Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Google Honors Wildlife Conservationist Steve Irwin With Birthday Doodle

Animals
Google Honors Wildlife Conservationist Steve Irwin With Birthday Doodle
Steve Irwin poses with a three foot long alligator at the San Francisco Zoo on June 26, 2002. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

February 22 is the birthday of conservationist and beloved TV personality "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who would have been 57 years old today.

Irwin's life was tragically cut short when the barb from a stingray went through his chest while he was filming in 2006, but his legacy of loving and protecting wildlife lives on, most recently in a Google Doodle today honoring his birthday.


"Today's Google Doodle acknowledges the life and achievements of my husband Steve Irwin, whose efforts to protect wildlife and wild places have been recognised as the most extensive of any conservationist," his wife Dr. Terri Irwin wrote in a guest blog post for Google. "We are so proud that his legacy lives on, as that was his greatest wish. He once said, 'I don't care if I'm remembered, as long as my message is remembered.'"

The doodle shows images of Irwin interacting with his beloved crocodiles and spending time with his wife Terri and their children Bindi and Robert. The last image shows Terri, Bindi and Robert continuing to run the Australia Zoo that the couple had expanded from the small, roadside Beerwah Reptile Park opened by Irwin's parents in the 1970s.

Irwin was born in 1962 in Upper Fern Tree Gully, Victoria, Australia but spent most of his childhood and adolescence in Queensland, where he learned to care for wildlife at his parents' park. Terri met him in 1991 when she went to visit the park and was impressed by Irwin's passion for the crocodiles, who he fed from inside their enclosures.

In the blog post, Terri paints a picture of a couple equally devoted to wildlife and each other. She shares the dramatic story of how the couple's famous Crocodile Hunter show was born immediately following their wedding:

"Steve and I married in June 1992 in my grandmother's church in Eugene, Oregon. Afterward, we received a phone call about a poacher trying to kill a large crocodile in North Queensland, so instead of a honeymoon, Steve and I went to Australia to save the croc before the bad guys got him. We invited a film crew to come along and document our efforts. Although we didn't arrive in time to save the crocodile, we did save his mate. She was a beautiful girl, not quite 10 feet long. We didn't know it at the time, but this would turn out to be the very first episode of "The Crocodile Hunter" and the beginning of a 14-year adventure, filming in locations across Australia and around the world."

The crocodile hunter - Pilot Episode part 1 www.youtube.com

Some criticized the Crocodile Hunter show for relying too heavily on stunts, Vox noted, including one scene in which Irwin fed a crocodile while holding his baby son. Irwin was also investigated, but never charged, for filming too close to humpback whales and penguins.

However, his conservation efforts were both sincere and impressive. His Wildlife Warriors, still run by Terri, purchased hundreds of square miles to protect wildlife and now works to save animals like Sumatran tigers, koalas and Cambodian elephants. The Australia Zoo now protects 1,200 animals on almost 1,000 acres, and includes a Wildlife Hospital that has treated 82,000 animals it has later returned to their natural habitats, Terri said in her blog post.

"My job, my mission, the reason I've been put onto this planet, is to save wildlife," Irwin said, according to Vox. Clearly, Google thinks that's a mission worth honoring.

One report in spring 2020 found that 38% of students at four-year universities were food-insecure. Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images

By Matthew J. Landry and Heather Eicher-Miller

When university presidents were surveyed in spring of 2020 about what they felt were the most pressing concerns of COVID-19, college students going hungry didn't rank very high.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Coast Guard members work to clean an oil spill impacting Delaware beaches. U.S. Coast Guard District 5

Environmental officials and members of the U.S. Coast Guard are racing to clean up a mysterious oil spill that has spread to 11 miles of Delaware coastline.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Plain Naturals offers a wide variety of CBD products including oils, creams and gummies.

Plain Naturals is making waves in the CBD space with a new product line for retail customers looking for high potency CBD products at industry-low prices.

Read More Show Less
What happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years? Halfpoint / Getty Images

By Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie

Of all the plastic we've ever produced, only 9% has been recycled. So what happened to all that plastic you've put in the recycling bin over the years?

Read More Show Less
Donald Trump and Joe Biden arrive onstage for the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, on Oct. 22, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

Towards the end of the final presidential debate of the 2020 election season, the moderator asked both candidates how they would address both the climate crisis and job growth, leading to a nearly 12-minute discussion where Donald Trump did not acknowledge that the climate is changing and Joe Biden called the climate crisis an existential threat.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch