Comment to Anonymous Stephanie
I think it must be some sort of blogosphere rule that people who leave anonymous comments on blogs are the ones afraid to stand up for whatever it is they’re saying. I would have been more than happy to discuss this with you in private email, but I presume you hoped I would just be frustrated by your not leaving an email address. Sorry! So, Stephanie, whoever you are:
I was not mocking Steve Irwin. I do not discount his work as a wildlife advocate or someone who entertained people or as the person who kept what is evidently a well-run and respected zoo. Bully for him.
But I do say that if you insist on teasing and/or provoking dangerous, untamed (or even tamed) big wildlife, you’re asking for trouble. Trust me, I’m (finally) not the only person saying that he was lucky to make it this far and that the real amazing part is that a crocodile didn’t get him. This shows a great deal of disrespect for the animal involved – which is a predator, after all, that kills in order to survive. It’s not going to wait while you stand there and let it know you think you’re in charge. It doesn’t care that you think you’re in charge. It will kill you anyway.
As for the bit with the baby – please. Bad enough you keep offering yourself to a croc as a meal, but to dangle a baby in the same general vicinity as a chicken (I presume it was chicken) – well, Child Protective Services really needed to have a serious talk with the parents. Just as when Michael Jackson dangled his poor child over a balcony, with a less than secure hold on him, these are not safe ways to treat a baby.
But to say the baby was in no danger? Have you even *seen* the film clip? He nearly drops the baby – which is bad enough – and the croc has him backing up as it goes after the dangling chicken. (Backing up is not a sign that you have complete control of an animal.) Going after the baby was surely next on the croc’s list of meals to have. It would have been safer if he’d not dangled food in the croc’s direction and kept *both* hands on his helpless infant!
The point is, you can’t count on wild animals to do what you want them to do. Your comment, btw, is a wonderful, perfect example of the sort of hubris of which I was speaking. You have completely made my point! Congratulations and thanks!