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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

14 September 2006

Minister urges Queenslanders to treat stingrays with respect

The Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has asked Queenslanders not to express their grief over the death of Steve Irwin by killing stingrays.

A number of stingrays have been found mutilated on Queensland beaches over the past few days.

Reports from Queensland suggest the attacks may be vengeful acts provoked by grief over the loss of the much-loved ‘Crocodile Hunter’ who died last week after being stung by a stingray.

“Like most Australians I’m terribly saddened by Steve Irwin’s untimely and accidental death,” Senator Campbell said.

“Steve was a colourful, inspirational and quintessential Australian driven by an enormous and deeply held commitment to the environment and the protection and conservation of our unique wildlife.

“No matter how greatly he is missed, he would deplore such cruel attacks on the creatures and wildlife he dedicated his life’s work and energy to protecting.

“While the sad events of last week have undoubtedly created some fear of stingrays, it would better if we were to replace that fear with cautious respect.

“Leaving aside the senseless cruelty of these acts, people need to remember that cutting the tails from these animals exposes you to danger.

“I call on the Queensland Government to look into these reports as a matter of urgency and to ensure the protection of the Queensland coastal environment as well as the safety of those enjoying the coast,” he said.

Media Contact: Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Commonwealth of Australia