Remembering Steve Irwin: The 5 Most Memorable Crocodile Hunter Videos

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Steve Irwin stands onstage in a loving embrace with a 15 foot Anaconda at a January 2006 live show in Los Angeles.

Five years after Steve Irwin’s death, his infectious enthusiasm is still felt in the world of nature television. See some of his most dangerous – and most touching – moments.

To the Australian TV personality, his best friends were animals that, frankly, wanted nothing to do with him. He gave eager television viewers a look into the world of crocodiles, snakes, scorpions, and dozens of other inhabitants of the animal world. His encounters were not for the faint of heart – he’d exclaim “Crikey!” when the animal took him by surprise – but truly, he almost never seemed scared. He attacked his profession with a restless enthusiasm, with an uncanny ability to make viewers appreciate these venomous, toothy, dangerous creatures.

On September 4, 2006, he was killed doing what he loved: while diving in the Great Barrier Reef for the filming of his documentary Ocean’s Deadliest, he was fatally pierced in the chest by a stingray barb. His death highlights the spontaneity of the animal kingdom and the unpredictability of nature, which he frequently showcased on his show. Here are Steve Irwin’s most memorable moments.

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Known as the Crocodile Hunter, Irwin spent a majority of time around the dangerous beasts. But even he wasn’t immune to their power. Irwin recalls an instance when he sustained a crocodile bite while trying to feed one. Despite the injury that could have occurred, he always took on an air of forgiveness.

Fearless as usual, Steve Irwin handles the most venomous snake in the world. And in his typical gonzo style, he grabs the snake by its tail while explaining to us its danger. “He has enough venom in one bite to kill 100 blokes my size,” Irwin exclaims.

In one of Irwin’s most humbling segments, he cries over the loss of one of his crocs. He speaks of Mary like a true friend, giving her a proper eulogy.

“You bit me on the nose, you little brat!” Irwin has an incredibly tame reaction as a bearded dragon lashes out at him. His respect for the animal kingdom is unparalleled.

Even with his immense love for animals, Irwin was not immune to criticism over his antics. He received a media backlash for this stunt, where he carried his month-old son Bob under his arm while feeding a crocodile at the Australia Zoo in Queensland.


Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

READ: In Defense of the Crocodile Hunter