Google Doodle has honoured the life and legacy of beloved Australian wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin in form of a slideshow of doodles to celebrate his 57th birthday. The slideshow shows six illustrations of Irwin wrangling crocs, kissing a snake, monkeying around and enjoying time with his family.
Known as the 'Crocodile Hunter’, Irwin won legions of fans across the world thanks to his death-defying stunts with wild animals and his famously enthusiastic catchphrases.
From a young age, Irwin was surrounded by wildlife. He grew up in Queensland, Australia, where he spent his childhood jumping into rivers to catch crocodiles with his father, who ran a small reptile park. As an adult, he worked with the state’s crocodile management programme, spending many years single-handedly catching and taming the reptiles.
In 1991 he took over the management of his family’s reptile park, which he later renamed Australia Zoo. His TV career began following the success of a one-off documentary called ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ in 1992. The documentary went on to become a successful television series, broadcast first in Australia and eventually in the US and the rest of the world.
Steve Irwin was killed at the age of 44 while filming for an upcoming series on the ocean's most dangerous animals. He was stabbed “hundreds of times” in the chest by a stingray, in what was described at the time as a freak accident.
Steve Irwin’s wife Terri, and two children Bindi and Bob continue his work at Australia Zoo, which is now one of the country’s largest attractions. Before his death, he also created the Wildlife Warriors conservation foundation, which continues to supports the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife.