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Steve Irwin’s Best Friend Reveals Croc Hunter Gave ‘Finale’ Speech Before Shock Death

Hannah Blackiston

| Last updated 

Steve Irwin’s Best Friend Reveals Croc Hunter Gave ‘Finale’ Speech Before Shock Death

Steve Irwin's close friend and producer has opened up about the speech the crocodile hunter gave before he died.

John Stainton said he felt 'uneasy' before the filming of the documentary that ultimately led to the death of the experienced wildlife warrior.

Stainton, who was behind The Crocodile Hunter shows and travelled the world with Irwin for 15 years, told the I've Got News For You podcast that he had 'premonitions' before filming the Ocean's Deadliest documentary and tried to have it canned.

Steve Irwin. Credit: Australia Zoo
Steve Irwin. Credit: Australia Zoo

Before the crew travelled to Australia's northeast coast, the producer appealed to the Discovery Channel to have the documentary called off.

But he was told that everyone had been paid and it was too late.

He explained on the podcast how he underwent a series of medical tests and prepared a will as a result of the project going ahead.

Stainton said he even feared for his own life during the project, but it was Irwin who died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while diving off his boat 'Croc One' on Batt Reef near Port Douglas.

Stainton told I've Got News For You host Andrew Bucklow that a speech from Irwin a few days before the show began production added to his unease.

"A couple of days before we started the show, he made a little speech to all the crew that were up there catching crocs for his research trip which I joined at the end with our crew to do the Deadliest movie. And it was really weird," said Stainton.

The Irwin Family. Credit: Australia Zoo
The Irwin Family. Credit: Australia Zoo

"He was sort of thanking them all for being who they were and for helping him... It was like a 'finale' speech...Very weird.

"I had this idea on arriving that something was wrong, but it's just life, you never know what things are going to do to you."

Irwin died on September 4, 2006, as a result of the sting.

His death was met with shock from fans around the world as well as the media, governments and non-profit organisations. He was buried in a private ceremony at Australia Zoo on September 9.

Steve Irwin Day is now held annually on November 15, to celebrate the extraordinary life of Irwin and encourage fundraising for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors to help continue Irwin's conservation work and the preservation of wildlife and wild places.

Featured Image Credit: Australia Zoo

Topics: News, Steve Irwin, Australia

Hannah Blackiston
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