Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Irwin tributes 'no joke'

Unorthodox online tributes to Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, who died earlier this month, have not been pleasing all fans of the Australian conservationist. Many fans have flooded internet video website YouTube with their own versions of the footage which documentary makers were filming at the moment of Irwin's death. Irwin died after a barb from a stingray pierced his heart while he was filming a documentary for his young daughter. While the actual footage of his death is currently in the hands of Queensland police, fans have chosen to pay tribute to Irwin by recreating the underwater scene not a tribute to everyone's taste. Meanwhile a separate form of memorial on the internet has also attracted substantial criticism. A game has been launched on the internet which features Irwin swimming along before a stingray pounces and finishes him off, with the ubiquitous "game over" sign popping up to indicate his demise. This, too, has been criticised by many as unacceptably bad taste as the real-life memorial service has yet to take place. An even more disturbing consequence of Irwin's unexpected death is a wave of violence aimed against stingrays on the Queensland coast of Australia, where up to 12 stingrays have been found, cruelly mutilated, lying dead on the shore. The apparent revenge attacks have been condemned by naturalists.