NEW YORK (Reuters) - The only video of Australian “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s fatal encounter with a stingray has been destroyed, according to his widow.
Irwin, 44, died on September 4 last year after a stingray’s serrated barb pierced his heart while he was filming under water off Australia’s coast.
Australian authorities last week said that they had completed an investigation into Irwin’s death and, to ensure it is never made public, destroyed all but one copy of a tape showing Irwin’s death.
The incident was captured by the documentary crew of “Ocean’s Deadliest,” the Discovery wildlife special Irwin was filming at the time of his death.
This video was handed to his widow, Terri Irwin, who told TV’s “Access Hollywood” in an interview being aired on Thursday and Friday this week that she had now destroyed this footage.
“There’s standard protocols for examining certain evidence and that’s no longer necessary,” she told “Access Hollywood.”
Asked whether she kept the video returned to her, she said, “Oh no, all footage has been destroyed.”
But while the video of his death has been destroyed, footage from the rest of the shoot will make its debut in a one-off special on The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet on January 21 with a two-hour showing of “Ocean’s Deadliest.”
“We’re very proud that Steve’s last documentary is going to air and that’s his last footage with wildlife,” said his widow.
Terri Irwin and the couple’s eight-year-old daughter Bindi will be in the United States when the show is broadcast, where the youngster is kicking off her U.S show business career and promoting her own upcoming Discovery kids wildlife series, “Bindi, The Jungle Girl.”
In a series of U.S. television interviews this week, Bindi spoke about the sadness of losing her father and her determination to pursue a career in show business, despite criticisms that her advisers were rushing her into the limelight.
“I want to make him the proudest dad to have me and I want to show everybody, and nearly be as good as him because he was the best,” Bindi told CNN host Larry King.