On September 4th, 2006 the world lost one of the greatest voices in conservation and animal studies when Steve Irwin was killed in a diving incident with a stingray. Now twelve years later his son Robert, his daughter Bindi, and his wife Terri are continuing his conservation conversation with their new show Crikey! It’s The Irwins on Animal Planet and YouTube.
The first episode of the show premiered on October 28, with the rest of the season coming this November. The first episode starts with and interview of Steve talking about his dream of his children stepping into his shoes and how that would be the proudest moment of his life. It cuts to the present with the Irwins going over their daily procedures in the Australia Zoo, starting with feeding and caring for the Koalas, with one of them giving birth to twins.
The show is split into sections that switch between different scenarios with Bindi, Terri, and Robert in a normal day at the zoo. While the sections with Bindi and Terri are educational, and often entertaining, the main reason that you should check out this show is Robert. He captures the charisma and bravery that his dad displayed when working with and admiring these animals, and educating people about them.
It then switches to Robert in the crocodile pens during feeding time. He starts with the less aggressive freshwater crocodiles, then to the far more dangerous and aggressive saltwater crocodiles. He has been training to feed the crocodiles for years, and his first feeding with an audience is going to be with Graham, a “saltie” that injured both Steve and his friend Wes in the past. As his first show approaches Robert prepares for it by feeding some of the zoos american alligators, a slower, stockier cousin of the salties. Wes is in the cage with Robert the whole time mentoring his friend’s son, helping him to fulfill his father’s dream.
On the day of the feeding Robert seems uncomfortable at first, but he quickly comes into his comfort zone, feeding Graham while completely captivating the crowd and the viewers of the show. As he feeds him he prepares to get into the pond with Graham and show the audience how the salties in the wild preform a death roll, a move difficult to pull off even for trained professionals. (Death rolls are when crocodilians grab an animal, pull it underwater and viciously roll, breaking bones and drowning it.)
They tie a hog’s leg to a rope that Robert will tug at when it is in the croc’s mouth to simulate struggling prey. After tugging at the rope the croc rolls multiple times to everyone’s excitement. The show ends as Robert heads backstage and Wes congratulates him on a show well done. The credits roll with footage of Steve doing another show with
Graham signifying that Robert has officially stepped into his father’s shoes as the next crocodile hunter.
If you are a fan of The Crocodile Hunter or just have a passion for animals, then I couldn’t recommend Crikey! It’s the Irwins more. The show recaptures the magic that Steve brought to the world, and Robert seems ready to take on any challenge in order to continue his father’s legacy and bringing conservation to the public.
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