Steve Irwin, the Australian television personality known as The Crocodile Hunter, “died doing what he loved best”, his friend and producer said today.
Australia Zoo, the wildlife park Irwin ran in north-eastern Queensland state, issued a statement confirming he was killed today “by a stingray barb to his heart” while filming a sequence for a new television series on the Great Barrier Reef.
Irwin was stung about 11am (2am Irish time) on Batt Reef, off the remote resort town of Port Douglas.
Crew members aboard Irwin’s boat, Croc One, called emergency services in the nearest city, Cairns, and administered cardio pulmonary resuscitation techniques as they rushed the boat to nearby Low Isle to meet a rescue helicopter.
Medical staff pronounced Irwin dead at about noon, the statement said.
“The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and one of the proudest dads on the planet,” said John Stainton, Irwin’s friend and producer.
“He died doing what he loved best and left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. Crocs Rule!”