Almost a week after his untimely death
, I still miss Steve Irwin. In part, that's because I couldn't count how many hours I've spent watching The Crocodile Hunter
over the years. Irwin's endless curiosity and enthusiasm for his job shined through in every episode, and try as you might, it was impossible not to be entertained by his bold antics and whimsical Australian slang.
But an even more important reason to miss Irwin is that he was more than just a loud guy with a funny accent and a proclivity to seek out dangerous creatures. He was a man who recognized the beauty in animals that most people instinctively find hideous or horrifying and tried his best to spread those sentiments to millions. Moreover, Irwin was a true environmentalist who waged a high-profile fight to support wildlife and habitat preservation
even after the cameras stopped rolling. Yes, Irwin made lots of money, but he seemed driven less by dollars than by a resolve to save natural splendor for future generations to enjoy.
Mother Nature lost one of her most effective advocates earlier this week. Godspeed, Steve, and thanks for all the good you did for the animals we otherwise might have ignored.