If you’re old enough, you probably remember Steve Irwin of the Australian Zoo. On November 15, people all over the world celebrate this amazing person and his incredible impact on the world of animals and people. Steve Irwin Day is celebrated internationally to honor the life of the infamous “Crocodile Hunter” who inspired thousands of people around the world to prioritize wildlife conservation and take more interest in and care of animals. His name is associated with environmental activism and wildlife conservation.
History of Steve Irwin Day
Steve Irwin Day celebrates the life and times of beloved Australian zookeeper, Steve Irwin. Stephen Robert Irwin was born on February 22, 1960, in a home full of animals to parents who were in love with wildlife. His father was a wildlife expert and herpetologist and his mother was a wildlife rehabilitator who took care of injured or orphaned animals from snakes to kangaroos.
In 1970, Steve’s family moved to Queensland, where they opened a reptile park they called Beerwah Reptile and Fauna Park. Over the years, the name changed to Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park. Today, the park is known as the Australia Zoo, the zoo that created Steve Irwin Day in 2007.
Steve Irwin might not have had a degree in wildlife, but he certainly had a lifetime of knowledge and experience. Like a real-life Mowgli or Tarzan, Steve grew up surrounded by animals. When he turned six, he was given a 12-foot python. By age nine, he wrestled his first crocodile with supervision from his father.
In 1991, he got married to a woman who loved wildlife almost as much as he did, and it was footage from his honeymoon (which was spent trapping crocodiles) that formed the first episode of the TV series that brought him his fame, “The Crocodile Hunter.” The series pushed Steve Irwin into the public eye, and he became a beloved pop culture icon.
On September 4, 2006, Steve Irwin was on a diving expedition filming for “Ocean’s Deadliest” when a stingray pierced his heart and killed him. His public memorial service was viewed by over 300 million views worldwide.
Steve Irwin was a conservationist whose focus was on conserving endangered animals and ending illegal poaching and land clearing that could lead to the loss of habitat.
Steve Irwin Day timeline
Steve Irwin is born to Lyn and Bob Irwin in Upper Ferntree Gully, a suburb in Melbourne.
Steve’s honeymoon forms part of the first episode of “The Crocodile Hunter” on Aussie screens.
Steve Irwin starts the foundation, now known as Wildlife Warriors Worldwide.
A freak accident with a stingray takes Steve Irwin’s life on September 4 in 2006.
Steve Irwin Day FAQs
Why is Steve Irwin Day on November 15?
November 15 was chosen as the day to mark Steve Irwin Day because it was the birthday of one of his favorite animals – Harriet, a big tortoise from the Galapagos Islands. The day was chosen in honor of the special relationship Steve had with Harriet
What was Steve Irwin’s catchphrase?
Steve Irwin was famously known for his ‘crikey!’ catchphrase which he exclaimed in his Australian accent repeatedly during his television show, “The Crocodile Hunter.”
Do the Irwins own the Australia Zoo?
Steve Irwin’s father, Bob Irwin, gave the Australia Zoo to Steve and his wife as a wedding gift. After Steve’s death in 2006, Terri became the sole owner of the Australian Zoo.
Where is Steve Irwin buried?
There are many rumors about where Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, was buried. The most popular rumors claim that he was buried somewhere within the Australia Zoo. Others claim that he was cremated and some even say his remains were fed to crocodiles. However, one thing is certain. The family of Steve Irwin followed his particular last wishes, which are only known to them.
How to Celebrate Steve Irwin Day
Among the many things Steve Irwin was known for was his love for khaki. Few people ever even saw him out of khaki garb. His daughter, Bindi, said that she got a little piece of her dad back whenever she put on her khaki and has encouraged all Steve Irwin fans to put on khaki to celebrate the day and remember his legacy.
Watch “The Crocodile Hunter”
Get the popcorn out and rewatch some old clips of “The Crocodile Hunter.” You can also watch the film starring him, “The Crocodile Hunter, Collision Course.” Take a trip down memory lane and remember the work of this great earth-loving man.
Visit the zoo
Steve loved animals and you should too. If you can, go to Steve's Australian Zoo, where hundreds of people swim to celebrate the life and legacy of the Crocodile Hunter. If you can’t go to the Australian Zoo, try going to any zoo near you and experience family, fun, and wildlife. You can go a step further and donate to the zoo.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Steve Irwin
He was scared of parrots
The only animal that frightened Steve was these birds — he said parrots loved biting him.
He met his wife at the zoo
Steve met Terri Raines at the Australia Zoo — they got married four months later.
He has a snail named after him
In 2009, a scientist at the Queensland Museum named a tee snail Crikey steveirwini.
He once fed a crocodile while holding his baby
In 2004, this move caused controversy — the act was reminiscent of his own childhood.
He discovered a new species of turtle
On a fishing trip, he discovered a tortoise now known as Elseya irwini, or Irwin’s turtle.
Why We Love Steve Irwin Day
It celebrates an incredible man
Steve Irwin was a truly amazing man who made immense contributions to the world of wildlife. He would famously drop everything if he heard an animal or person was in danger. His wildlife conservation foundation, Wildlife Warriors, has done extensive work with rhino, elephant, tiger, and cheetah conservation, as well as koala, whale, and crocodile research.
It encourages wildlife conservation
We need to be more careful in how we treat our wildlife. Steve Irwin Day encourages the protection of the earth’s abundant natural resources including animal and plant species.
We love khaki
Khaki was Steve Irwin’s signature clothing. The underrated fabric is sweat absorbent and has good elasticity, which makes it great for a hot day.
Steve Irwin Day dates