14 Amazing Facts about the Legendary “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin
Today February 22, 2019, is the legendary Steve Irwin’s birthday. He would have been 57 years old had his life not been dramatically cut short by a Stingray injury in his heart 12 years ago. Irwin was famous as an animal lover and conservationist also responsible for starting the Australian Zoo in Queensland. He died while filming a television documentary named Ocean’s Deadliest and it proved fatal for him. Popularly known as the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin is a legend in his own right and here are 15 amazing facts about him.
1He was raised among animals and reptiles in his parent’s reptile park
It is no wonder that Steve grew up obsessed with animals especially reptiles since he was raised on his family’s reptile park. He was born on 22nd February 1962 in Essendon Victoria, Australia which incidentally is also his mother’s birth date. The family set up the reptile park named Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park where Steve grew up among crocodiles. He was always involved in their maintenance, feeding, and care.
2He was given a python on his sixth birthday
Unlike other boys, Steve’s sixth birthday gift was unique. It was a non-venomous scrub python that was 12 feet long. Scrub pythons are one of the largest snakes in the world. He was taught about crocodiles by his father and wrestled his first croc when he was just nine. He was often late for school because he would keep rescuing animals.
3When young he once captured 100 crocodiles
Steve started working as an animal volunteer coordinator in the East Coast Crocodile management program in Queensland at a young age. He captured more than 100 crocodiles and then rehabilitated them on his family reptile park. He took over the park’s operations when he reached 29 and then renamed it to the Australian Zoo in 1998.
4Steve and his wife Terri never wore wedding rings
Steve and his wife Terri never wore wedding rings as they felt it might hurt the animals they would care for. He met his wife Terri Raines who was an American Naturalist. She had visited his zoo and of course, it was love at first sight. Terri recalled how Steve sounded more like an “environmental Tarzan, a larger-than-life superhero guy.”They were married in 1992.
5He spent his honeymoon capturing crocodiles
Steve’s and Terri’s idea of a romantic honeymoon was capturing crocodiles and filming a documentary that would serve as the foundation for “The Crocodile Hunter” which was viewed by 500 million people. The footage was filmed by Australian producer John Stainton and the series was first aired in 1996 on Australian television. It was an instant hit. The Crocodile hunter’s last episode was a mammoth three hours aired on Animal Planet showing Steve in various locations like the Himalayas and China.