Steve Irwin dead
The naturalist and television star Steve Irwin has died in a diving accident in far north Queensland. He was 44.
Police say he was stung through the heart by a stingray while diving off Port Douglas.
He was filming a documentary when the accident occurred around midday AEST near the Low Isles.
A helicopter arrived with paramedics on board to try to resuscitate him, but it was too late.
Irwin, who was was born in Victoria in 1962, inherited his love of reptiles from his father.
His father Bob was a keen reptile enthusiast and moved the family to Queensland in 1970 to open a small reptile park on the Sunshine Coast.
Irwin took over the family business in 1991 and grew it into Australia Zoo.
In 1992 he ventured into television, making the first series of the Crocodile Hunter.
When the program aired in the United States, he shot to international fame.
Irwin is survived by his wife Terri and two children.
In 2003, he spoke to the ABC's Australian Story about how he was perceived in his country.
"When I see what's happened all over the world, they're looking at me as this very popular, wildlife warrior Australian bloke," he said.
"And yet back here in my own country, some people find me a little bit embarrassing.
"You know, there's this... they kind of cringe, you know, 'cause I'm coming out with 'Crikey' and 'Look at this beauty'.
"Just say what you're gonna say, mate. You know, is it a cultural cringe? Is it, they actually see a little bit of themselves when they see me, and they find that a little embarrassing?
"I'm fair dinkum, like kangaroos and Land Cruisers, winged keels and bloody flies! I think we've lost all that. I think we've all become very, sort of, money people."
He also spoke of his love for surfing.
"You get out there, it's just you against the waves.
"There's no paparazzi, there's no fan base, and it gives me a chance to recuperate and regenerate.
"I think I've actually got animals so genetically inside me that there's no way I could actually be anything else.
"I think my path would have always gone back to or delivered me to wildlife. I think wildlife is just like a magnet, and it's something that I can't help."