The legacy of Australian wildlife conservationist and celebrity Steve Irwin was celebrated today with a Google Doodle. Irwin's love of the animal kingdom, coupled with the sharing of his life work at the Australia Zoo. The Google doodle is a slideshow that explores the life and legacy of the
Steve Irwin, who inherited a love of large reptiles early on in life. Steve Irwin's love for wildlife was passed down to him by his parents, Bob and Lyn Irwin, gifted him an eleven-foot python for his sixth birthday, who he lovingly christened Fred. The family moved to the Australian state of Queensland, where the Irwins opened a reptile park, known as the Beerwah Reptile Park.
Steve Irwin wrestled crocodiles when he was nine years old and volunteering with Queensland's East Coast Crocodile Management Program, helped capture and relocate endangered saltwater crocodiles, considered to be the largest of all living reptiles.
Steve Irwin had also begun to manage the family park, which was renamed the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park and eventually the Australia Zoo.
He met his wife, Terri, when she visited the zoo. Steve and Terri famously spent their wildlife-fuelled honeymoon capturing crocodiles.
The wildlife footage from their honeymoon eventually became the basis for the first episode of Steve Irwin's famous television show, 'The Crocodile Hunter'. While Steve Irwin and Terri Irwin hosted the show together, their children Robert and Bindi became regular fixtures as well. The show became an instant hit with the audience, with around 500 million people watching the show from over a 100 countries.
Steve Irwin was awarded the Centenary Medal for a lifetime of service in 2001 and he was also nominated for the Australian of the Year in 2004. He was also posthumously honoured with the Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Among his many accomplishments, Steve Irwin also discovered a new species of snapping turtle, which was named the 'Elseya irwini' to commemorate him.
In addition to the Google Doodle, to honour Steve Irwin's legacy, November 15 is marked as Steve Irwin Day. The event in Australia is used as a fundraising event and benefits the Australia Zoo's Wildlife Warriors program.
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