In Memorian of The Croc Hunter

Here’s a copy of a letter I sent to the Irwin family.

Dear Terri, Bindi, and Bob,

I don’t think I could possibly say anything new that hasn’t already been said here. But I’d like to offer my deepest regrets and heartfelt sympathy for the friends and family of the late, great Steve Irwin – most of all to the three of you.

Growing up, I was deeply inspired by people like Steve, and Jeff Corwin, and Marty Stouffer, and Jane Goodall. My mother helped grow a love for nature and all wild things in me, and my passion to raise awareness intensified by watching the Croc hunter in his glory.

I started going to college to be a biologist, but not long into it I changed my mind and I’m currently working towards becoming an Outdoor Educator in hopes of reaching out to children and showing them that life is precious and we need to appreciate the nature and wildlife that is around us.

I can’t begin to express how Steve Irwin helped fashion my beliefs in conservation and animal rights. He has been my inspiration longer than anyone else (other than my mother). I’m still not able to fathom a world without him. I guess I took it for granted that one day I would be at the Australia zoo shaking his hand and thanking you both in person. I’ve always believed that I would do that once I got out of college; my plan was to go down to Australia and visit the zoo as much as I could. I guess I waited too long.

He’s achieved immortality though. He has left behind a legacy and the urge to save the animals from harm. He has done what many have tried and he did it with a passion that was unrivaled in all senses. I am only one of many who will miss him forever.

Steve, you rocked. Thank you for everything. I wish I could do something to help your family in their pain, but all I can offer is just simple words of how your life inspired my own. Wherever you are, I’m sure you’re stirring up excitement and love for animals, and giving those angels quite the thrills.

Thank you, Crocodile Hunter. Thank you. And to Terri and your kids: I admire your courage and your bravery and the passion you have all shared for what you love doing. What you have given the world is priceless. Your lives have helped and touched more than just animals. Thank you.

Nikki Jeske

His death hit me a lot harder than I thought possible for someone I’ve never met. I’m numb from it. Animal Planet has been on my TV 24/7 the last week. I’ve been watching all my Croc Hunter tapes and, yes, crying over the loss of this great man.

The world got a little less-wilder when he left.

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