More than a decade after the tragic loss of Steve Irwin, he finally got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This is significant as it shows how despite the loss of his life, his legacy and work as a conservationist has had a significant impact over a whole generation of people. In tradition with Irwin’s love of reptiles, his family brought a snake to place on top of the star, showcasing his love for animals in a touching tribute.
If you don’t know who Steve Irwin is, you may recognise the title The Crocodile Hunter. Irwin’s passion for animals started from a young age when he grew up on a wildlife park owned by his family, eventually creating a career out of his passion for creatures. Irwin’s passion was not for the cute and cuddly, but rather for reptiles. By the age of nine he was helping his father catch crocodiles around boat ramps that were causing the public distress, and relocating them to better areas. His love and lack of fear of these animals sparked interest, starting the show The Crocodile Hunter. In this show, he would showcase the animals and handle them, as well as sharing knowledge and perhaps unraveling initial perceptions of these animals. At its peak it was aired in over 200 countries, and became a part of many of our childhoods.
"In honour of his memory, November 15th is now Steve Irwin Day"
Unfortunately, whilst filming a new show in 2006, he was pierced in the chest by a stingray and passed away. Whilst tragic, his death was not in vain as he is remembered as an educational figurehead for animal rights, and his work supporting numerous charities is not unnoticed. In honour of his memory, November 15th is now Steve Irwin Day.
Since his death, his family have preserved his memory and enthusiasm for wildlife. His wife Terri Irwin is still the owner of Australia Zoo, and in 2006 received a Special Recognition Award by Sir David Attenborough. Their son Robert Irwin has been in the public eye and became an Internet sensation after showcasing animals on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon numerous times. His uncanny likeness of his father is showcased through his enthusiasm and current career choices, such as being an ambassador of Scouts Australia, which is to encourage children to be involved with conservation. His daughter Bindi Irwin has followed a similar path to her father by also being a TV personality and being invested in wildlife welfare. She was voted Young Conservationist of the Year by the Australian Geographic Society in 2014.
200: The number of countries in which The Crocodile Hunter was aired at its peak
It’s amazing that 12 years after his death, Steve Irwin has received a star on the Walk of Fame. With his family’s help, his memory has not been forgotten, but rather embraced as a symbol of conservationism. Although The Crocodile Hunter has ended, his dedication to the cause and the knowledge he shared with the world has not been forgotten. He has inspired a generation to see all animals as equal, not just focusing on the ‘cute’ ones.