Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 57th birth anniversary of Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter. Through his work at the Australia Zoo and via his extremely popular TV show, Irwin made the world see large reptiles in a different manner. In 2006, Irwin was injured by a stingray and died. The beloved wildlife conservationist’s goal was the preservation and appreciation of wild places and the earth’s wildlife and he succeeded in protecting many species from being harmed.
Irwin was born in 1962 in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and according to media reports, his love for the wild began really early – for his sixth birthday, his parents Lyn and Bob Irwin gifted him an eleven-foot-long python which the little Irwin promptly named Fred. Sometime during the 1970s, the family moved to Queensland and opened Beerwah Reptile Park.
TOI reports that Irwin learned to wrestle crocodiles at the tender age of nine and was a volunteer at the Queensland East Coast Crocodile Management Program and helped capture and relocate the endangered saltwater crocodiles.
Irwin and his wife, Terri had a honeymoon like no other – the couple spent it capturing crocs, the footage of which they turned into the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter which was an instant hit. Its viewership was spread across 100 countries and it was viewed by over 500 million people.
He is the recipient of multiple awards like the Australian government’s Centenary Medal for a lifetime of service and in 2018, he was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.