Yikes, this is some pretty sad news. If I came to you and said "Hey, that Crocodile Hunter guy was killed by an animal, guess which one," you'd probably rattle off 1,400 different creatures before guessing "stingray?" And yet, that's precisely the animal that did Steve Irwin in this weekend. The colorfully Australian animal-lover was 44 years old.

Now, please don't think me insensitive, because this is sincerely tragic news and my heart goes out to the man's family -- but I gotta say it: One can only dart into traffic so many times before they finally get hit by a car. And considering how many seriously (aggressively) unfriendly animals that Mr. Irwin had tangled with in his time, I simply cannot believe that it was a stingray that ended the man's life. Here's why:

A stingray is a cowardly creature. They don't eat humans and they're not even remotely curious about us. Pretty much the only way for you to get stung by a stingray is to step on one. But Steve Irwin got a stingray barb right in the heart, which means that he was either A) writhing around on the ocean floor, or B) grabbing hold of a stingray that didn't want to be grabbed. The ironic/creepy part is that Irwin was in the process of making a documentary on the "demystification" of the stingray -- and also that the man's death was probably caught on film. Yikes.

(UPDATE: Time.com indicates that Mr. Irwin "accidentally boxed the animal in" as he was pursuing it across the ocean floor, which caused it to extend its stinger in self-defense. My apologies for implying that Mr. Irwin must have "grabbed" the animal.)

Movie fans may remember Mr. Irwin from his rather silly movie tie-in, the 2002 comedy known as The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course. He also appeared in Dr. Dolittle 2, as well as numerous TV documentaries like Island of Snakes, Crocs in the City and Tigers of Shark Bay.
categories Cinematical