Steve Irwin. RIP.

Sky News Australia is reporting that Steve Irwin, Australia’s world-famous Crocodile Hunter, is reported to have died at age 44.

The early reports are that he was fatally stung by a stingray. Marine Medic web site reports that 2 people in Australia have died from stringray barbs. If I remember my Cousteau, the tail whips very quickly.

ABC News web site has more details. According to reports, a stingray barb went through his chest as he was filming an underwater sequence near Port Douglas, North Queensland. (edited from Cairns, 2:52pm)

No-one should die at work. Nor does the simple phrase “he died doing what he loved” ever repair the feeling of loss to those close to him.

A typical Aussie: a larrikin, non-conformist and passionate individual. The sort of Australian we Australians were quietly proud represented our country. Many may have thought of his over-the-top expressions, including the famous “crikey” as too flippant and superficial: no-one can deny his love for animals.

A common dinner conversation for Australians overseas is about our deadly flora and fauna. Sadly, this myth only partly based on reality is now augmented.

Australia, the world, and our native animals will miss Steve.

Good on yer, mate. Your innings were over too soon.