Irwin’s father, Bob, said his son had an innate affinity with animals from an early age, a sense Irwin later described as “a gift.” He said he learned about wildlife working with his parents rather than in school.In 1991, Irwin took over the park, Australia Zoo, when his parents retired and began building a reputation as a showman during daily crocodile feeding shows.Often, his trademark big finish was to hunt down one of the huge saltwater crocodiles that inhabit the rivers and beaches of the Outback in Australia’s tropical north, leap onto its back, grabbing its jaws with his bare hands, then tying the animal’s mouth with rope.
They invited a television crew to join them on their camping honeymoon on Australia’s far northern tip.
The tape has been secured by Queensland state police as evidence for a coroner's inquiry. Global mourning News of Irwin’s death reverberated around the world, where he won popularity with millions as the man who regularly leaped on the back of huge crocodiles and grabbed deadly snakes by the tail. ” was his catch phrase, repeated whenever there was a close call — or just about any other event — during his TV programs, delivered with a broad Australian twang, mile-a-minute delivery and big arm gestures.
Stainton described the footage, which he had seen, as "shocking." "It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest), and he pulled it out and the next minute he's gone," Stainton told reporters in Cairns, where Irwin's body was taken for an autopsy. “I am shocked and distressed at Steve Irwin’s sudden, untimely and freakish death,” Australian Prime Minister John Howard said.
He was given a snake for his sixth birthday and regularly went on capturing excursions with his father in the bushland around the park.
He was catching crocodiles by age 9, and in his 20s worked for the Queensland state government as a trapper who removed crocodiles from populated areas.