'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin dead



SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Steve Irwin, the enthusiastic "Crocodile Hunter" who enthralled audiences around the world with his wildlife adventures, died Monday morning after being stung by a stingray while shooting a TV program off Australia's north coast.

Media reports say Irwin was snorkeling at Batt Reef, a part of the Great Barrier Reef about 9 miles (about 15 kilometers) from the town of Port Douglas, when the incident happened.

Irwin, 44, was killed by a stingray barb that pierced his chest, according to Cairns police sources.

Irwin was in the area to film pieces for a show called "The Ocean's Deadliest" with Philippe Cousteau, grandson of Jacques, according to Irwin's manager and friend John Stainton. But weather had prevented the crew from doing work for that program, Stainton said, so Irwin decided to do some softer features for a new children's TV show he was doing with his daughter, Bindi.

"He came over the top of a stingray that was buried in the sand, and the barb came up and hit him in the chest," Stainton said.

Wildlife documentary maker Ben Cropp, citing a colleague who saw footage of the attack, told Time.com that Irwin had accidentally boxed the animal in. "It stopped and twisted and threw up its tail with the spike, and it caught him in the chest," said Cropp. "It's a defensive thing. It's like being stabbed with a dirty dagger." lengkapnya

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