Today would have been the 52nd birthday of Steve Irwin, one of the most well-known conservationists of our time.
Irwin was born on February 22, 1962 to conservationists Lyn and Bob, and unfortunately his life was cut short on September 4, 2006. On that fateful day in 2006, Steve Irwin was doing what he loved, he was filming an underwater documentary called “Ocean’s Deadliest” when he regrettably got in the way of a large sting ray barb which pierced his chest and cause a cardiac arrest. Although his life was cut short at the young age of 44, Irwin was able to contribute more in those forty four years than most people have in a lifetime.
Steve Irwin Birthday tribute
In 1992, Steve married Oregon native Terrie Raines (now Terrie Irwin), who still to this day continues the work they started together. Terrie gave birth to their first child, Bindi Sue in 1998, who was followed by her younger brother Robert Clarence in 2003. Steve and Terrie ran the Australian Zoo in Beerwah, Australia, which was originally founded by Steves parents.
Steve Irwin was not just a television star, but really a very generous and significant wildlife conservationist who spread his knowledge to help educate others on his work. Australia even celebrates his life annually on November 15, which has been termed “Steve Irwin Day”. In honor of what would be his 52nd Birthday, let’s take a look back at just some of his achievements and contributions to conservation, many of which continue today.
Most well known was Irwins documentary television series, “The Crocodile Hunter”, which educated people worldwide on the necessity for wildlife conservation. He had a contagious, fun demeanor about him which portrayed the protection of wildlife and its habitats as a fun and exciting thing to do. The show featured many instances of Irwin “wrestling” crocodiles and other dangerous wildlife, but really made sure to educate viewers on why he was doing this. He was not just giving people entertainment, he was helping relocate these animals to more safe environments, not only for the people around them, but more so for the species itself.
Irwin’s conservation efforts did not stop when the cameras shut off. Another big contributing factor for Irwin’s legacy was the founding of the Wildlife Warriors Worldwide in 1992, originally the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation. The Wildlife Warriors Worldwide is a charity founded by Irwin, and wife Terrie, according to their website “as a way to include other caring people to support the protection of injured, threatened, or endangered wildlife – from the individual animal to the entire species.” Some of the many projects this group has been a part of include The Australian Zoo Wildlife Hospital and the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Australia, Tasmanian Devil conservation in Tasmania, Black Rhino conservation in Kenya, and even whale research in the United States of America.
Another conservation group started by Irwin, the International Crocodile Rescue has several relocation areas in Australia. The aim of this rescue is to safely capture crocodiles inhabiting areas where they are in danger of being harmed, and relocating them to more remote areas with less chance of human interaction. Steve’s parents Bob and Lyn had a growing concern of the shrinking population of the Salt Water Crocodile, even before they became officially protected by government legislation in 1974. Irwin played a big role in helping capture and relocate these animals.
Following the tragic death of his mother in 2000, Irwin started the Lyn Irwin Memorial Fund in her honor. This fund benefits the Iron Bark Station Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a wildlife sanctuary which started as 325 acres in 1994, and has since grown to 3,450 acres. This land was originally purchased to help save a diminishing Koala population in Australia. Almost immediately the center began a large reforestation project in order to not only maintain, but grow the land.
Most notably, the influence that Steve Irwin had on his daughter Bindi has been, and is expected to continue to be a vast contribution to conservation, as she is carrying on his legacy. In speaking to Star Magazine, according to one of Bindi’s websites, Bindi stated “I’ve dedicated my life to spreading his message of wildlife conservation to as many people as possible.” Bindi, who now contributes 10% of her wages to the Wildlife Warriors charity, has also co-created a range of books titled “Bindi – Wildlife Adventures”, which was launched internationally in 2010-2011. She currently resides at and continues to be a large part of the Australian Zoo, alongside her mother and brother Robert.
Although Steve Irwin is no longer physically with us, it is very evident that he has made a large impact on wildlife conservation, which will continue for years to come. Happy Birthday Steve Irwin!