Steve IrwinLife was shortened when it was impaled across the chest by a shagreen in 2006 near the Great Barrier Reef. But his legacy remains immense. Popular TV character, zoo keeper, science educator and environmental advocate. He would have been 57 years old today, and a Google Doodle not only honors him, but also the work to which he has dedicated his life.
You may know the most Irwin of his Crocodile hunter TV series, which documented his close encounters and seemingly dangerous with animals (including crocodiles), which he animated with his wife Terri from 1996 to 2004.
In the eyes of critics, his stunts sometimes went too far, like the weather he fed a crocodile wearing his son in his arms. There was also a time where he was investigation for shooting too close to humpback whales and penguins, possibly endangering them. (He has never been charged with any crime.)
Antics aside, his dedication to the animals and his conservation began well before the show's exhibition.
His father, Bob Irwin, is a herpetologist who founded a zoo in Queensland, Australia, where Steve grew up. Steve would come to manage the park, now called Australian Zooand promote education and conversation efforts in this country. "My job, my mission, the reason I was put on this planet, is to save the wildlife," he said. m said. He had reason to worry. The average population of vertebrates (birds, fish, mammals and amphibians) has decreased by 60% since 1970, according to at the World Wildlife Fund. The future of biodiversity on planet Earth, due to human activities, is bleak.
And they were not just words. The charity of its wildlife warriors bought hundreds of square miles around the world for wildlife conservation. The charitable organization, still active today, also participates in animal conservation efforts such as Sumatran tigers, Koala bears, Cambodian elephants, and more. The Australian Zoo even manages a reserve of more than 500 km2 in North Queensland, named after Irwin.
Whether or not you approve of his close and aggressive approach to video recording animals, it's clear that pop culture could appeal to more scientists and wildlife celebrities like Irwin. For too many people, the enormous diversity of life on Earth is a distant abstraction, something that belongs to another, more fantastic world.
People like Irwin, Jane Goodall and David Attenborough help us appreciate the natural world by bringing it in and boasting about its importance and vulnerability through their concern, wonder, reflection and enthusiasm.
If you're nostalgic of Irwin's programming, here are some pictures from the very first episode of The crocodile hunter, which premiered in 1996.