Ode to the Croc Hunter

The tragic news of Animal Planet nature guy/crocodile hunter Steve Irwin’s death gave me some pause for reflection this weekend. My kids went through a serious Animal Planet phase awhile back, so I watched Irwin do his jump-on-the-alligator shtick many, many times.

It seemed to me that Steve was kind of like that guy you knew in college who was pretty smart but also just plain whacko when it came to a certain thing–like sports or recreation or whatever. This would be the guy who was also doing stuff that made you shake your head, but at the same time you admired him because he wasn’t afraid to live life to the fullest even if it involved some measure of risk.

Watching Irwin handle poisonous snakes, crocodiles, and other assorted creepy crawlies I used to wonder whether he’d meet his end someday doing what he did. At the same time, his life seemed to be about life itself. He didn’t do this stuff just because he was nuts…he was just hyper-passionate about sharing wildlife with us at home, especially the wildlife of which most of us are deathly afraid.

It’s sad to lose someone, but there is a measure of hope knowing that he lived his life rather than spectating someone else’s. I won’t be grabbing any crocodile tails anytime soon, but I will probably look at life a little more passionately.

Crikey–thanks, Crocodile Hunter! 

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