Discovery Communications Inc. Mourns the Death of TV Host and Conservationist Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter

Sep 04, 2006, 01:00 ET from Discovery Communications, Inc.

    SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Communications is
 deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile
 Hunter. Steve was beloved by millions of fans and animal lovers around the
 world and was one of our planet's most passionate conservationists. He has
 graced Animal Planet's air since October 1996 and was essential in building
 Animal Planet into a global brand.
     Steve was killed during a filming expedition for Animal Planet on the
 Great Barrier Reef. While we are still collecting specific details, it
 appears that this was a rare accident in which Steve swam over a stingray
 and was stung by its barb in his chest. A doctor on board Croc One, Steve's
 research vessel, was unable to resuscitate Steve, and by the time a rescue
 helicopter reached him, he had died.
     DCI Founder and Chairman, John Hendricks said, "Steve was a larger than
 life force. He brought joy and learning about the natural world to millions
 and millions of people across the globe. He was a true friend to all of us
 at Discovery Communications. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Terri,
 Bindi and Bob Irwin as well as to the incredible staff and many friends
 Steve leaves behind."
     DCI CEO and President Judith McHale said, "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."
     Discovery Networks, U.S. President Billy Campbell said, "The sense of
 loss we feel about Steve is shared by people around the world, evident by
 the hundreds of heartfelt condolences that have already flooded into
 Steve's fan site on Animalplanet.com."
     Discovery Networks International President Dawn McCall, said, "Rarely
 has the world embraced an animal enthusiast and conservationist as they did
 Steve Irwin. Steve's passion for animals and leadership in conservation
 awareness leaves a powerful and lasting legacy across the globe." Outside
 the United States, Animal Planet is available in 160 countries in Europe,
 Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East with programming customized
 in 24 languages.
     Animal Planet in the United States will air special tribute programming
 beginning tonight at 6 p.m. ET/PT. The programming will highlight Steve's
 background, including his early days as the Croc Hunter, and his passion
 for wildlife and his family. On Sunday, September 10, Animal Planet U.S.
 plans to air an all-day marathon tribute featuring the Best of the Croc
 Hunter. Animal Planet International in markets around the world will
 provide the same programming.
     To honor Steve and the enormous contribution he made to the world and
 to our company, DCI will rename the garden space in front of Discovery's
 world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, the "Steve Irwin Memorial
 Garden."
     DCI is planning to create the Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter Fund, which
 it expects to affectionately call "The Crikey Fund." The Fund will be
 established to honor Steve's passion and exuberance for conservation and
 the animal kingdom and is expected to provide a way for people from across
 the globe to make contributions in Steve's honor to support wildlife
 protection, education and conservation. The Fund will provide support to
 Steve's Australia Zoo in Beewah, Australia, as well as educational support
 for his children, Bindi and Bob Irwin.
     Steve Irwin was the world's best-known wildlife crusader. As the
 Crocodile Hunter, Steve became a household name, and his television
 adventures have been seen around the globe. In 2002, he starred in the
 feature film, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course and appeared on
 numerous popular television talk shows. Throughout his high international
 profile, Steve's commitment to wildlife always remained paramount.
     His passion to protect the world's most endangered and threatened
 species could be traced back to his parents, conservationists and animal
 lovers Bob and Lyn Irwin, the founders of Australia Zoo. As a young boy,
 Steve helped Bob rescue and relocate crocodiles in the rivers of North
 Queensland. The father- and-son team was proud to say that over 100
 crocodiles living at Australia Zoo were either caught by them or bred and
 raised in the zoo.
     In his 20s, Steve volunteered his services to the Queensland
 government's rogue crocodile relocation program, living alone for years in
 the mosquito- infested creeks, rivers and mangroves of North Queensland.
     In 1992, Steve and his friend, television producer John Stainton,
 created a distinctive new style of wildlife documentary. That one-hour
 program, The Crocodile Hunter, featured Steve, his new wife, American
 wildlife caretaker Terri Raines, and the animals of Far North Queensland.
 Steve's boisterous charm, unconventional style and extraordinary daring,
 combined with Terri's wit and composure in dangerous situations and their
 amazingly close encounters with such potentially deadly creatures as
 crocodiles, venomous snakes and spiders, made The Crocodile Hunter a
 worldwide hit.
     In addition to The Crocodile Hunter series, Steve and Terri filmed 53
 episodes of the Emmy Award-nominated Croc Files, The Crocodile Hunter
 Diaries, a behind-the-scenes look at Steve's daily life at Australia Zoo,
 and New Breed Vets, a series highlighting the cutting-edge veterinarian
 science.
     As testimony to their commitment to conservation and the environment,
 Steve and Terri purchased over 60,000 acres of wildlife-sensitive land and
 worked the rehabilitation and breeding of some of the world's most
 endangered animals. At Australia Zoo, they established a breeding program
 to help such endangered species as the southern cassowary, koala, giant
 land tortoise, Fijian crested iguana and Komodo dragon, to name just a few.
 The zoo, a dedicated conservation area covering over 250 acres, earned
 Australia's most prestigious tourism award as "Major Tourist Attraction"
 for 2003. Steve was recently awarded the title "2004 Queensland Australian
 of the Year."
     Discovery Communications, Inc. is the leading global real-world media
 company with operations in 170 countries and territories reaching 1.4
 billion cumulative subscribers. DCI's over 100 networks of distinctive
 programming represent 28 trusted brands including Discovery Channel, TLC
 and Animal Planet. DCI's other properties consist of Discovery Education
 and COSMEO, a revolutionary online homework help service, as well as
 Discovery Commerce, which operates more than 100 Discovery Channel Stores
 in the U.S. Discovery brings the real world to the whole world through its
 global multiplatform initiatives including Discovery Travel Media,
 Discovery Mobile and multiple broadband services. DCI's ownership consists
 of four shareholders: Discovery Holding Company (Nasdaq:   DISCA, DISCB), Cox
 Communications, Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S.
 Hendricks, the Company's Founder and Chairman. More information about
 Discovery and its businesses can be found at www.discovery.com.
 
 

SOURCE Discovery Communications, Inc.
    SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Communications is
 deeply saddened by the tragic and sudden loss of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile
 Hunter. Steve was beloved by millions of fans and animal lovers around the
 world and was one of our planet's most passionate conservationists. He has
 graced Animal Planet's air since October 1996 and was essential in building
 Animal Planet into a global brand.
     Steve was killed during a filming expedition for Animal Planet on the
 Great Barrier Reef. While we are still collecting specific details, it
 appears that this was a rare accident in which Steve swam over a stingray
 and was stung by its barb in his chest. A doctor on board Croc One, Steve's
 research vessel, was unable to resuscitate Steve, and by the time a rescue
 helicopter reached him, he had died.
     DCI Founder and Chairman, John Hendricks said, "Steve was a larger than
 life force. He brought joy and learning about the natural world to millions
 and millions of people across the globe. He was a true friend to all of us
 at Discovery Communications. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Terri,
 Bindi and Bob Irwin as well as to the incredible staff and many friends
 Steve leaves behind."
     DCI CEO and President Judith McHale said, "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."
     Discovery Networks, U.S. President Billy Campbell said, "The sense of
 loss we feel about Steve is shared by people around the world, evident by
 the hundreds of heartfelt condolences that have already flooded into
 Steve's fan site on Animalplanet.com."
     Discovery Networks International President Dawn McCall, said, "Rarely
 has the world embraced an animal enthusiast and conservationist as they did
 Steve Irwin. Steve's passion for animals and leadership in conservation
 awareness leaves a powerful and lasting legacy across the globe." Outside
 the United States, Animal Planet is available in 160 countries in Europe,
 Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East with programming customized
 in 24 languages.
     Animal Planet in the United States will air special tribute programming
 beginning tonight at 6 p.m. ET/PT. The programming will highlight Steve's
 background, including his early days as the Croc Hunter, and his passion
 for wildlife and his family. On Sunday, September 10, Animal Planet U.S.
 plans to air an all-day marathon tribute featuring the Best of the Croc
 Hunter. Animal Planet International in markets around the world will
 provide the same programming.
     To honor Steve and the enormous contribution he made to the world and
 to our company, DCI will rename the garden space in front of Discovery's
 world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, the "Steve Irwin Memorial
 Garden."
     DCI is planning to create the Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter Fund, which
 it expects to affectionately call "The Crikey Fund." The Fund will be
 established to honor Steve's passion and exuberance for conservation and
 the animal kingdom and is expected to provide a way for people from across
 the globe to make contributions in Steve's honor to support wildlife
 protection, education and conservation. The Fund will provide support to
 Steve's Australia Zoo in Beewah, Australia, as well as educational support
 for his children, Bindi and Bob Irwin.
     Steve Irwin was the world's best-known wildlife crusader. As the
 Crocodile Hunter, Steve became a household name, and his television
 adventures have been seen around the globe. In 2002, he starred in the
 feature film, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course and appeared on
 numerous popular television talk shows. Throughout his high international
 profile, Steve's commitment to wildlife always remained paramount.
     His passion to protect the world's most endangered and threatened
 species could be traced back to his parents, conservationists and animal
 lovers Bob and Lyn Irwin, the founders of Australia Zoo. As a young boy,
 Steve helped Bob rescue and relocate crocodiles in the rivers of North
 Queensland. The father- and-son team was proud to say that over 100
 crocodiles living at Australia Zoo were either caught by them or bred and
 raised in the zoo.
     In his 20s, Steve volunteered his services to the Queensland
 government's rogue crocodile relocation program, living alone for years in
 the mosquito- infested creeks, rivers and mangroves of North Queensland.
     In 1992, Steve and his friend, television producer John Stainton,
 created a distinctive new style of wildlife documentary. That one-hour
 program, The Crocodile Hunter, featured Steve, his new wife, American
 wildlife caretaker Terri Raines, and the animals of Far North Queensland.
 Steve's boisterous charm, unconventional style and extraordinary daring,
 combined with Terri's wit and composure in dangerous situations and their
 amazingly close encounters with such potentially deadly creatures as
 crocodiles, venomous snakes and spiders, made The Crocodile Hunter a
 worldwide hit.
     In addition to The Crocodile Hunter series, Steve and Terri filmed 53
 episodes of the Emmy Award-nominated Croc Files, The Crocodile Hunter
 Diaries, a behind-the-scenes look at Steve's daily life at Australia Zoo,
 and New Breed Vets, a series highlighting the cutting-edge veterinarian
 science.
     As testimony to their commitment to conservation and the environment,
 Steve and Terri purchased over 60,000 acres of wildlife-sensitive land and
 worked the rehabilitation and breeding of some of the world's most
 endangered animals. At Australia Zoo, they established a breeding program
 to help such endangered species as the southern cassowary, koala, giant
 land tortoise, Fijian crested iguana and Komodo dragon, to name just a few.
 The zoo, a dedicated conservation area covering over 250 acres, earned
 Australia's most prestigious tourism award as "Major Tourist Attraction"
 for 2003. Steve was recently awarded the title "2004 Queensland Australian
 of the Year."
     Discovery Communications, Inc. is the leading global real-world media
 company with operations in 170 countries and territories reaching 1.4
 billion cumulative subscribers. DCI's over 100 networks of distinctive
 programming represent 28 trusted brands including Discovery Channel, TLC
 and Animal Planet. DCI's other properties consist of Discovery Education
 and COSMEO, a revolutionary online homework help service, as well as
 Discovery Commerce, which operates more than 100 Discovery Channel Stores
 in the U.S. Discovery brings the real world to the whole world through its
 global multiplatform initiatives including Discovery Travel Media,
 Discovery Mobile and multiple broadband services. DCI's ownership consists
 of four shareholders: Discovery Holding Company (Nasdaq:   DISCA, DISCB), Cox
 Communications, Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S.
 Hendricks, the Company's Founder and Chairman. More information about
 Discovery and its businesses can be found at www.discovery.com.
 
 SOURCE Discovery Communications, Inc.