September 3, 2006

Australia’s “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin dies: media

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Steve Irwin, the quirky Australian
naturalist who won worldwide acclaim, has died in a marine
accident off Australia's northeast coast, local media reported
on Monday.

Queensland state government sources quoted by Australian
Associated Press (AAP) said Irwin, 44, whose television show
"The Crocodile Hunter" won international acclaim and
popularized the phrase "Crikey," was believed to have been
killed by a stingray barb that pierced his chest.

He was filming an underwater documentary off Port Douglas
when the accident occurred, the report said.

Sky Television also reported that Irwin had been stung by a
sting ray.

Australian emergency officials could not immediately
confirm the reports.

Irwin won a global following for his daredevil antics but
also triggered outrage in 2004 by holding his then
one-month-old baby while feeding a snapping crocodile at his
Australian zoo.