Kids kit up in khakis for croc hunter

By Frank Wilkie

TEWANTIN State School students have paid tribute to the late wildlife enthusiast, documentary maker and Australia Zoo founder Steve Irwin by donning their khakis and dressing as the crocodile hunter on Wednesday.

The larger-than-life icon's death sent shockwaves around the world which were felt just as keenly among his young fans at the Werin Street primary school.

Acting principal Jeff Moore said the students wanted to do something positive to show their love for Mr Irwin and support the cause of wildlife conservation.

"I guess it was the overwhelming concern that the students expressed, requesting we do something for Steve and his Wildlife Warrior charity,'' Mr Moore said.

"It was entirely a student-based reaction to the tragedy and they've responded by honouring his memory and giving gold coin donations to his charity.''

An estimated 40% of students at the school dressed as Croc Hunters.

Mr Moore said news of Mr Irwin's death filtered into the school via text messages, radio broadcasts and parents towards the end of the classes on Tuesday.

"It had a huge impact," he said. "There was just shock and disbelief when the news hit. We're just coming to terms with the shock. It probably rates up there with Princess Di.''

Mr Irwin was killed when the barb from a large stingray pierced his heart while he was snorkelling on the Barrier Reef off Port Douglas on Monday.


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