13 September 2006
The Worst Possible Tribute to Steve Irwin
This story is all over the press here. I hope it proves to be apocryphal. The death of Steve Irwin has apparently motivated some to wreak revenge. Eight days after he was killed in a freak encounter with a stingray authorities are investigating the possibility that the species that took Irwin's life is being targeted in acts of retribution - Up to 10 apparently mutilated stingrays have washed up in coastal waters since his death,.
"We do find dead stingrays with their tails cut off from time to time. People usually do it if they are worried about getting stung by a stingray, or they just do it maliciously, but it is pretty rare," said Wayne Sumpton, a senior biologist in Queensland's fisheries department. "We do not know if these incidents are motivated by Steve Irwin's death. At the moment that is just speculation."
Killing stingrays, said Michael Hornby, executive director of Irwin's conservation group Wildlife Warriors, is "not what Steve was about.We are disgusted and disappointed that people would take this sort of action to hurt wildlife," he said. "It may be some sort of retribution, or it may be fear from certain individuals, or it just may be yet another callous act toward wildlife"