Steve Irwin

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

What was the accusation?

On January 2, 2004, famed Australian television personality and nature expert Steve Irwin (a.k.a. the Crocodile Hunter) participated in what many people considered to be a stunt far too daring: feeding a crocodile with one hand while holding his infant son in the other hand. The incident took place in front of a live audience at the Australia Zoo and was also captured on film. Irwin’s action, and the footage portraying it, sparked enormous public backlash against the popular television star, who was dubbed a “reckless and irresponsible” parent by family and children’s groups. The Queensland state (Australia) Families Department even launched an investigation into “whether Irwin had breached workplace safety regulations”; however, no formal charges were filed. When asked to comment on the incident, Irwin apologized for alarming people as he did. In defense of his action, though, he insisted that he was in control of the situation, that his son was never in any real danger, and that he was acting responsibly by teaching his children pertinent “crocodile savvy.”

Key Apologia Strategies:

Minimization, Transcendence




“I had a safe working distance with that crocodile when that took place.”

“I’m so sorry that it’s got to this, but that’s the way it is – if I could have my time again I would probably do things a little differently.

“But I would be considered a bad parent if I didn’t teach my children to be crocodile savvy because they live here – they live in crocodile territory.”


Crikey! Steve Irwin takes baby to crocodile feeding, draws Aussie ire. (2004, January 3). USA Today. Retrieved from

Crocodile hunter escapes charges. (2004, January 5). CNN. Retrieved from

Irwin apologises for croc stunt. (2004, January 3). ABC News. Retrieved from

Johnston, L. (2004, January 3). Irwin takes infant to croc feeding. CBS News. Retrieved from