Monday, September 04, 2006

Tribute to Steve Irwin

I feel sad today opening up my blog with a tribute to someone whom I admired and respected. I was shaken up today to find out that Steve Irwin had died this morning. Steve was a fantastic example to me of a man who loved his own family as well as all the animals around him. I have followed Steve through many of his adventures since the 1990's when I was first introduced to the "Crocodile Hunter". He was able to introduce people to animals, specifically those with a dangerous reputation, in an in your face kind of a manner that made them loveable. He showed us the beautiful side of a "Taipan" and a "Salty". In his encounters with wildlife he would always take risks for himself in order to make sure that the animals were the most comfortable they could be. He showed us that with the proper respect and care we can and should live with even the most potentially dangerous of animals. His love for the animals was quite unique and admirable.

I remember when my youngest son, about four years old at the time, went to the snake dens in Narcisse, Manitoba with my family a few years ago. He had recently been watching Steve in some episodes of the Crocodile Hunter and he became Steve for the day. Pursuing the red-sided garter snakes with the same diligence Steve showed us on so many occasions and handling (with parental guidance) with the same love and respect as Steve showed.

In many ways the "Crocodile Hunter" has been an alter ego for me. I've always loved animals but been a little to "sensible"... to meet them up close and personal. Probably best that way... My wife would probably agree.