Google Celebrates Birth Anniv of Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter
In 2001, the Australian government awarded Steve Irwin the Centenary Medal for a lifetime of service.
Google marked the 57th birth anniversary of wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin with a doodle on Friday, 22 February. It celebrates the life and legacy of Irwin, who inherited a love of large reptiles early on in life and shared it with the world through his popular TV series The Crocodile Hunter.
Irwin and his family dedicated their lives to the preservation and appreciation of the Earth’s wildlife and wild places, the Google blog post said on Friday, 22 February.
Born in the suburbs of Australia’s Melbourne on 22 February 1962, Irwin was raised by Lyn and Bob Irwin, who gave him an eleven-foot python on his sixth birthday.
During the early 1970s, the Irwins moved to the Sunshine Coast in the Australian state of Queensland and opened the Beerwah Reptile Park.
Learning to wrestle crocodiles from the age of 9, Irwin volunteered with Queensland's East Coast Crocodile Management Program, and helped relocate endangered saltwater crocodiles — the largest of all living reptiles — so as to protect them from being harmed, the blogpost said.
His family’s park was renamed Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, and eventually the Australia Zoo.
Irwin met his wife Terri while she was visiting the zoo. They spent their honeymoon capturing crocodiles, and the footage they shot became the first episode of ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ – a show seen in more than 100 countries by over 500 million people, according to Google.
Irwin’s enthusiasm for saving endangered animals quickly became as popular as his one-word catchphrase “Crikey!”
In 2001, the Australian government awarded Irwin the Centenary Medal for a lifetime of service, and in 2004 he was nominated for Australian of the Year award.
Among his many accomplishments was the discovery of a new species of snapping turtle, which was named Elseya irwini in his honour. In 2018, he was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Irwin died on 4 September 2006 while he was shooting an underwater documentary film titled Ocean's Deadliest. He was 44.
Irwin's legacy lives on through his family’s continued conservation work and with the celebration of the ‘Steve Irwin Day’ on 15 November every year.
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