Steve Irwin; Australian wildlife conservationist, environmentalist, and television personality. Having been passionate about wildlife since childhood, he grew up with the opportunity to study and care for the animals at his parents’ wildlife park, known today as the Australia Zoo. Irwin truly rose to fame as the host of the long-running television series, The Crocodile Hunter, which premiered in 1996. The show was a wildlife documentary, focusing on the real-life adventures of Irwin and his friends as they dealt with crocodiles and other dangerous animals. Following on from there, he branched out to other film and television projects, such as The Ten Deadliest Snakes in the World, as well as another documentary series, Croc Files. With his wife, he also took over in managing the Australia Zoo.
Although Steve Irwin is no longer with us, his legacy lives on. His wife, Terri, and their two children, Bindi and Robert, are wildlife activists as well. Terri has continued to own and operate the Australia Zoo, while her children have helped out with the zoo’s Wildlife Hospital. For well over a decade, the hospital has provided 24/7 support for animals in need of health care.
More recently, the Irwin family and the rest of the hospital staff have helped rescue numerous animals who have been affected by the devastating wildfires currently plaguing Australia. The grey-headed flying foxes are one amongst many examples. Being a species listed as vulnerable, many of the foxes were flown over to the hospital to give them sanctuary from the ever-raging fires. Just a week ago, the staff also treated their 90,000th animal patient, a platypus named Ollie, who will remain at the hospital until he is ready to be released back into the wild.
While the people at the zoo and the hospital have been doing everything they can, others have been lending their support in different ways. 3,000 people from Australia’s army, navy, and air force have been deployed to help combat the inferno. Even now, there are still over 140 fires ongoing throughout the country. The wildfires have proved to be devasting for humans as well, and have forced thousands to flee from their homes. The fires started up in September of 2019, and sadly, they are predicted to last for another several months still. They have been filling the skies with dense smoke, burning millions of acres of land, and destroying hundreds upon hundreds of homes.
But Australia is not alone in its struggle. The U.S. and Canada has been continuing to send over support to help combat the fires. Canada has sent over roughly 100 firefighters, and, just a couple weeks ago, the U.S. sent nearly two dozen personnel from the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service. And this is along with the over 74 personnel that the U.S. already sent previously. However, the U.S. and Canada are dedicated to lending their support for as long as needed to help get the fires under control.
Meanwhile, Terri Irwin has reported that the Australia Zoo and the animal hospital, situated along Sunshine Coast, are currently safe from all the fires. The hospital’s staff will remain hard at work tending to animals in need.