Skip to comments.No State Funeral For Croc Hunter
Posted on 09/07/2006 12:37:05 AM PDT by freepatriot32
As the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin made a name for himself around the world. But at the end of the day, he was just an "ordinary bloke."
In the first public remarks from Irwin's family since his death on Monday, his father, Bob Irwin, said the family would probably decline the Australian government's offer of a state funeral for his son, because Irwin would not have wanted the fuss of such a formal proceeding.
"The state funeral would be refused, because he's an ordinary guy, he's just an ordinary bloke," the elder Irwin said at a press conference at Australia Zoo Wednesday.
"He wants to be remembered as an ordinary bloke."
Irwin, 44, was killed after he was hit in the chest by a stingray's barb Monday while filming an underwater documentary on the Great Barrier Reef.
Video footage of the TV star's last moments reportedly showed him yanking the poisonous barb from his chest before he lost consciousness.
Officials who reviewed the footage as part of the investigation into Irwin's death said there was no evidence he had antagonized the stingray in order to make it lash out.
Dressed in his son's signature khaki shorts and shirt, Bob Irwin offered emotional recollections of the man he called "my best mate ever."
"I'm a lucky, lucky guy that I've had the opportunity to have a son like Steve," he told reporters.
"Steve and I weren't like father and son. We never were. We were good mates."
Irwin's body was flown from Cairns to the Sunshine Coast by charter plane on Tuesday. Funeral arrangements will most likely not be announced for several days, according to Irwin's friend and manager, John Stainton, who was with him at the time of his death.
Mourners continued to flock to the zoo by the thousands Wednesday, adding flowers and written messages to a makeshift memorial to Irwin at the gate.
Irwin's widow, Terri Irwin, has yet to speak publicly about her husband's death. However, on Tuesday, she used the internal intercom service at Australia Zoo to thank staffers for their support.
"She was really choked up. She basically said how grateful she was for the support from all the staff," Michael Hornby, the executive manager of Irwin's charity, Wildlife Warriors, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"She was extremely upset and did not talk for long. But she wanted to thank staff for helping the family hold themselves together; and the fact that she was thinking of other people at such a distressing time is simply amazing."
Irwin's father vowed that he would help Terri to continue his son's work at Australia Zoo until his children, eight-year-old Bindi, and two-year-old Bob, were old enough to take over some of the responsibility.
"Steve will want his work carried on," he said.
They loved this guy, and he was a prime OZ ambassador.
The family should look outside of themselves on this.
There will be a memorial service for the public later, in probably two weeks, they said. That should be a fitting tribute to him and something to comfort the children around the world.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was the State of Queensland government which made the offer, not the Commonwealth of Australia government.