Steve Irwin had a similar effect on wild life TV as Bollywood had on Bengali cinema. It was the pointless stunts rather than the animals themselves that were appealing to the audience and in many such acts; the objective was to outwit species that have been already outwitted by evolution. Unfortunately, he eventually fell on the other side of the “I am smarter than you” game.
His death and its manner also do send out a completely unwarranted message: that wild animals are extremely dangerous; even for an extremely trained hand with dozens of support crew around. And this has been the perennial problem with most animal rights movements. In order to make their case heard above the din of everyday human misery, the animal rights movements had to opt for loud mouthed sensationalism rather than logical arguments considerate of ground realities.
Steve Irwin is dead. But soon many will crop up to inherit his mannerisms.