Steve Irwin

Steve Irwin (1962 - 2006)

Australian

            Stephen Robert Irwin (22 February 1962 – 4 September 2006), nicknamed "The Crocodile Hunter", was an Australian nature expert and television personality. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series which he co-hosted with his wife Terri. Together, the couple also owned and operated Australia Zoo, founded by Irwin's parents in Beerwah, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of the Queensland state capital city of Brisbane.

            Irwin died on 4 September 2006 after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary film titled Ocean's Deadliest.

            In 1997, while on a fishing trip on the coast of Queensland with his father, Irwin discovered a new species of turtle. Later given the honour of naming the newly discovered species, he named it Irwin's turtle (Elseya irwini) after his family.

            Another newly discovered Australian animal – a species of air-breathing land snail, Crikey steveirwini, was named after Irwin in 2009.

            In 2001, Irwin was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian government for his "service to global conservation and to Australian tourism". In 2004, he was recognised as Tourism Export of the Year. He was also nominated in 2004 for Australian of the Year[40] – an honour which was won that year by Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh.

            Shortly before his death, Irwin was to be named an adjunct professor at the University of Queensland's School of Integrative Biology. On 14 November 2007, Irwin was awarded the adjunct professorship posthumously.

            In May 2007, the government of Rwanda announced that it would name a baby gorilla after Irwin as a tribute to his work in wildlife conservation. Also in 2007, the state government of Kerala, India named the Crocodile Rehabilitation and Research Centre at Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary in his honour; however, Terri objected that this action had been taken without her permission and asked the Kerala government in 2009 to stop using Irwin's name and images – a request with which the state government complied in mid-2009.

            In 2015, Irwin was a posthumous recipient of the Queensland Greats Award

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