We spent yesterday afternoon strolling the grounds of the very excellent Australia Zoo, which was established by the late Steve Irwin ("The Crocodile Hunter") and his family. Here, we petted more kangaroos and koalas, and witnessed crocodiles and tigers in close association with their very, very brave trainers. We visited elephants, dingoes, echidnas, wombats, and lorikeets and ended the day with a visit to the Jabirus and Brolgas, to say nothing of checking out some of Australia's most dangerous snakes (behind glass!) in the form of Taipans, "Fierce Snakes", and Adders. *note: Google searches would be helpful here.*
(photos courtesy of the Australia Zoo)
I remember hearing about Steve Irwin's untimely death back in 2006 and thinking of it distantly as a sad thing to have happened. Being here, though, the zoo that he built and that he loved so much, made the tragedy of his passing all the more real. His extravagant, show-boating ways may not have been loved by all, but nobody can deny that he really did do everything in his power to raise awareness of the need for conservation and animal rights. Even today, the shows at his zoo really emphasize animal safety and conservation, and his whole family continues to be very much involved in the running of the zoo, even if the whole Bindi thing is getting just a little bit... out of hand.
Good job, Steve. You're sorely missed, but your work lives on.