Saturday, September 09, 2006
Steve Irwin, a tragic loss
A MENTOR, CONSERVATIONLIST, FAMILY MAN, GREAT MAN LOST
The sudden and tragic loss of Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile hunter" struck me harder then I thought something like this could. My prayers are for Steve's family and friends who we have all come to know so well through his incredible TV shows. I want to express my condolences to the Irwin family, and say a few more things I did not get to say in my memorandum e-mail I sent into Animal planet. I've never done one of these before, I was not sure what to say.
Since I first watched his show, I have wanted to do the same stuff he did. I used to tell my mom "I want to be just like him someday, that’s the kind of thing I want to do". I have been inspired by his attitude and accomplishments. Steve showed me that you can raise up and do anything you want to with what you are into even if it's things most people are afraid of! Or it seems impossible to reach! And he showed the world not to fear or hate things just because they don't understand them. He taught respect for the natural world. My choice to build my website has at least some roots in the people who I looked up to from TV before I had a computer with Internet. I have many basic messages. One of the biggest is to get people to realize that spiders, insects, and other animals we hate or are afraid of should be understood and respected. It's sad--out here in The Dalles nearly every snake is a dead snake. People kill them out here because they don't know. Every spider is a brown recluse or black widow--I want to show the world what is fact.
So it effected me deeply when someone with so similar interests has passed away. I also probably met him if I recall. An energetic guy I recall the same age Steve would have been--at a reptile convention in Sydney. My mom, due to my interests, took me to this Sydney reptile convention. We went to two of the zoos but sadly not the Australia zoo, Steve’s place. All the top Crock and snake guys that were there in 1991 or 1992. There will never be anyone as good as him--but he has inspired me and many others to pursue natural history and photography of the natural world. Most of all--show it to people so that they want to save it. That was Steve's message and it works. My family and I send out our prayers to the Irwin family as I say, this hit everyone in my family. Below you can read what I sent to Animal Planet minus a few things I added and forgot to save before I sent in the message.
I am a self-described naturalist and photographer in The Dalles Oregon (USA). I have a large website called Mostly Macros. I believe I met Steve before he became a big hit on TV on a trip to Australia in 1992 when I was 13 at a reptile convention. I have been into “spiders snakes and lizards” since I could talk. Later, learning as a photographer I decided to try to do my small part to change attitudes about nature, especially insects and spiders and definitely snakes if they were more visible around here. The impact on snakes out here is huge--they are harder and harder to find and most people I meet tell stories about how many they have killed. I get angry at them sometimes and give lectures. Inspired in part by Steve, I began to show the world the facts about wildlife and why conservation and respect is so important even in the insect world. Someday, a compound in spider silk may make it possible for us to create a device that can save our planet from an incoming disaster, or venom may lead to a cure for terrible diseases.
God be with Steve's family and friends in this is a tragic loss. I really felt almost as if a friend or someone in my own family had died when I heard the tragic news. He will be will be painfully missed. We should keep in mind his TV shows and productions will live on to immortalize his incredible very rare ability to teach and tame the natural world for us. I am certain his TV shows will continue to inspire and educate future generations to come. God bless.
Anyway--I just want to say that I am a fan of the show --was after and when I was in was in the hospital. Steve Irwin invented a kind of nature show everyone can watch. That took allot of talent and more. It’s a very sad loss--and my prayers and hart go out to the Irwin family. I will continue to learn from his TV show--and remember in what ways his incredible and un-beatable style and ability has influenced my life as a Naturalist and photographer and no doubt, many others. May God be with Steve’s family and friends in these difficult times. He lived an awesome life. I am glad he died doing what he loved.