Monday, September 04, 2006

Steve Irwin dies in Stingray accident

I am shocked and saddened this morning to hear the news that Steve Irwin the 'Crocodile Hunter' has died following a diving accident with a Stingray fish. I know this has little to do with koi other than fish were involved but he was a great personality and through his TV shows and zoo work he did a lot to promote respect and conservation for all types of animals. His passion for animals and life was infectious and this really showed on screen. He did appear almost invincible when confronted by some of the most dangerous animals on the planet so it seems almost at odds that his demise should come about from a Stingray.

Many of the news channels are talking about the incident as an attack by the stingray which is very unlikely because when confronted they try to swim away. It seems that Steve was very unlucky by coming too close to the spine of a Stingray which punctured his chest. Stingray spines are very strong and sharp with a poisonous tip which they use only for defense but are rarely life threatening for humans. Steve must have died from the puncture wound or the toxin being released so close to his heart that the shock to his body triggered a heart attack. Apparently he was snorkelling in shallow waters when the Stingray raised it's spine into Steve's chest when he was above it.

The internet is going mad for information about Stingrays now which actually little is known about them. There are over 70 different species of Stingray with some even sold in tropical fish stores for aquariums, so if something good can be gained from this accident I hope it's a better understanding not a fear of them.

We could say that he died doing something he loved but it does seem upsetting that he was only 44, obviously fit and also leaves a young family behind. My best wishes and condolences go to his family and friends.


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