman,” said Rex.

Maybe the most significant criticism Irwin faced came in 2004 after he fed a massive 4 m (13 ft) long crocodile while holding his 4-month-old son, Robert. “Steve Irwin is no longer Australia’s favorite crocodile hunter. In fact, the knives are out right across the world.” “Tonight,

Even his fans are asking, has he finally gone too far? The Crocodile Hunter is constantly putting himself in harm’s way. Wrestling with gators, he’s played with poisonous snakes. But is this too much?” “Look at this. He’s exploiting his baby near a deadly animal for entertainment purposes. I mean, I would have charged him.”

Some family organizations claimed the incident was an act of child abuse, prompting an investigation by the Department of Families in Queensland. Ultimately, the government didn’t press charges, and Steve promised he’d never put his children in danger again. But this didn’t stop him

From performing his thrilling stunts. Following his death, many of his critics questioned whether the fatal incident was an accident or if Steve might have done something to provoke the stingray. According to cameraman Justin Lyons, it wasn’t Steve’s fault

But a tragic act of nature. While shooting the docu-series ‘Ocean’s Deadliest’ in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Steve and his crew were out searching for tiger sharks with little luck. That’s when they came across the massive bull stingray. Justin and Steve decided

To give up on finding tiger sharks and instead film some footage for a TV project featuring his daughter, called “Bindi The Jungle Girl.” After several minutes of filming Steve swimming alongside the stingray, they decided to capture one last shot of it swimming away.

As they always did, they positioned the animal between Steve and the camera. However, as it swam away, it unexpectedly swam beneath Steve and stabbed him in the chest in the blink of an eye. Then, it jammed its barb into

Steve’s body and swiftly swam away. Stingrays are typically very docile creatures and usually swim away if frightened. They’ll usually only attack out of self-defense. Justin Lyons believes that the angle of the Sun may have cast Steve’s shadow over the stingray,

Fooling it into thinking he was a tiger shark, one of the ray’s most common predators. Now, what happened to the barb in Steve’s chest? Rumors quickly spread that Irwin would have survived if he hadn’t ripped the barb out of his chest. Stingray barbs have sharp

Backward-facing spines to firmly anchor into flesh. It would have been almost impossible for Steve to pull it out, especially in his nearly unconscious state. “Australian Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, has died during a diving expedition near Port Douglas in Australia.” “Today, the world has lost a great wildlife icon.”

Steve’s fans were devastated by his death, and rumors quickly flooded the internet about a possible leak of the footage. Now, while Steve might have wanted the footage of his death to be shared with the world, his wife, Terri, decided otherwise.

After the police watched the recording, they urged Steve’s family to destroy it. This would confirm that all the versions circling around on the internet are fake. Despite all the criticism Steve got, many conservationists agree that he inspired an entire generation of scientists, conservationists,

And nature enthusiasts. “My daddy was my hero. He was always there for me when I needed him. He was working to change the world, so everyone would love wildlife like he did. Daddy made this place his whole life. Now it’s our turn to help Daddy. Thank you.” Being around wild animals

Is dangerous even for a trained and experienced professional like Steve, so if you don’t have any experience or formal training, you’re better off observing nature respectfully from a safe distance. Unfortunately, for Timothy Treadwell, also known as the Grizzly Man,

That lesson came a little too late. We’ll explore the horrifying last moments before a grizzly bear ate him and his girlfriend alive on another episode of How to Survive.

Scroll to Top