Some drink too much. Some are into 'recreational drugs' that the government would rather you suffer and or go to jail. But all of us, in some way or another look for ways to let our minds quiet.
Yesterday, one of the masters of taking us on unimaginable trips to the top and bottom of the world, active volcanos, and to meet unlimited varieties of animals around the planet died as a result of injuries received in an incounter with a ray, an normally placid animal. A man who loved animals as much as people.
I'm speaking of Steve Irwin, the "Crocodile Man!" A man with the personality and ability of a showman, and the knowledge of a scientist. A man who took a hand and built the Australian Zoo, which he and his wife Terry, and their two children Bindi and Bob made a delight for people the world over.
Steve was making a documentary with a camera man in the water with him when he found himself above a ray. This animal carries a poisonous spine on it's tail which it can hit targets with unbelievable accuracy.
Steve said once to a friend, "if I get it, it'll be in the Ocean." Well, his prophecy seems to have met up with him. The ray he was just above, usually a docile creature, put it's spine through Steve's chest and into his heart. The left main chamber of the heart or Left Ventricle lies immediately behind the sternum or breast bone.
This demonstrates the power the ray exerted to do what it did. The Spine, described as between 6 and 8 inches, pierced Mr. Irwin's Ventricle. When he pulled the spine out, his blood pressure went to zero and he immediately lost consciousness. That is, he was dead at that point. He just went to sleep. Here's a little info on rays;
• Stingrays commonly are found lying half-buried in the sand or mud of coastal temperate areas.
• Injuries tend to occur when an unsuspecting person steps on the fish, causing the animal to reflexively strike the person with its defensive mechanism.
• The stingray's tail has 1 or more barbed stingers and 2 ventrolateral venom-containing grooves that are encased in an integumentary sheath. The tail is thrust into the victim, usually in the foot or lower leg, producing a deep jagged laceration from the serrated spine(s).
• The stinger apparatus then injects a protein-based toxin into the wound, causing immediate intense (even excruciating) pain in the victim. Injury may occur without envenomation because many stingrays lose or tear the integumentary sheath covering the venom glands.
• The wound may bleed freely and the patient may have systemic symptoms, including the following:
o Muscle cramps
o Abdominal pain
This is a bit of data to help all of us understand what happened. Steve's problem was a massive loss of blood in a very short time when he pulled the spine from his chest.
There is a remote chance that if he had left the spine in place if it came loose from the animal, and or cut it loose, he might have survived. But not with a large puncture of the side of the heart responsible for pumping blood throughout the body.
I've talked to several people today and was saddened that all they could remember is Irwin feeding a crocodile with his infant son in his left arm. A mistake, no doubt.
I'll bet no one kicked his ass around the block more than he did. Steve Irwin was well known as a family man and loved his kids. If only Michael Jackson, the freak and pervert hadn't done essentially the same thing only a short time before!
For Irwin, a brain fart is all you get out of that one. To throw away all this man did and was prepared to spend his life into his last years doing, educating all of us on the fragility of the biosphere that we are killing by the hour, would be a tragic mistake.
Also a clear indication that some people were promoted to bipeds from quadrupeds WAY to soon.
So tonight, I lift my glass to a real man. To an explorer, to a good man who showed us the wonders of our world. Good night Steve! Thanks for all the things you showed us!