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Footage of Irwin's Death Will Never Air, Says Wife

Tuesday, 26 September 2006 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Footage of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's death will never be shown on television, his wife said in her first interview since the exuberant naturalist was killed by the serrated barb of a stingray's tail.

Asked in an interview with the ABC News program "20/20" whether the footage of Irwin's September 4 death would ever be aired on television, Terri Irwin was blunt and emphatic.

"It won't be. No. No. What purpose would that serve,' she said, adding that she had not looked at the footage of her husband's death.

That footage shows Irwin swimming above a stingray, while filming a documentary off Australia's northeast coast, when it lashed out and speared him in the heart with its barbed tail, according to Irwin's manager, John Stainton, who said Irwin pulled the barb from his chest before losing consciousness.

U.S.-born Terri Irwin said her 44-year-old husband knew he would not live a long life.

"He'd talk about it often. But it wasn't because of any danger from wildlife. That was never a consideration. He just felt life could be dangerous," she said in the interview, to be broadcast in the United States on Wednesday evening.

Irwin's family and friends held a private funeral at his beloved Australia Zoo -- where he was also buried. A public televised memorial service was held at the zoo's "Crocoseum" last Wednesday.

His 46 "Crocodile Hunter" documentaries were watched by 200 million people around the world and his death prompted an international outpouring of grief.

His wife told of how she had been traveling in a remote part of southern Australia doing research with the couple's children, Bindi Sue, 8, and 2-year-old Robert Clarence when she was told about Irwin's death.

"It was an accident so stupid. It was like running with a pencil. It was not risk he was taking," she said. "It was just an accident. And I couldn't fall to pieces because the children were there."

Known for his trademark khaki shorts and shirts and catchphrase "Crikey," Irwin grew up around wild animals, trapping crocodiles and releasing them in his parent's reptile park, which would later become Australia Zoo.

"I have to make sure the zoo keeps running. He planned all of that masterfully. He planned this wonderful business so that it could continue if anything happened to him," Terri Irwin said.

She said she is surviving "one minute at a time" and that what she would miss most about him was that he was fun.

"Now I'm going to work really hard at having fun again ... I'm Mrs. Steve Irwin. I've got a lot to live up to," she said.

(c) 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.

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NEW YORK -- Footage of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin's death will never be shown on television, his wife said in her first interview since the exuberant naturalist was killed by the serrated barb of a stingray's tail. Asked in an interview with the ABC News program...
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2006-00-26
Tuesday, 26 September 2006 12:00 AM
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