Although he was an outspoken conservationist, lots of Greenies disliked Steve Irwin out of jealousy -- he got so much of the publicity and admiration that they crave -- AND he was a supporter of Australia's conservative government. So they made various specious complaints about him "disturbing" the animals he filmed. So what we see below from Australia's chief ratbag -- "publicity at any price" Germaine Greer -- is a regurgitation of that. It shows what scum she is (and always was) that she should at this time defame such a brave and brilliant man. It is a credit to Australia's responsible Left that her words were rightly dismissed by one of their chief spokesman as "politically correct claptrap"
Feminist Germaine Greer should keep her thoughts about the death of Steve Irwin to herself, Labor foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said today. In an article in British newspaper The Guardian, Ms Greer said that the animal world had finally taken revenge on Irwin for causing stress to the animals he handled. "I think Germaine Greer should just stick a sock in it," Mr Rudd said in Canberra today. "You have got a grieving mother, you have got a couple of grieving young kids and a grieving nation and what to you get from Germaine Greer? You get a bucket load of politically correct pap - it's just nonsense.
"Steve Irwin was a nature conservationist, an animal conservationist and made a huge contribution to the preservation of wildlife worldwide. "And what do we get from Germaine Greer? - some gratuitous, politically correct claptrap. She should put a sock in it," he said.
Greer said she had "not much sympathy" for Irwin if he was grappling with the stingray that killed him on the Great Barrier Reef. Those on the boot with Irwin say he was not in any way harassing the stringray when it lashed out at him as he swam over it.
But The Guardian quoted Greer as saying: "As a Melbourne boy, Irwin should have had a healthy respect for stingrays, which are actually commoner and bigger in southern waters than they are near Port Douglas." She described Irwin's behaviour as "bizarre", noting the famed incident when he held his baby son while feeding a crocodile during a show at his Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast. "The whole spectacle was revolting," Greer said. "The crocodile would rather have been anywhere else and the chicken had a grim life too, but that's entertainment at Australia Zoo. "The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing ten times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn."
Police yesterday said footage of the incident showed Irwin in no way harassed or provoked the stingray.
Below is a reality-based account of Steve Irwin:
An American diver who owes his life to Steve Irwin says he was shattered to learn about the Crocodile Hunter's death. "He saved my life," an emotional Scott Jones said today from his home in Iowa. "I've lost a good friend."
Mr Jones was part of a tragic scuba diving expedition in the Sea of Cortez, off the coast of Mexico, in 2003. Mr Jones' friend, 77-year-old Katie Vrooman, died during the dive after a sea surge knocked her twice against rocks. Mr Jones fought to hold on to her unconscious body for almost two hours and, while hanging off rocks and floating in the water, attempted to resuscitate her. Eventually Mr Jones had to let Ms Vrooman's body go and he spent a harrowing night alone perched on rocks.
In a lucky twist of fate, Irwin and his film crew happened to be in the vicinity shooting a documentary and heard an SOS call on their radio that two divers had gone missing. Irwin, who had never met Mr Jones or Mr Vrooman, decided he would abandon his film project to try to find them.
Mr Jones was precariously sitting on a rock outcrop dehydrated and scarred from being battered on the rocks. Irwin, dressed in his khaki shorts and shirt, dived in the water and swam across to save Mr Jones.
At the time, Mr Jones did not realise Irwin was a celebrity. The quietly-spoken Mr Jones said he had heard of Paul "Crocodile Dundee" Hogan, but not the Crocodile Hunter. "After they got me on to the main boat, Steve helped me get my wetsuit off me and he went below to do something," Jones recalled. "Somebody behind me said 'So what do you think of the Crocodile Hunter?' "So I was looking around for Crocodile Dundee. I thought when the makeup comes off Dundee's looks must change. "But, when I finally got home my daughter turned the Animal Planet channel on and I started watching his show from then. "It was wild. He was jumping on crocodiles and things like that."
Jones and his wife Deborah sent flowers to Irwin's wife, Terri, and kids, Bindi and Bob. They are also planning a trip to Australia to speak to his family. "We'd love to go to Australia and tell his wife and kids just what a great man he is," Mr Jones, who declined to tell his age, adding it was a secret, said. "He was a hell of an educator, from kids all the way up to old farts like me. "He was a hero." Mr Jones, an experienced diver, said he was surprised a stingray, "one of the most gentle creatures in the ocean" caused Irwin's death.
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