The Stingray's 15 Minutes

What Everyone Is Talking About

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NEW YORK ( -- The sudden death of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin over the Labor Day weekend shocked many, and that was well reflected in the blog world -- Irwin was the most popular search result for Nielsen's BlogPulse Newswire. Five out of the top 10 search terms were variations of Irwin's name (Steve Irwin, Steve Erwin, Crocodile Hunter, Hunter Steve Irwin) and several iterations of his name had burst into the top of the list that tracks the biggest movers (meaning those people who go from few references to many many in a very short period of time).
Steve Irwin
Steve Irwin Credit: AP

News stories on his death made up a bulk of the top 15 most-linked stories, and top 12 most cited. The most common sentiment among bloggers? That they can't believe it was a stingray that got him in the end.

Irwin was stabbed in the chest by a stingray while filming the documentary "Ocean's Deadliest." The fatal attack was caught on camera, but there are currently no plans for the footage to be released.

Executives at the network that aired his exploits, the Discovery Channel, were shocked as well.

"I don't think we will ever get over the loss of Steve Irwin, a human being of enormous feeling and irrepressible enthusiasm and dedication to everything he touched," Judith McHale, chief operating officer-president of Discovery Communications, said in a statement.

To commemorate its slain star, Animal Planet will begin airing special programming this week chronicling the early stages of Irwin's crocodile career, with a best-of marathon to air on Sept. 10. The network has also unveiled plans to redub the garden space in front of its world headquarters in Silver Spring, Md., the "Steve Irwin Memorial Garden."

As for the stingrays, they're expecting business as usual. Stingray City tour guide Pat Kenney told CNN that despite Irwin's incident -- the third recorded stingray death in Australia -- all tours will run as scheduled.

"This is the first known death I've ever heard of. This is one of the rarest occurrences that you can possibly believe," Kenney said.
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