In every job, there are occupational hazards. Steve Irwin, internationally known as TV’s Crocodile Hunter, knew this full well as he wrangled with crocs and other reptiles. Irwin was not merely doing his job; for him, it was a way of life.
That way of life came to an end after Irwin died Monday, stabbed in the heart by a stingray’s poisonous barb while filming a documentary, Ocean’s Deadliest, off the Great Barrier Reef.
No matter what seemingly dangerous peril Irwin got himself into – such as feeding a crocodile with one hand while holding his then-infant son, Bob, with the other in 2004 – he did what he did because he loved it. Irwin’s love for wildlife was one he had throughout most of his life, beginning when his parents opened a reptile park a few years after his birth.
“Both of us over the years have had some very close shaves, and we both approached it the same way, we made jokes about it,” Irwin’s father Bob said to the Associated Press. “That’s not to say we were careless. But we treated it as part of the job. Nothing to worry about, really.”
Irwin’s gusto for animals made him an international celebrity, especially in America. To many Americans, Irwin’s zest for his job probably seemed strange, yet intriguing. Many who watched him probably wished they could put that much energy into their job, or even their life – or they may have just thought he was crazy.
Though Irwin died and leaves behind family, including wife Terri and children Bindi Sue and Bob, many believe Irwin left the world in the best possible way – in a positive frame of mind, doing something he was passionate about.
“He died doing what he loved, didn’t he?” tourist Glenn Batson said to the Agence France-Presse.
Through his life and the way he lived it, Irwin set an example the world would do well to follow. You don’t have to be jumping out of airplanes or teasing wild animals to live life to the fullest – just do what you love and love what you do.