I never enjoyed the juggernaut of his franchise when the bloke was alive. I appreciate that he bought up land for wildlife reserves, and I wouldn’t wish death by stingray barb on anyone, but let’s take a moment to talk about his interaction with the animals he swore to ‘protect’ and ‘promote’.
Every time he was filmed, he was either wrestling, poking, pulling, baiting or otherwise antagonising peaceful beasties I’m sure could have happily lived their lives ignorant of the phrase ‘wildlife warrior’. Why the desire to bully the poor things? What is wrong with simply filming them and observing their habits?
One bit of footage I saw had him repeatedly shoving a camera in the face of a snake, causing it to strike the lens. Repeatedly. I mean, that thing looked pissed off. Another camera angle showed Irwin shouting and leaping around as much as he could, I presume for the sake of a good bit of telly. No doubt scaring the crap out of the snake.
What little I know of snakes is that they are lazy, cold-blooded creatures. They are generally seen basking on rocks, devouring mice, sleeping, occasionally coiling themselves around Tarzan’s enemies, but rarely striking when threatened. They only eat about one critter a week, needing to save up their energy for the next kill. You shouldn’t even be touching them too much because the oil on your hands affects their lovely skins.
So what anyone does who causes a snake to strike, is rob them of precious energy they really should be spending on finding the next feed. Who knows what effect it has when you cause it to strike repeatedly? The cheetah has the same problem. It saves up all of its energy on chasing prey (rather than fighting or killing, like other animals), and if another animal gets there first, or if it misses its target, the cheetah goes hungry. I am fond of the cheetah, possibly because of this unfortunate biological quirk.
I doubt that riling these beasts up would kill them, but it AIN’T NICE. If you loved animals, you would leave them the fuck alone. Just call me the Galloping Wildlife Warrior.