International Khaki Day
Thu, 2006-09-07 01:14 — Gumby
FANS of Steve Irwin have been asked to wear the Crocodile Hunter's trademark khaki colour tomorrow in a stylish tribute to the fallen wildlife warrior.
International Khaki Day this Friday began as a chain email calling on all recipients to pay homage to the Australian conservationist, who was killed by a stingray while filming a documentary on Monday.
Since his death, websites have been inundated by thousands of messages of condolences from the animal activist's huge fan base around the world.
Now the cyber campaign to honour him by wearing khaki has continued to circulate around Sydney and the world, with thousands of workers expected to turn up to their offices tomorrow wearing khaki clothing or accessories.
Like Jeans For Genes day, the fashionable campaign is also expected to raise awareness for the conservation work Irwin championed and his family have vowed to continue in his name.
While Robert Irwin, Steve's father, rejected the offer of a State funeral for his late son because he was "just an ordinary bloke,'' the plan to wear the Crocodile Hunter's signature safari colour seems more fitting.
Yesterday Bob Irwin paid a heart-rending tribute to his son yesterday – and demonstrating Steve's common touch, said there was no way his boy would have wanted the pomp of a state funeral.
Struggling to describe the strength of his mateship with Steve, Bob said: "Steve and I weren't father and son. He was my best mate ever."
As this photograph shows, Steve was at his happiest with his family, doing what he loved in the wild.
Good friend John Stainton said: "That last month was the happiest time of his whole life."
Steve's toddler son Bob was already getting into the act, dressed in khaki on his first hands-on croc-hunting expedition.
"Bob was up there and had started helping him," Mr Stainton said.
"Steve had his family and was doing what he loved best."
The Irwins were in the remote Cape York park as part of a joint University of Queensland-Australia Zoo research project tagging wild crocodiles to find out where and how far they swim through the region's creeks.
These exclusive photos of the Croc Hunter and his family were taken by crew members during the trip.
Most of the crocodiles were more than 3m long and needed at least three men to jump on their backs and hold them down while researchers wired satellite tracking equipment to them.
Young Bob and his sister Bindi showed signs of continuing their father's fearless legacy, practicing their croc-catching technique at every opportunity.
"Steve and Terri would watch Bob, who they thought was concentrating totally on something else, but he had a toy crocodile," Mr Stainton recounted.
"He'd jump on the crocodile and he'd call for Bindi to get on the back and he'd take the head and then he'd call for Terri to get the top jaw.
"At three, I mean, he was taking it all in. He could very well go the way of his dad."
On the subject of the film showing the attack on Irwin, Mr Stainton said that the footage was so harrowing it should be destroyed to prevent it being leaked to the public.
Mr Stainton said he had watched the tape of Irwin suffering the fatal stingray wound and vowed: "It will never see the light of day."
"I would never want that tape shown," he said. "It should be destroyed."
Tagged: Off The Mat