Animal and nature enthusiasts around the globe are mourning the death of Steve Irwin, the “Crocodile Hunter.”Irwin was the beloved TV personality on many wildlife adventure shows, who was killed unexpectedly Monday from a stingray attack while filming a children’s TV show off the Great Barrier Reef.
While in the water, Irwin swam over a hidden stingray and was stabbed in the chest with its barb. He was pulled from the water by his boat crew and rushed to a nearby island for emergency treatment. However, all attempts to save Irwin were unsuccessful.
The Crocodile Hunter’s fame rose when his first show aired in Australia in 1992. After that, his educational and entertaining shows became popular in the United States. His shows were family oriented and fun for children. He even had a catch phrase “crikey,” which became a popular saying.
With so many young fans, would it be ethical to air the video of Irwin’s death to the public?
Although fatal stingray attacks are uncommon, it is still important for the public to understand that swimming with stingrays in an uncontrolled environment could be deadly. However, the use of a firsthand, video account of an attack, that resulted in death, is not necessary to build awareness. Although blood and guts are not seen in the video, it could still be very shocking for Irwin’s young audience to view footage of Irwin’s death.
If the media wants to show a video to the public, Irwin should be remembered by his conservation of nature and his adoration for animals.
Clips from his life should be aired, not ones from his death.
Photo editor Jennifer Bickerstaff for the editorial board