‘Crocodile Hunter’ believed he would die early, but not from an animal, widow says
Steve Irwin was fearless when it came to the dangerous animals he caged, cajoled and caroused with as television’s “Crocodile Hunter.” And while he never thought they would get him, he always felt he would die early.
“I thought he would fall out of a tree. He thought it would be a car accident,” Irwin’s widow, Terri, said in her first interview since the star and conservationist died Sept. 4 in a stingray attack.
She described the painful moment when, while she was on a trip with the couple’s daughter, Bindi, 8, and son, Bob, 2, to the southern island state of Tasmania, she contacted Irwin’s brother Frank, after receiving an urgent message.
“He said there been a diving accident with Steve,” she said. “It really broadsided me when he told me what happened, and I’m immediately thinking, ‘How am I going to get to him?’ And I am also thinking, ‘Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it.’ And he said it, he said those three words: ‘and he died.’ And I felt myself explode inside.”
Terri Irwin said her husband would have been devastated if anyone thought badly of any animal that had inadvertently harmed him. In the days after his death, a number of stingrays were found dead – their barbed tails chopped off – on the beaches of the northeastern state of Queensland, where the Great Barrier Reef is located.
“It was a complete and total accident,” Terri Irwin said. “It was running with scissors, you know? They tell you never run with scissors because this will happen, and it never happens. It was a crazy accident, that’s all.”