Before his untimely death in 2006, Steve Irwin – otherwise known as the Crocodile Hunter – was famous all over the world. His various television shows were broadcast in many countries and chronicled his adventures with dangerous animals, often in tandem with his wife, Terri. It was almost like he relished the risks he was taking on camera, but there was at least one species Irwin was extremely wary of.
Born in Essendon, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, in 1962, Irwin was fascinated by animals and nature his entire life. Hardly surprising, considering both his parents, Bob and Lyn, were both wildlife experts. In fact, his parents even founded their own zoo, the Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park in Queensland, when Irwin was eight years old. Now renamed the Australia Zoo, it is currently owned by Irwin’s widow and attracts in the region of 700,000 visitors a year.
As a result of helping out around the reptile park, Irwin developed a strong fascination with animals from a very early age. In addition to receiving a 12-foot python for his sixth birthday, by the time he was nine years old Irwin was handling crocodiles. And it was at the same tender age when, under his father’s supervision, he first wrestled one of the beasts. The young Irwin clearly had no fear of these dangerous animals, then.