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Last Updated : Feb 22, 2019 01:41 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Google Doodle celebrates legacy of the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin

November 15 is observed as Steve Irwin Day to celebrate wildlife; various fundraising events are organised on the day to aid Australia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors programme.

Jagyaseni Biswas

Celebrating the legacy of the Crocodile Hunter on his 57th birthday, Friday’s Google Doodle, which came in the form of a slideshow, was dedicated to Steve Irwin.

The slides traced the conservationist’s career, depicting his adventures while exploring the outdoors with his wife and two children. He began early, at the tender age of 9. Deft at tackling crocodiles, he volunteered with Queensland's East Coast Crocodile Management Program, to help capture and relocate the largest of all living reptiles – the endangered saltwater crocodiles.

The Australian zoo keeper grew up around reptiles in the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park built by his parents Lyn and Bob Irwin. It is often said he inherited this love for reptiles from them. Steve was only 6-years-old when his parents gifted him an 11-ft python, which he later named Fred.

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In the 1970s, he moved to Sunshine Coast in Queensland and opened Beerwah Reptile Park. Steve also was a TV personality and hosted the very popular show – ‘The Crocodile Hunter’, which eventually earned him the moniker. The show was reportedly watched by nearly 500 million people. His wife Terri and kids Bindi and Robert would make frequent appearances in the show and the four dedicated their lives to conservation efforts.

Commenting on the Google tribute to the life and works of the legend, Terri wrote on a blog post: “Today’s Google Doodle acknowledges the life and achievements of my husband Steve Irwin, whose efforts to protect wildlife and wild places have been recognized as the most extensive of any conservationist.”

Expressing gratitude, his son Robert tweeted: “Thank you so much, @Google for honouring dad with his own #GoogleDoodle all over the world. A perfect way to celebrate his birthday, sharing everything he did to make the world a better place.”

Steve’s enthusiasm and exuberance, coupled with the unbridled love for fauna shot him to fame at a very young age. After marrying Terri (who happened to be a visitor at his zoo), as a part of their honeymoon, the duo set out on a quest to capture crocodiles and record it. This turned out to be the first episode of the hit show, turning the spotlights on him.

Later in life, he even discovered a new species of snapping turtle, named Elseya irwini to honour him.

Unfortunately, his zest for a life of exploration and adventure was cut short when he was stung by a stingray in 2006 while making a documentary film titled ‘Ocean’s Deadliest’.

However, his legacy lives on. He was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018. Besides, November 15 is observed as Steve Irwin Day to celebrate wildlife; various fundraising events are organised on the day to aid Australia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors programme.

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First Published on Feb 22, 2019 01:39 pm
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