pretty sad

I didn't know much about Steve Irwin, the popular Australian naturalist but enjoyed the couple of commercials he made and his devil-may-care attitude toward dangerous animals.

Well, Mr. Irwin was killed yesterday by a stingray. Ordinarily, with something so remote as this, I would simply be vaguely sad and go to the next news story. But I came across this sentence in the article:

Mr Irwin was married with two young children.

This puts his career in a whole new light. I'm tempted to change the adjective I use in describing his interaction with animals to something closer to 'reckless.'

Attacks on humans are a rarity - only one other person is known to have died in Australia from a stingray attack, at St Kilda, Melbourne in 1945.

"Stingrays only sting in defence, they're not aggressive animals so the animal must have felt threatened. It didn't sting out of aggression, it stung out of fear," Dr Bryan Fry, Deputy Director of the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne said.

Given Irwin's history, Dr. Fry's quote is particularly believable.

Please don't go thinking I'm implying that Irwin "got what he deserved." Not at all. But I guess for the sake of his wife and two young children, he might have chosen to be a bit more careful.

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