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Did the "Crocodile Hunter" go too far?

Media TV Crocodile Hunter Daughter

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#21 Rov Judicata

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:31 PM

silverwind, on Jan 2 2004, 08:57 PM, said:

As far as Steve getting injured last year, I hadn't heard anything about it. (Then again, my TV access has been somewhat....limited...since August. :glare: ) I know a few years back his best friend, Wes Manion, was attacked by Graham, but otherwise I'm not aware of anything.

No, actually, now that you said that, I realize that my source was actually  you

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Silverwind: And I'm not surprised that he [Roy] wants the tiger spared....Expecting anything else would be like expecting Wes Manion (Stever Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter's, right-hand man) to want Graham destroyed for biting him.

I just got confused on the details, but remembered the post. My mistake. :cool:.

Edited by Javert Rovinski, 02 January 2004 - 11:32 PM.

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#22 silverwind

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:37 PM

^Well, one can't ask for a better source than that ;)

And Lil, there isn't really a comparison with that, IMO.  Roy and Sigfried are *performers*.  Steve Irwin is a professional zookeeper and herpetologist.  Reptilians like crocs can't be domesticated, or tamed, and Irwin knows that 100%.  He knows how much danger he places himself, his crew, and (in this case) his family in when he does croc-feeding demonstrations....  Roy and Sigfried are dealing with hand-raised mammalians which they've taught to do nifty tricks.  The situations are *completely* different....
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#23 Zoxesyr

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:40 PM

silverwind, on Jan 3 2004, 04:20 AM, said:

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Irwin has done other things with his infant, like putting him on the back of a zoo tiger.  However the tiger was on a chain leash, held by two other zoo keepers, and the tiger was accustomized to human touch and close physical presence.  The picture clearly shows that the croc was NOT leashed or controled by any other person, on or off camera.

Actually, that was Bindi, his daughter..

Oops! I stand corrected.  That was his daughter, and it was a while ago.  Thank you for the correction. :blush:

However, in principle it is the same even with another infant.

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He deserves the PR disaster he has created for himself and the other wildlife shows.  He has set back nature educational TV years by doing this.  :angry:

Why?  Because you disagree with his methods?

No, because he did something stupid and is making it worse by letting it spin out of control. :angry:

I thought he was doing a moderately good job of turning the stale old genre of nature shows into something more exciting and interesting for kids.  He was even being responsible by telling kids on his show "Don't try this at home!" an showing them why it was dangerous.  

I am angry at him because now when people think of nature shows, they will start seeing him holding his infant while a croc leaps up at him. :angry:  Or worse, they will call him the Michael Jackson of PBS... :eek:
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#24 Bad Wolf

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:41 PM

I disagree with you very strongly.  I don't care how many fancy names you put in front of Erwin's name the fact is that he makes a living by being the Evel Knievel of the wild life world.  He is as much of a performer as Siegfried and Roy only I also think he's more than a little nuts.  Which hardly recommends him for parent of the year.  And a big BOO to his wife for her participation in this ludicrous incident.  What kind of mother lets her husband dangle her baby in front of a hungry Crocodile.  It's INSANE.
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#25 Jid

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:49 PM

Hmmmm.  I can see both sides here, but ultimately, I'm going to side with Mr. Irwin, for a few reasons.

Taking any child under the age of 6 into an enclosure with any large animal is a risky proposition no matter how you cut it, but I can't think of a person it'd be safer with, than the Croc Hunter.

Zoxesyr:

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No zookeeper, no animal trainer, no vet of any kind would at any time put an infant in a compromisable position like this.
First question:  Are you a zookeeper, animal (specifically croc) trainer, or vet?

Because being the child of a farmboy turned vet, I could probably show you some pictures that make this look tame.  Ever consider the damage a 1500 pound heifer could do to a 2 year old toddler following after daddy, petting grazing cows as he goes?  Without anything resembling malice?  Let alone the cues an experienced person would have if the animal got cranky?

Personally, I'd feel safer in a croc cage with Steve Irwin than I would in a cage with a loose bull and my dad.

Let's consider some important facts here.  First, the eating habits of Crocs.  Large reptiles don't eat that often - so chances are good they had fed Murray well before this event.  Secondly, just in case he was still a little peckish, they brought in some Chicken with him, to give the Croc.  

You can bet that if Murray had made the slightest agressive move, the chicken would have been tossed, and father and child would have been out of that enclosure faster than you'd think possible.

Then, let's think about maybe why Mr. Irwin would even concieve of such a "publicity stunt."

My guess is that he wanted to show people that crocodiles aren't horrible, vicious animals that will kill anything within reach.  Ever watched the show?  That has *always* been a major part of his message.  

By bringing his son into the enclosure with Murray, he accomplishes two things:

First, he shows that he doesn't fear the crocodile will kill his child.  He's showing a lot of love and empathy for an often misunderstood animal.  He feels comfortable enough with his own flesh and blood in there.

Second, he shows the importance of teaching children to LOVE animals.  ALL animals, not just the cute and fuzzy kind.  And, since he has the resources to do it, he teaches his children through one-on-one interaction with animals.  Perhaps at an earlier age than he can understand, but that baby still saw a croc up close and left perfectly safe and serene.

Child Endangerment?

Child endangerment would be *me* doing that.  (Unless, as I previously stated, you'd like to bring retroactive charges to my dad and several of my uncles)

The man's a professional, and despite how he plays himself off as the crazy backwater yokel, he's no idiot.  I somehow doubt he'd do anything he considered too dangerous.

Edited by Jid, 03 January 2004 - 12:06 AM.

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#26 silverwind

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:54 PM

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I thought he was doing a moderately good job of turning the stale old genre of nature shows into something more exciting and interesting for kids.

And those children are the ones that will become the biologists and herpetologists and conservationists of tomorrow.  And THAT is his whole point:  EVERYTHING he does is aimed at conserving the animals he loves so very much.  And I imagine if he could give every child access to a zoo like his, he would.  Because as he says on his show many times, when people touch an animal they form a connection with it, and that connection *stays* with them.  

Oh, and if you watch his show and really *listen*, you see why he does all the "crazy stunts"....Its not sensationalism, it has a real purpose.

and Lil:

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I disagree with you very strongly.

Fair enough.  I vehemently disagree with you.

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I don't care how many fancy names

Not fancy names.  Qualifications.

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you put in front of Erwin's name the fact is that he makes a living by being the Evel Knievel of the wild life world.

Technically, he makes a living by running a zoo that he grew up on and has been running for decades.  And there's nothing "Evel Knievel" about him.  He doesn't do this stuff for thrills.  He does it because its what he *knows* and loves and its his freaking profession.

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He is as much of a performer as Siegfried and Roy only I also think he's more than a little nuts.

Again, you're entitled to your opinion.  I still think comparing Siegfried and Roy to Steve Irwin is comparing apples and oranges, but clearly we have a different definition of performer.

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Which hardly recommends him for parent of the year. And a big BOO to his wife for her participation in this ludicrous incident. What kind of mother lets her husband dangle her baby in front of a hungry Crocodile. It's INSANE.

Okay, for starters, Terri knows a LOT more about caring for animals than any of the press who have commented on this so far.  She knows the risks involved.  And for god's sake!  He wasn't "dangling" Bob in front of a "hungry" croc!  He was secured in Steve's arms and held away from the croc.  And, btw, the croc is more likely to attack Steve over territory than over want of food.

And its only "insane" if you don't understand Irwin and the kind of passion he feels for conservation.
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#27 Uncle Sid

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:56 PM

Yeah, as much as he's a pro, I'm also a pro with computer systems and even I once pulled the wrong drive out of a disk array thereby causing the loss of about 500 GB of data instantly just because I wasn't paying attention.  This even though the system was redundantly mirrored.  Professional doesn't mean perfect.  (Thank God for nightly backups).  It's one thing to take measured risks with your own life, it's another thing to do it with someone who gets no say in the matter.  

I'm no reptile specialist, but it seems to me that the most likely time to get yourself mauled by a croc is when it's hungry, smells food, and you are right next to said food with your offspring.
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#28 Bad Wolf

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:58 PM

What Uncle Sid said.  I am floored that anyone is even defending this stunt.  And Jid using your kid as a publicity stunt to further your political agenda?  Low.  Very very low if that's what he was intending.
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#29 Rov Judicata

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:59 PM

lol @ source. ;).

And to be fair, silverwind, there's a fair bit of performance art in Irwin's work; his many ways to use the word "Crikey" is a classic example of showmanship and keeping the audience engaged. I'd say Irwin IS a performer. However, IMO, it's a fallacious implication that he can't also be a highly qualified expert; he is, by any standard.

<To use another example-- and one more geared towards my own interests ;)--  the best political pundits are highly skilled at getting their point across in an interesting matter. It doesn't preclude them from knowing an ungodly amount on their particular subject.>
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#30 Kosh

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:02 AM

silverwind, on Jan 2 2004, 11:37 PM, said:

^Well, one can't ask for a better source than that ;)

And Lil, there isn't really a comparison with that, IMO.  Roy and Sigfried are *performers*.  Steve Irwin is a professional zookeeper and herpetologist.  Reptilians like crocs can't be domesticated, or tamed, and Irwin knows that 100%.  He knows how much danger he places himself, his crew, and (in this case) his family in when he does croc-feeding demonstrations....  Roy and Sigfried are dealing with hand-raised mammalians which they've taught to do nifty tricks.  The situations are *completely* different....
They raise there tigers from kittens.I think they are a little more then performers



I've always thought Steve was a fool, but that's just me.
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#31 Jid

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:03 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Jan 2 2004, 10:58 PM, said:

And Jid using your kid as a publicity stunt to further your political agenda?  Low.  Very very low if that's what he was intending.
Gah.  Must remember to make sarcasm obvious in text form.

I used the phrase "publicity stunt" because someone else had.  The intent of my post, I would hope would show his motivation was likely anything but self promotion.

Sorry for the confusion.
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#32 silverwind

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:04 AM

Uncle Sid, on Jan 2 2004, 10:56 PM, said:

Yeah, as much as he's a pro, I'm also a pro with computer systems and even I once pulled the wrong drive out of a disk array thereby causing the loss of about 500 GB of data instantly just because I wasn't paying attention.  This even though the system was redundantly mirrored.  Professional doesn't mean perfect.  (Thank God for nightly backups).  It's one thing to take measured risks with your own life, it's another thing to do it with someone who gets no say in the matter. 
And this, methinks, is why he has an entire team of specialists and spotters, and why they do rehearsals of *everything* risky they plan to do in those enclosures.  If you had minimum 5 people (specialists, no less) standing back, watching you work, would you have been able to pull that disk drive out and cause the memory loss?

Rov--I didn't say he wasn't a performer.  But first and foremost, he is a zoologist and herpetologist.  He's not parading the animals around for show.  His feeding techniques have a specific scientific purpose.  They just happen to also look good on camera.
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#33 parisindy

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:04 AM

i've been a big fan of steve's forever... anytime he got injured he always said it was his fault not the crocodile's. 9-10 his injuries took place in a moment of carelessness...or distraction

steve loves his family as long as bob was in his arms he would have been totally focused and i'm sure there would be no moments of carelessness
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#34 Zoxesyr

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:09 AM

Uncle Sid, on Jan 3 2004, 04:56 AM, said:

I'm no reptile specialist, but it seems to me that the most likely time to get yourself mauled by a croc is when it's hungry, smells food, and you are right next to said food with your offspring.
A predatory animal does not have to be hungry to attack, they could also feel threatened, or just be cranky.

I use the Bindi/Tiger incident for comparison.  In that instance I think he acted responsibly, and made a big show out of how the other trainers were there, and that the tiger was suitably restrained and accustomed to the situation.

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Taking any child under the age of 6 into an enclosure with any large animal is a risky proposition no matter how you cut it...

So would you say that the publicity he is getting is equal in value to the risk that he created?   What is the Return-On-Investment going to look like when he presents it to the Zoo's Board of Trustees?

How much more publicity would he have gotten if it went sour?  Would it have been as good?  Would he have made as much money?

Will Animal Planet and PBS come to the same Cost/Benefit Analysis when they evaluate the next season of Croc Hunter?

:angry:
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#35 Jid

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:12 AM

^Do you honestly believe a man could be more concerned for his public image than his own child?

Do you really believe when he states over and over, through word and action that his prime concern is promoting conservation that he's secretly staring at his bottom line?

Do you really think he'd have done this if he thought, even for a moment, there was more than a infinitesimal chance this would have harmed his child?
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#36 Zoxesyr

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:12 AM

silverwind, on Jan 3 2004, 05:04 AM, said:

And this, methinks, is why he has an entire team of specialists and spotters, and why they do rehearsals of *everything* risky they plan to do in those enclosures.  If you had minimum 5 people (specialists, no less) standing back, watching you work, would you have been able to pull that disk drive out and cause the memory loss?
O.k. so let's leave the croc out of this for a second.  Suppose Steve slips on something and falls.  What does that press release look like?  Is it any better than the Croc-Attack scenario?
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#37 Bad Wolf

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:18 AM

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^Do you honestly believe a man could be more concerned for his public image than his own child?

Is that a *serious* question????  

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Do you really believe when he states over and over, through word and action that his prime concern is promoting conservation that he's secretly staring at his bottom line?

yes and Bush states over and over that he's trying to protect us from WMDs.  Um, how does rote repetition equate to honesty?

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Do you really think he'd have done this if he thought, even for a moment, there was more than a infinitesimal chance this would have harmed his child?

The safety issue can't be credibly questioned.  So your question is moot because obviously he *did* do it.  Not being a parent myself I ran this by one of my housemates who is a parent and she shared my awestruck horror that any parent could do this, "expert" or not.  Because you know what?  Accidents can happen.  They can happen to the most "expert" people in the world.  Putting a baby at this kind of risk is simply unconscionable.
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#38 Zoxesyr

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:29 AM

Jid, on Jan 3 2004, 05:12 AM, said:

^Do you honestly believe a man could be more concerned for his public image than his own child?

Do you really believe when he states over and over, through word and action that his prime concern is promoting conservation that he's secretly staring at his bottom line?

Do you really think he'd have done this if he thought, even for a moment, there was more than a infinitesimal chance this would have harmed his child?
addtionally:

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i've been a big fan of steve's forever... anytime he got injured he always said it was his fault not the crocodile's. 9-10 his injuries took place in a moment of carelessness...or distraction

and:

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I used the phrase "publicity stunt" because someone else had. The intent of my post, I would hope would show his motivation was likely anything but self promotion.  Sorry for the confusion.

O.k. I admit I was being sarcastic too. :devil:

but....what was the point of this "event"?  Steve hasn't yet posted an explanation.  Neither has anyone from the production or zoo staff.  

Did he think about a "moment of carelessness" on his part?  We have seen plenty of examples of thoughtless behavior, especially in the last year (mr. jackson, etc.).   All it takes is 1 second for a tragedy to happen.

If I was a Zoo Trustee (and I know several trustees of public institutions) then I would already be calling the other trustees and discussing with them seriously his resignation or firing him.  No Zoo needs or wants this kind of PR.  

If I was an executive of Animal Planet, I would ask my lawyers to review his contract for language that can be used to separate from him if the PR gets too bad.

Edited by Zoxesyr, 03 January 2004 - 12:30 AM.

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#39 Delvo

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:33 AM

Think about what would have happened if the crocodile had snapped at him. His assistants all leap in there and one of them takes the baby while the crocodile is distracted with Steve, since the crocodile wasn't going to get the baby "first". How is that different from what would have happened if a crocodile were to misbehave while Steve is doing a show alone? Either way, Steve's the one in the crocodile's face taking the risk. Anybody else around has Steve between them and the crocodile just like the baby did.

#40 Jid

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 12:34 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Jan 2 2004, 11:18 PM, said:

Is that a *serious* question????
Given the post I was responding to, yes.

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yes and Bush states over and over that he's trying to protect us from WMDs.  Um, how does rote repetition equate to honesty?

The difference being, as I said, Steve Irwin states it with action.  He's putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak.  He doesn't rely on rhetoric and the sweat of others to prove he means what he says.

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The safety issue can't be credibly questioned.  So your question is moot because obviously he *did* do it.  Not being a parent myself I ran this by one of my housemates who is a parent and she shared my awestruck horror that any parent could do this, "expert" or not.  Because you know what?  Accidents can happen.  They can happen to the most "expert" people in the world.  Putting a baby at this kind of risk is simply unconscionable.

For the sake of argument, let's assume we have an "expert" in cattle.

Now, this expert puts his 6 year old youngest son in the center of an 8 foot wide, open gate, and says "This herd of 200 head of fast moving cattle will not run you over if you wave your arms and yell a lot.  Instead they'll turn down the chute."

He's not even with his dad, mind you, just standing there while his dad and uncle chase the cattle down.  And they move pretty fast when you chase them.

Wanna meet the six year old?  Well, you're out of luck, he's almost 22 now ;)

The point I'm trying to make here, is that yes, accidents can happen.  But you know what?  By the same extention, what could have happened to me is pretty bad.  Same is true of young Robert.  

But the difference is, the risk was carefully calculated.  He knows the animals.  He brought in extra food for safety.  He's danced the dance thousands of times before.  And approaches it each time with the same amount of respect, and carefulness each time.  And what's more, he's doing it in far more carefully controlled conditions than anything you see on his show.

By the same token, I'm willing to bet I could make a good case for crossing the street with a stroller being an unconscionable lapse in parentl judgement.
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