Pentax Spokesman Steve Irwin Dead at 44
"Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, a sometime spokesman for Pentax cameras, died doing what he loved. He was snorkeling off the coast of Queensland, filming a special ironically entitled "Ocean's Deadliest," when a stingray drove its barbed tail into his heart. Irwin was well known for his risk-taking behavior around dangerous animals, especially crocodiles.
Stingray attacks are rare, and even more rarely are they deadly. Jack Hanna, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, said, "It's like me getting killed by a poodle." An expert in stingray injuries said it would have been exactly like being stabbed in the heart with a knife. Hanna called Irwin a "great conservationist" and noted that he was responsible for the surging popularity of wildlife shows on television. Bill Campbell, President of Discovery Networks, which aired "The Crocodile Hunter," called Irwin "one of our planet's most passionate conservationists."
Pentax launched a TV campaign featuring Irwin in November of 1999. He was 44.
Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON with information from USA Today