Remembering Steve Irwin On His 55th Birthday
Although Steve Irwin hasn't been with us now for over 10 years, his captivating personality and television work remains a big nostalgia hit for older and younger generations alike.
I like Steve Irwin. You like Steve Irwin. Your mum and dad like Steve Irwin. The Pope probably likes Steve Irwin. Who wouldn't? The man managed to transform the often laborious, stale nature of just that - nature - and make it into blockbuster TV, for our own entertainment and at the risk of his own limbs.
Steve, you feel, would have been just as at home spending his days facing off with crocodiles and dragons, without the comfort of a camera crew just as much as he did with. Lucky for us he chose the latter option more frequently.
Had he not, we wouldn't have all these great memories to look back on today, on what would have been his 55th birthday.
STEVE AND THE INLAND TAIPAN
Most of us wouldn't go near an innocent, baby rabbit in a bad mood, let alone an Inland Taipan roaming the outback - the most venomous snake in the world.
"He has enough venom in one bite to kill 100 blokes my size," Steve explains as he holds the snake by its tail.
STEVE AND THE BEARDED DRAGON
Not all of Steve's subjects were dangerous alpha animals, as is confirmed in this little clip of him engaging with a bearded dragon.
"When he get's all cantankerous, all cranky," Irwin says to camera. "He opens up his mouth, and shows this beard. And that's a sign of toughness. Stay away from me or I'm gonna bite ya'."
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It just so happened that the bearded dragon then bit Irwin right on the nose.
"You bit me on the nose, you little brat." Steve responds.
STEVE AND THE KOMODO DRAGON
Then, of course, we have the moment Steve was confronted by a hungry Komodo dragon.
Seeing that the lizard had a fishing hook and wire in its mouth, Steve, ever the helper, decided to salvage the Komodo only to end up antagonising it further.
Seeking solace in a tree, Steve said: "Great, now he gets aggressive. Oh no, his aggression's turned to a food response. He's onto me - he's going to try and bite my calf muscle."
It didn't end with the television or public appearances though, nor did it end with his tragic passing at the hands of a stingray in 2006. His personality and love of animals lives on in his family.
His conservation efforts continue at Australia Zoo, with Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors Worldwide Ltd founded by wife Terri, while daughter Bindi and son Robert continue their efforts in his memory.
Robert, the newborn that Steve Irwin famously held while feeding a crocodile once, recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to introduce the host to a collection of wildlife animals.
The fact that 13-year-old Robert can speak at length about various species and with complete confidence goes to show just how influential and personable Steve Irwin was behind closed doors as much as he came across to us on our screens.
A lad, a dad and legend.
Featured Image Credit: PA