5 Best 'Crocodile Hunter' Episodes As World Marks Steve Irwin Day

Steve Irwin Day is marked on November 15 to honor and celebrate the Australian zookeeper and conservationist's legacy. Also known as the Crocodile Hunter, Irwin became famous globally for his work with Australia's wildlife.

Irwin died 15 years ago, on September 4, 2006. He had been filming in the Great Barrier Reef when he was struck in the chest by a stingray. He was 44 years old. He left behind his wife, Terri, and daughter and son, Bindi and Robert.

The date for Steve Irwin Day was chosen because it is the "birthday" of Harriet the Galápagos tortoise, one of Irwin's favorite animals. The day is run by Australia Zoo, the wildlife park that Steve and Terri Irwin took over in 1992.

Marking Steve Irwin Day 2021, Bindi Irwin said she and the team at Australia Zoo were proud to continue her father's mission of building a sustainable future. "Educating and connecting people with wildlife is how we can truly inspire them to become conservationists, and we are so happy that people joined us on Steve Irwin day to celebrate everything Dad was passionate about; family, conservation and fun," she said in a statement.

The Crocodile Hunter, which catapulted Irwin to fame, was first broadcast with a pilot episode in 1996. It was an instant hit and was broadcast to 130 different countries. It ran for eight seasons until Irwin's death.

To celebrate Steve Irwin Day, here are five top rated episodes of The Crocodile Hunter, as per IMDB ratings.

1. Africa's Deadliest Snakes

Irwin heads to Kenya to seek out some of the most venomous snakes on the continent. He rescues an Egyptian Cobra before seeking out Carpet Vipers and scorpions. He finally meets a Black Mamba—the deadliest snake in Africa. "Now, one of the most dangerous animals on the face of the Earth. When you look at this snake, the black mamba, what you're looking at is the equivalent to a marauding lion, a 20-foot crocodile, a great white shark. There's no difference. They'll kill you."

2. Search for a Super Croc

In this episode, Irwin travels to Australia's outback and captures an enormous saltwater crocodile. Towards the end of the episode, Irwin and the team are seen battling the 16-foot croc as it performs a death roll to try to escape. He and three other men leap on the reptile's back to restrain it so they can examine it and fit it with a satellite tracker. But the crocodile moves suddenly and Irwin gets a broken rib in the process. "All this information [from the satellite tracker] is just the start. My zest, my passion, my gift, the reason God put me on this Earth is to protect crocodilians and to try and get people to love crocodiles. Because if we don't then the rapid rate of habitat destruction, of species extinction, is gonna catch up."

3. Confessions of the Crocodile Hunter

This episode looks at Irwin and his life. It was released in 2004 and features interviews and footage showing his personal life. It also touches on an incident where Terri and Steve Irwin drew criticism for. In early 2004, Irwin was carrying his then baby son Robert while feeding a chicken carcass to a 12-foot saltwater crocodile. In the episode, both Terri and Steve say Robert was never in danger and they were much farther from the crocodile than was originally thought.

4. Faces in the Forest

Irwin travels to the remote village of Bukit Lawang in Indonesia's North Sumatra province. He meets a community of rehabilitated orangutans. In the episode, he helps take three young orangutans into the forest to help them with survival lessons. In one of the most memorable scenes of The Crocodile Hunter, Irwin meets a female orangutan and her baby and he is taken in as part of the family.

5. Ice Breaker

In "Ice Breaker," Irwin travels to Antarctica to meet the wildlife on the frozen continent. In the episode he takes a swim with gentoo penguins before two humpback whales appear in the sea nearby. "I didn't even see him coming in," he said. "But they come over to me for a bit of a look. They're thinking what the heck is this flapping around." He said that while the environment is harsh it is "beautiful and fragile." "We need to look after it," he said.

steve irwin
Steve Irwin, poses with a 3-foot-long alligator at the San Francisco Zoo on June 26, 2002 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images