Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Croc Hunter: a sad anniversary

On September 4, 2006, conservationist Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray while diving off Australia.

The link above connects to a CNN site where people all over the world can express their comments.

My thoughts: Irwin was, as his critics said, a showman, but science and conservation need showmen. While Irwin’s enthusiasm perhaps clouded his judgment at times, there is no denying his impact for good. He took a global audience through countless lessons about wildlife and the environment, and he made it all fun. He demonstrated a love for creatures from snakes to spiders to (of course) crocodiles that helped him get across to everyone how important these “vermin” or “killers” are in their ecosystems.

Of special note to cryptozoological researchers is that Irwin also made a brief search for the presumed-extinct Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine: he found no evidence, but didn’t dismiss the possibility the world’s largest known marsupial carnivore was still out there somewhere.

We miss you, Steve.

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