Croc Hunter’s private funeral


A public memorial service for ‘Crocodile Hunter’ Steve Irwin will be held next week following a private funeral at his beloved zoo last weekend, friends and family announced on September 11.

The 44-year-old television wildlife daredevil killed in a freak stringray attack one week ago was quietly put to rest on September 9, his family confirmed, adding that the public service to celebrate his life was being arranged.

“Because the family really appreciate the outpouring of love and kindness from everyone... we are planning to have a public memorial next Tuesday or Wednesday at somewhere like (Brisbane’s) Suncorp Stadium,” Irwin’s best friend Wes Mannion told reporters. “It’s got to be exciting and fun because that’s the sort of man he was — he went at 100mph,” Mannion said of the farewell that Irwin’s widow Terri and two children are expected to attend.

The date and details of the service, which Irwin’s friends and family said earlier could attract up to 50,000 mourners, will not be finalised until police in northeastern Queensland approve the venue.

The funeral service was attended by Irwin’s family, close friends and colleagues as well as by relatives of his American widow, Mannion said, refusing however to reveal further details of what he described as a “personal” farewell.

“Because Steve loved the bush so much and yarning around the camp fire, the service was held just like he would have wanted with everyone telling their favourite story about him and around a candlelit fire,” Bob Irwin told reporters. — AFP