Family holds private funeral for Crocodile Hunter Last Updated Sun, 10 Sep 2006 11:12:39 EDT CBC Arts
The family of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin held a private funeral for him near Brisbane on Saturday and plan to bury his body at his Australia Zoo, news reports said Sunday.
Irwin, who achieved international fame as host of the television program Crocodile Hunter
, died on Sept. 4 in a stingray attack while filming a piece on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for his daughter Bindi's television show. Video footage shows Irwin taking the stingray's barb out of his chest.
"Yesterday's service was a service for family and good friends, people who were close to Steve in recent years," said a family friend quoted by the Sunday Mail in its Sunday edition.
The friend, who was not identified, also indicated the family would erect a monument at the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, near Brisbane, so visitors would pay their respects to the 44-year-old animal enthusiast.
John Stainton, the wildlife personality's producer and longtime friend, told CNN that a public memorial was expected to be held later in September.
Stainton also said Irwin's wife, American-born Terri, and his children — eight-year-old Bindi and two-year-old Bob — were coping "quite well" with the death. They have not been seen in public since Irwin's death.
"Terri is very, very strong. She's having a lot of sad moments obviously, but she's putting on a brave face for the kids' sake," he said.
Irwin's father, Bob, turned down Prime Minister John Howard's offer of a state funeral. Bob Irwin said his son wanted to be remembered as an "ordinary bloke." Surfers hold on-water service
On Sunday, more than 200 local surfers on the Sunshine Coast paid tribute to Irwin by paddling offshore, making circle, casting flowers out on the water and holding a service.
Irwin's death has resulted in an outpouring of shock and mourning around the world.
Thousands are expected to continue to visit his zoo, where a mountain of flowers, cards and trademark khaki shirts have been left at the entrance.
Irwin's animal conservation charity, Wildlife Warriors, has had an immense boost of funds since his death. The charity's head, Michael Hornby, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that more than $800,000 had been donated since Monday.
After Crocodile Hunter
was first broadcast in 1992, Irwin became a household name, known for his exuberance for wildlife and his catchword "Crikey!" With files from the Associated Press