The late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, killed in a stingray attack last year, will be honored with a new wildlife reserve in Outback Australia, the government announced Sunday। A 333,585 acre chunk of land near Weipa in the far north of Irwin's home state of Queensland will be named after the popular television host and managed by his family, Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. The area includes habitats for the endangered northern quoll, a carnivorous marsupial, and the speartooth shark, as well as an important gallery of dry vine forests, Turnbull said. Irwin, who spent part of the money he earned from his television show on animal conservation projects, was killed when a poisonous stingray barb pierced his chest as he swam on the Great Barrier Reef last September. His family vowed to continue his conservation work.
"Steve was in awe of the prolific wildlife of the Wenlock and Ducie rivers bordering the reserve and he would have been proud to see the property protected as a wildlife reserve," Irwin's U.S.-born wife, Terri, said. Prime Minister John Howard said the new park was an important addition to Australia's national reserve system, "and is a fitting tribute to a passionate environmentalist and a great Australian." Source: Associated Press