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Steve Irwin, the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter," was killed Monday by a stingray while filming off the Great Barrier Reef. He was 44.
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FOOTAGE of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin being fatally gored by a stingray has been handed to police, according to media report.
The Australian reports that the footage shows that Irwin was swimming above a 2.5m stingray before it turned on him.
"The ray stopped and turned and that was it," boatowner Peter West, who viewed the footage afterwards, is quoted as saying in tomorrow's edition of The Australian newspaper.
"Something happened with this animal and made it rear and he was in the wrong position at the wrong time and if it hit him anywhere else we would not be talking about a fatality," Mr West says in the report.
The larger-than-life Irwin, 44, was off Port Douglas in far north Queensland, filming for his daughter Bindi's TV series.
Tonight his manager admitted he always feared that Irwin would meet his "demise" while working with the wildlife he loved.
But John Stainton said although Irwin got into plenty of "close shaves" with his antics involving various dangerous animals over the years, his star charge never feared death.
"You think about all the documentaries we've made and all the dangerous situations that we have been in, you always think 'Is this it, is this a day that maybe is his demise?'," he said in Cairns.
"We've been in some pretty close shaves.
"(But) nothing would ever scare Steve or would worry him. He didn't have a fear of death at all."
Mr Stainton, who was producing the underwater documentary, said Irwin died instantly.
He said Irwin had gone "over the top of a stingray and a stingray's barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart''.
Mr Stainton said Irwin had been rushed back to his research vessel at Batt Reef but had not regained consciousness despite desperate attempts to revive him.
"We got him back within a couple of minutes to Croc One, which is his research vessel,'' Mr Stainton said.
"We tried to quickly trip back to Low Isle where we were going to meet the emergency rescue people to do immediate and constant CPR, try and resuscitate him back into life.
"When we got there it was probably ten to 12, and by 12 o'clock when the emergency crew arrived they pronounced him dead.
"It's likely that he possibly died instantly when the barb hit him, and I don't think that he ... felt any pain.''
Mr Stainton, an old friend who has worked with Irwin for years, added that the star had been looking for "things that can kill you in the sea".
"We were in the Cairns, Port Douglas area shooting a documentary for Animal Planet called Ocean's Deadliest, which was basically looking at things that can kill you in the sea," he said.
"This morning Steve decided to shoot a couple of segments for a new TV show that he's doing with his daughter Bindi, and with the cameramen went out onto the reef ... to film a segment on stingrays.''
It is not believed Bindi, eight, was on the reef trip.
Paramedics flown to the boat found Irwin had a puncture wound to the left side of his chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.