Passion, Enthusiasm, Conservation...
In an interview, Steve Irwin was asked how he would like to be remembered... and those were the three words he used.
My only hope is that the dedicated team at the Australia Zoo will continue Steve's work. And having seen them in action... I'm sure that they will do so with honor.
Sadly... that is now how we will have to remember him. In what some experts are calling a "freak accident", 44-year old Irwin died doing what he loved... bringing the need for wildlife conservation up-close, in front of the cameras.
When I first read the headline of the death of Steve Irwin, I had just assumed that he had taken a wrong step while wrangling one of his beloved crocodiles. But to hear that it was an unlikely-to-happen-again mishap with a docile stingray... it broke my heart.
My heart broke for his wife Terri, his kids... Bindi and Bob, for the team at the Australia Zoo, for the animals near extinction that he has fought tirelessly for, and for the world.
I was fortunate to be able to visit the Australia Zoo in February. This facility is unlike any other zoo I have been to... it is as close to a natural environment for the animals without putting them, or the visitors, in any danger. To walk among the kangaroos, pat the koalas... it was Steve's vision to bring the people close to wildlife. He has said "if people care about something, they will want to save it".
My heart goes out to the Irwin family. To Steve's extended family... his best mate, Wes... John, Brian, Kate, Frank, Kelsey, Jai, Jodie, the two Richards... and the rest of the friends at the Australia Zoo.
And to Steve... good work, Mate! Crocs Rule!