Rare Steve Irwin Footage Reveals The One Animal He Wouldn’t Wrangle
Steve Bloody Irwin. It goes without saying the man is a true legend here in Oz. He’s remembered as a good-natured larrikin, a warrior for conservation, and an all-round top bloke.
I actually know a bloke who found out firsthand what a bloody champion of a man Steve was. As a young fella, this guy spent his weekends working at Steve’s zoo. Do you think Steve cared that he was taking a piss the very first time he met him?
Not a chance.
He strode up to the trough, stood beside him and said, ‘G’day, I’m Steve,’ and reached over to shake his hand. He was fifteen and meeting one of his idols. Todger in one hand, as the story goes, he shook Steve’s hand with the other and tried not to look nervous.
This is apparently not an easy feat when your stream is trickling into stage fright and Steve is blasting chunks of rust off the trough like a bloody gurney. I tell you this story, as it was told to me, because it absolutely sums up how friendly the man was. He truly was a top bloke.
In his time Steve wrangled all sorts of critters, varmints and beasts. As a young fella he learned the art of catching and relocating problem saltwater crocodiles from the streams and estuaries of Queensland and the Northern Territory, and as he grew older he travelled the world and got up close and personal with just about any animal he could. Not much scared him.
But there is one creature that even The Crocodile Hunter did not want to f*** with. The bloody hippopotamus. In footage from 2001, Steve is paddling across the Luangura River in Zambia when he’s confronted by the dominant bull hippo.
Steve’s reaction is simple and sensible. “Hey, I don’t want anything to do with this, guys.” When you consider Steve routinely wrestled massive saltwater crocodiles, it tells you something about the nature of the hippo: they’re f***ing lunatics.
Watch the video and have a look at Steve’s face when the bull hippo starts to approach. He is not keen at all to stick around.
I think it’s fair to say that it’s not only us Aussies that miss you, Steve. The whole world still reckons you’re a top bloke – and while we might not be able to drink a beer with you, we can probably all down one in your honour.
Check out the footage here, hippo confrontation starts at 20m:23s: