Steve Irwin, the renowned wildlife expert and television personality, tragically lost his life in 2006 while filming a documentary, and his heartbreaking last words were inadvertently captured on camera by his long-time friend and cameraman,
Justin Lyon. Lyon, a long-term crew member who worked with Irwin on numerous documentaries, was present during the fatal incident on the Great Barrier Reef.
The tragic event unfolded while they were filming "Ocean's Deadliest." Lyon and Irwin encountered a giant stingray, and during what was supposed to be 'one last shot,' the stingray suddenly attacked Irwin, striking him repeatedly with its tail.
Lyon described the moment in an interview with the Australian morning program Studio 10, recalling how the stingray propped on its front and inflicted hundreds of strikes within seconds, piercing Irwin’s chest.
In his final moments, Irwin was pulled back into the boat, where he realized the severity of his injuries. His last words to Lyon were a calm acknowledgment of his fate: "I'm dying." Despite Lyon's efforts to perform CPR for over an hour, Irwin was pronounced dead soon after the medics arrived.
Steve Irwin, fondly known as the 'Crocodile Hunter,' was 44 years old at the time of his death. He left behind his wife Terri and two young children, Bindi and Robert, who were just eight and three years old, respectively.
Bindi and Robert have since grown up to honor their father's legacy, actively participating in wildlife conservation and continuing his work at the family-run Australia Zoo.
Recently, Robert shared a poignant moment on social media, revealing that a species discovered by his father, Irwin's Turtle (Elseya irwini), was joining Australia Zoo.
This milestone, a first for any zoological facility, was an emotional tribute to their late father's dedication to wildlife conservation.
Steve Irwin's untimely death left a profound impact on the world of wildlife conservation and television. His passion for animals and his charismatic personality made him a beloved figure globally. His family's continued efforts at Australia Zoo serve as a living testament to his enduring legacy.
Watch when Steve Irwin met the world's most venomous snake right here: