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Old September 6, 2006, 12:01 PM
Sandi Bowman
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Default Re: Remembering Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Hunter"!

I've posted rather extensively on the FIB board about this but I think sharing one aspect is important regarding the way he died.

Everyone is making Steve out to be this big, brave, macho, man and, in some ways, he was. Unfortunately he was also foolhardy...and paid for it with the ultimate sacrifice. What worries me is the fools who will follow him in the pursuit of the Stingrays for their own 'I can do what he couldn't...see?' stupid reasons. They'll be as surprised as Steve probably was when a stressed life form uses the only defense they have left when pursued and crowded to the point they feel threatened.

The BBC did a nice article on Steve's death. In the section, "It probably felt threatened" you can read exactly how the events took place and what the Stingray's actions and situation before the attack were. Here's the link to the article:

There is no point in suffering unless we learn something from it. That is especially true here. Environmentalists, in their enthusiasm, often don't stop to think of the effect they have on other life forms and the very environment they seek to exploit and protect. This otherwise peaceful life form was pushed to defend itself and you see the tragic result. For all we know there were two deaths that day: Steve and the stingray who had been pushed too far and possibly stressed beyond recovery.

I find it interesting that folks don't seem to understand that stress kills...not just people but other life forms as well. Even trees respond to the cutting of other trees near them (true fact) why wouldn't a crockodile, gator, or stingray...or any other life form... be stressed when pursued for whatever reason or handled by one who could logically be considered a predator upon them?

We need to be more sensitive to other life forms and the effect we have upon them. That is Steve's final contribution to our understanding: his death can raise our awareness of the effect we have on other life forms and the risks involved on both sides.

Sandi Bowman
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