With great sorrow Queenslanders mourn the sudden death of STEVE IRWIN, our world-famous "Crocodile Hunter". He was apparently killed in a freak accident with a stingray. Many of us will remember seeing him as children either on the telly or in his shows at the Australia Zoo. Queensland will not be the same without him.
I photographed this playful fellow in Australia earlier this year. Stingrays are not natural enemies of humans, but they often hide themselves in the sand. Many accidents have occurred when unfortunate divers stepped on them. The stingray's barb is extremely powerful and can pierce wood. It secretes a poison that causes reduced blood pressure and possibly shock. How unfortunate to be struck in the heart!