Famous Australian conservationist and ‘crocodile hunter’ Steve Irwin would have turned 57 on Friday and Google honoured the man with a doodle remembering him on his birth anniversary. While Irwin fans became emotional and loved the tribute, PETA slammed the global search engine for the Google Doodle. In a series of tweets, the animal activist group accused Google of sending “a dangerous, fawning message”. Now, it is facing severe backlash online and people around the world are lambasting the group demanding them for an apology.
“#SteveIrwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile & wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business. Today’s #GoogleDoodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats,” the group wrote on Twitter. The organisation which has been drawing flak lately for their numerable social media initiative left Netizens fuming after their ‘disregard’ and ‘insult’ directed towards the Irwin family, who also runs the Australia Zoo.
“It is harassment to drag exotic animals, including babies taken from their mothers, around from TV talk shows to conferences & force them to perform as Steve Irwin did. Animals deserve to live as they want to, not as humans demand––the #GoogleDoodle should represent that,” they wrote in another tweet.
#SteveIrwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile & wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business. Today’s #GoogleDoodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats. https://t.co/9JfJiBhGLw
— PETA (@peta) February 22, 2019
It is harassment to drag exotic animals, including babies taken from their mothers, around from TV talk shows to conferences & force them to perform as Steve Irwin did. Animals deserve to live as they want to, not as humans demand––the #GoogleDoodle should represent that.
— PETA (@peta) February 23, 2019
“PETA must ask who commissioned these dangerous, hagiographic cartoons of a man who died while harassing a stingray, dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile, and ‘wrestled’ wild animals who were minding their own business,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement.
In a blog on Irwin posted by PETA on their website under the title of “Wildlife biologist or Hollywood star?” they further said, “Many celebrity wildlife exhibitors use animal suppliers and assistants with poor records of animal care. Self-professed wildlife warriors make their livings by harassing and mishandling animals who are minding their own business in their natural environments.”
Soon after the organisation made the comments attacking Irwin’s legacy, people took to Twitter to fire back.
Steve Irwin and his family reclaim land for animals and run a massive wildlife rescue. His life mission was to save animals and educate people about them. I’m one of many vegetarians who rip out their hair when @peta weighs in. Shame on you. https://t.co/m4fdNymjao
— Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) February 23, 2019
There have been few people who have done more for wildlife conservation and education than the Irwin family. You owe them an apology.
— Dave Hogg (@stareagle) February 23, 2019
They are not worth the energy. Keep preserving, fighting the good fight for animals and living the legacy Steve was living.
We got your back.’
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) February 23, 2019
Man… I’ve never seen this website mobilize across cultural and political barriers before… until PETA came at Steve Irwin…. that dude really could’ve saved the world. Uniting twitter posthumously is God like.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 23, 2019
HOW DARE PETA DISRESPECT STEVE IRWIN’S LEGACY. They have no right to talk with everything they do and try to hide. Steve inspired me as a child to chase my love for animals and make a difference in their lives. Happy Birthday ❤️ https://t.co/DbroJHrOqC
— Himashi ^_^ (@FazizzleBubbles) February 23, 2019
The actual nerve of some people, disrespecting a legend https://t.co/0UT2Xrflb9
— Brosian (@Grantc137) February 23, 2019
Saw PETA was trending and I figured that couldn’t be good. But I was not prepared for them to be disrespecting Steve Irwin. The Irwin family are angels and Steve’s death was a tragedy. Also a tragedy: the continued existence of PETA. pic.twitter.com/ymD4qxvIXa
— Keila (@xdancing4rainnx) February 23, 2019
When you mess with Steve Irwin, you mess with all of us.
— Shiloh @FurSquared (@ShilohSkye) February 23, 2019
Another reason why PETA totally suck. Such a terrible organisation (look into it online there are countless stories) I’d like to see your wildlife preserve or your 1,000’s of acres saving animals from extinction? Steve Irwin spent his whole life wanting to save animals https://t.co/WrfpTPbvbP
— Conor McDonnell (@ConorMcDPhoto) February 23, 2019
PETA talking about Steve Irwin for sending bad messages to folks about animals is absurd. @PETA is already irritating anyway, but don’t talk about man who gave his life trying to show the world animals we’d never see otherwise.
— Amanda (@Manda4UA) February 23, 2019
Steve Irwin did more for animal conservation, awareness, and education in his tragically short life than possibly anyone in history. You euthanize pets. Get lost. https://t.co/ZuYC1joLdx
— Angry Again Kyle (@LCH_Kyle) February 23, 2019
PETA is a joke. Literally brainwashing people. It’s pathetic. Steve Irwin showed people a side of nature never before seen, he inspired so many people and opened the worlds eyes to so many aspects of nature and animals we all needed to see. A legend. Don’t come at him like that. https://t.co/A8pyJvZgN8
— Kaitlyn LaSala (@kaitlynlasala) February 23, 2019
No wonder you’re never taken seriously https://t.co/7bfKDVdEC5
— David. (@ItsTehDave) February 23, 2019
I cannot believe this. Steve Irwin did so much for wildlife conservation and for education, and sadly died because of a freak accident and PETA has the audacity to tweet this. https://t.co/KE8GLASx81
— Sean Rooney (@SeanRROONEY2) February 22, 2019
Never mind what charity work he did for endangered animals, the funds he raised, animals he helped, the people he educated.. he was a brilliant person who did so much for so many people and animals. @peta you are wrong to disrespect such a wonderful man.
— Silkie Allen (@Silkie_Allen) February 22, 2019
Steve Irwin taught me more about animals than PETA. He also you know, protected them and took them places to keep them safe.
— Nathan Martin (@Editwithmouse) February 22, 2019Subscriber Only Stories
Irwin became known around the world for hosting the popular ‘Crocodile Hunter’ series. In 2001, the Australian government awarded Irwin the Centenary Medal for a lifetime of service, and in 2004 he was nominated for Australian of the Year. Irwin’s legacy lives on through his family’s continued animal conservation work and with the celebration of Steve Irwin Day each November 15, an international celebration of wildlife, family, and fun including fundraising events to benefit the Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warriors program.